Did you know that the skin is the biggest organ in the human body and corresponds to 15% of our weight? It is a natural physical barrier against ultraviolet rays and can even help in maintaining our body temperature. The baby’s skin, however, is still immature, fragile and susceptible to environmental harms. Even the baby’s urine and sweat can cause issues such as diaper rash, dermatitis, and heat rash.
This is why you should skip sunblock and bug repellents until your child meets the six-month mark– many pediatricians recommend parents to use physical barriers such as shirts, hat, and beach umbrellas and only use sunblock when you can no longer keep your baby seated under an umbrella or tree shadow.
5 tips on how to protect your baby’s skin
· On really cold days or when temperatures vary greatly, avoid putting on too many clothes on the baby, especially wool. Going overboard trying to keep your baby warm can block the child’s glands and cause heat rash. Opt for thinner layers, ones that can be removed as soon as the temperatures rise.
· Don’t heat up the bathwater too much, even on cold days. The water should be lukewarm, with a temperature of around 98 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The child’s skin should not get red and the bath should be quick (between 5 and 7 minutes).
· Shampoos and soaps should be specific to babies and hypoallergenic. Don’t overdo it with the quantity and use only your hands to wash your child, at least for the first few months. Loofahs or washcloths can scratch.
· Moisturizing lotions are great – especially during the winter when everyone’s skin tends to become a little drier – and, again, they should be made for babies and hypoallergenic. When you put it on, avoid putting the lotion directly on the child: heat it up a bit in your hands, as the cold feeling will cause discomfort and even crying. Attention: baby oil doesn’t substitute lotion nor is it capable of penetrating the skin.
· Switching diapers frequently, always after cleaning the baby, helps maintain the skin free from diaper rashe. In most cases, this inflammation happens due to prolonged contact with urine and feces.
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