Keeping baby's skin healthy
Fear not, moms of the world. Here we present an easy guide to keeping baby's skin healthy.
You've heard the old saying, "smooth as a baby's bottom." But the reality is, baby's skin is not always as smooth and perfect as the old adage claims it to be. So what's a mom to do?
Remember that skin irritations such as diaper rash, cradle cap and milia are simple issues with simple remedies! Newborns are actually prone to get rashes rather easily, and the good news is that most go away on their own (such as milia).
To help avoid diaper rash, make sure to change wet or dirty diapers often. Also check to make sure the diapers are not too tight on baby. Other diaper rash culprits could be the brand of laundry detergent, diapers or even wipes. Try to expose baby's skin to the air as often as possible and apply a diaper rash ointment such as zinc oxide cream with each diaper change. There are also disposable diapers on the market that are designed for sensitive skin.
If your baby has a mild case of cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis, a scaly, waxy rash on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelids, or behind the ears, you can often treat it yourself with some baby oil. However, if it persists, check with your pediatrician, who can recommend a special shampoo or lotion.
If you notice a birthmark on baby's skin, don't panic. Chances are it's harmless but make sure to take note of its size and shape and watch it for changes. Also, point it out to your pediatrician on your next visit.
Forget baby powder. Yes, the smell reminds us of sweet little babies, but talcum powder is actually dangerous for little ones. The tiny grains of powder could actually result in lung complications. Opt for a corn starch-based powder, if you must. But you can probably drop the powder from your baby's skin care regimen altogether.
If your newborn has jaundice, a yellow coloration of baby's skin and eyes, it will usually appear within two to three days after baby's birth. Caused by too much bilirubin, a breakdown product of red blood cells, jaundice can be treated with more frequent feedings as well as phototherapy.
Always apply sunscreen if you are going to expose baby to the sun, though it is highly recommended to keep baby out of direct sunlight. Cover baby's head with a wide-brimmed hat as well as infant sunglasses.
Things to avoid
Avoid products with dyes, fragrance, phthalates and parabens, all of which have been considered irritants to baby's skin.
Limit bath time to no longer than five minutes for a newborn with that extra-soft skin. Apply a generous amount of lotion right after the baby, while the skin is still wet and try to avoid rubbing it too much to absorb it.