The rule of thumb goes: The tinier the human, the greater its needs! This is also true when it comes to skincare. Newborn babies have very special dermatological requirements, as their gorgeously sensitive skins are still getting used to life outside the womb.
Infant skincare should not be seen as a mere luxury; a non-essential part of your baby’s health. The skin is the body’s largest organ and it has us covered (literally) against all kinds of hazards. Healthy skin is also pivotal to your little one’s level of comfort, since skin problems can lead to niggly days and restless nights – which should make any new parent’s skin crawl!
Here is some counsel on how to care for your cutie’s coating:
Start by doing…nothing!
Most babies who are not born overdue still have a protective, waxy varnish, called vernix, on their skin. It is therefore recommended not to bath or wipe your baby for the first day (or week, if you prefer!) to give this superior skincare substance the time to absorb into the skin. This is not only beneficial to your baby – it will save your much-needed energy! Don’t worry: contrary to popular belief, a baby is nor born dirty.
No more nappy nuisances
A baby’s nappy area needs special attention, as it is constantly moist and exposed to ….well, excretions that could irritate the skin. Change nappies often, let the bum air dry and apply good quality barrier creams. If you really battle with nappy rash, maybe change to a different brand of nappies, give it as much air as possible and rather wipe with a soft cloth and rooibos tea than with wet wipes. A healthcare practitioner might also prescribe anti-fungal ointment.
Stick with the sensitive stuff
When it comes to the ingredients of skincare products for newborns, “less is more” should be your motto. To protect that delicate dermis, stay away from chemical additives, alcohol and harsh fragrances. Go as natural as possible and make sure products are hypoallergenic and designed for sensitive skin. This includes soaps, shampoos, lotions, powder, baby oils, ointments, nappies, wipes – everything that comes into contact with and soaks into your little love’s skin. This is especially important if your baby has a dermatological condition like eczema or cradle cap. Coconut oil is a wonderful, natural substance that could be used as moisturiser and bum cream.
Mind the material needs Do not forget that your baby’s clothing and bedding also affect the skin, as it is in constant contact with it. Use gentle baby detergents to wash the freshest member of the family’s laundry. White vinegar makes for a great and gentle fabric softener and also aids to reduce skin irritations (plus it refreshes and brightens your clothing!). Remember to wash newly bought items before the first wear and be cautious of the material it is made of – natural fabrics like cotton and bamboo are best for newborns and even older babies with very sensitive skins. Nothing new(born) under the sun!
Babies’ skins are particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of the UV rays that cause skin cancer. It is best to keep small babies out of sunlight, especially during the sunniest parts of the day. If exposed to the sun, apply baby sunscreen, cover the skin with cool UV-protective clothing and a hat and try to seek or create as much shade as possible.
Save your baby’s (and your own!) skin by heeding to these hints to prevent dermatological dramas! And remember to kiss and cuddle that soft skin as much as possible!
The Pure-Thaim range of products from Therific Naturals is especially designed to care for sensitive newborn skin at bath times. This gently fragranced range, infused with moisturising coconut oil, will nourish baby’s skin while offering the calming effects of magnesium sulphate (a natural ingredient). This means indulgently kissable, soft skin and better sleep – everything a new parent wants!