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Baby bathing and skin care

Your baby's skin is very delicate. It's important to find the balance between keeping her clean, but not aggravating her baby-soft skin
Your baby’s skin is very delicate. It’s important to find the balance between keeping her clean, but not aggravating her baby-soft skin and causing rashes or irritation.

As your baby's skin is very thin during the early years, it actually absorbs more water than an adult’s. It also loses moisture more readily than adult skin. Even if you don’t use any baby bubble bath or soap, warm water on its own can be an irritant in itself, and too much washing can dry out the skin and strip it of its protective oils.

Babies don’t have a well-developed immune system, and they are liable to get infections more easily than an adult. The skin is the body’s first defence against infection, so it’s important that you do what you can to protect it.

Young babies don’t usually need to have a full bath every day, so start with a simple top-and-tail routine. Once your little one is crawling and enjoying solids, they will probably need daily bathing.

 

Baby care products

Many doctors and midwives recommend avoiding any kind of baby skincare products in the first few months, relying instead on warm water to bathe your baby.

When the time comes to introduce products, you’ll need to decide which ones are right for you and your baby. There is a wide range to choose from, from supermarket staples to designer and organic brands found in specialist stores and health shops. The decision is yours, but make sure to check the ingredient listings if your child has displayed any sensitivities. More than likely, you will need to experiment with different brands and types of products to find the one best suited to your baby.

 

Massage

Babies need touch to thrive and to grow up happy and healthy. Many parents find massaging baby helps to strengthen the bond between them. Baby massage will also leave your baby’s skin even more deliciously soft, thanks to the oils used, which help moisturise the skin. Common oils used for massage include sweet almond oil and melted coconut oil. You can learn to massage your baby by reading online or by attending a baby massage class. Baby massage classes are available in most areas.

Laundry

Make sure to use a gentle washing powder or liquid when you are washing your baby’s clothes, towels and sheets. Babies can get very irritated by the chemicals in laundry products, so try not to add extra products like stain removers and bleach. Many parents opt for eco-friendly brands to avoid this problem.

When should I seek medical advice?

Rashes and irritations are very common occurrences in babies. Generally, skin problems can be easily remedied by switching products or by bathing less frequently. However, if rashes and other skin problems persist and don’t improve with these changes, your doctor or public health nurse can offer you further advice.

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