Babies’ skin requires special care and attention. Make sure it stays soft and healthy.
Baby’s soft skin
The birth of a baby is a milestone. While parents become acquainted with this small being, who has already begun to take up a lot of space, they are eager to provide the best possible care. This begins with physical care.
Most parents know that nothing tops the softness of a baby’s skin. Yet, this unparalleled softness is synonymous with fragility. In order to care for your baby’s skin, it is important to provide the proper daily care. Doing this will prevent certain problems, such as dryness and discomfort.
Dry skin in humans results in the breakdown of the natural barrier that keeps the skin moisturized. Babies’ delicate skin is particularly prone to dehydration and to related conditions such as eczema, diaper rash, baby acne and seborrheic dermatitis (“cradle cap”).
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to protect the skin against daily aggressors, so it stays healthy. If your child seems inconvenienced for no apparent reason or if their skin has a different appearance, don’t hesitate to speak to their doctor about it. This will enable you to provide the necessary care.
Proper care at bathtime can help keep your baby’s skin soft, moisturized and healthy.
- Be sure to check that the water isn’t too hot. For additional comfort, a bath should be given in a well-heated room.
- Limit the duration of the bath (ideally to 10 minutes).
- Make sure you have everything you need within reach. Never leave your baby alone in the bathtub or let your supervision lapse.
- Remove any jewelry that might scratch the skin.
- Make it a habit to give your baby a bath every other day instead of every day. You can gently wash your baby with a washcloth soaked in warm water between baths. During diaper changes, it is best to wash baby’s bottom with a washcloth; avoid using wet wipes to prevent diaper rash
- Opt for washcloths made of thin and very soft fabric.
- Do not wash baby’s hair at every bath; once or twice a week is generally enough.
- Avoid soap-based cleansing products, as they are often too harsh and dry out babies’ skin. Instead, opt for an unscented product known for its protective, moisturizing and gentle effects, and that is specially formulated for babies.
- Be sure to rinse the skin properly to eliminate residue.
- After a bath, pat the skin dry with a soft towel, rather than rubbing it.
- Then, apply a quality unscented moisturizer or emollient to the skin.
- If needed, reapply it during the day to keep the skin moisturized. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable product.
More tips for parents
Here are a few additional tips on how to care for your baby’s skin:
- Make sure your child is not exposed to the sun’s rays until they are at least six months old and ideally up to a year old. Stringent sun protection is essential for all babies.
- Do not apply sunscreen on your baby’s skin until the age of six months. Passed this age, you can apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Choose an unscented product that is formulated for young children. Your pharmacist can advise you on this.
- If you choose to use a humidifier in your child’s room, be sure to follow the user instructions closely. Change the filters regularly. Use only distilled water and do not add products containing menthol or essential oils―this can promote skin irritation.
- Avoid smoking in front of your child and make sure they are not exposed to secondary smoke.
- During outdoor winter activities, make sure your child is well dressed and that their skin, including the face, is well protected from the cold and wind.
- Avoid overdressing your child to avoid sweating, which can promote dry or irritated skin.
- Opt for clothes made of natural and soft fabrics, such as cotton.
You can always count on pharmacists to provide additional information about how to care for your baby. Don’t hesitate to speak to your pharmacist!