The Newborn Baby Skincare Guide

"The hand of a baby orphan from Liberia, West Africa, being held in the fingers of a volunteer."

Many people imagine newborn skin as soft and perfect, but in reality, these tiny people often have acne and rashes. Parents can help these issues by providing proper skin-care routines every day, especially around diapering and bath time. Here are a few tips for keeping your precious one looking and feeling good:

Bathing

Newborn skin is particularly fragile, especially around the umbilical area and the genital region where boys were circumcised. Your obstetrician will explain how long you should wait after birth to provide a full bath. Until then, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the baby’s skin off as necessary. Avoid using soaps until cleared by your doctor as even those marketed toward babies can be too harsh for their brand new skin.

Clothing

Babies can be messy, often spitting up or burping milk all over their clothes and anything else nearby. Parents may get into a habit of changing their newborns’ clothing several times a day to ensure their tiny tots are clean and dry. The important thing here is to keep your child’s skin dry. If spitup soaks through a onesie, a change is necessary. Wet cloth can rub against newborn skin and cause irritation. Some parents recommend washing all new clothing before dressing your baby in it to make sure it is clean and free of irritants. You can purchase special detergent made for babies that is said to leave less residue than regular soap, however this isn’t necessary unless your child has especially sensitive skin.


sunburn, baby, newborn, newborn skin careEven winter sun can burn newborns’ skin, so bundle them up.

Sunlight

Because babies’ skin is so fragile, it’s super important to protect newborns from the sun. Always fully cloth them if you’re headed to the beach, but make sure their outfit is breathable so they don’t overheat. Sun hats are awesome because they shield the child’s scalp, face and eyes from the sun. If you’re using a baby carrier, consider implementing the shade or rain protector to keep direct sunlight off of your child’s skin. Head inside if it gets too hot, and always opt for the cool of shade when possible. Babies can wear sunscreen, but doctors and dermatologists often recommend not using it until they are over six months old, as their skin can better tolerate this foreign substance when they are older.

Skin irritations

New parents commonly worry about their little ones, and spotting an angry red rash can be scary. Don’t fret, though, because it’s not often that bumps and splotches are a big deal. The best way to deal with diaper rash is to change your baby’s diaper as soon as you notice it’s wet. Always use a clean cloth to wipe the area and apply diaper cream as necessary to promote healing. Always make sure the child’s bottom is dry before fastening the diaper. Other rashes may come from the child being too hot, which should go away on it’s own within a day or two. If a skin discoloration or irritation lasts longer than several days, consult your doctor. A simple change like washing the baby less frequently or using an alternative detergent can make a world of difference.