What You Need to Know About Baby Skin Care Safety
You know that moment when you turn down an aisle in search of a product, and there are like a billion choices? Taller, thinner bottle. BPA free! This one has sleepy time powers! I mean, that's overwhelming when you're shopping for yourself. But when you're shopping for your sweet, soft, drooling little babe...it ups the stakes.
Your baby's skin requires care and attention. Although most babies have skin that screams perfection, some might have a dry spot here or there (especially in Utah!). Eczema is also a common issue that's normal for many babies. So amid helping them learning to play peek-a-boo and getting through that first tooth, how can you make sure that your little one gets the proper skin care?
Here is some general advice from me to you: Take a deep breath. You're a good parent. Soon you'll fall into a good skin care routine for your baby. Until then, here are some helpful tips:
1. Assess baby's skin regularly. For me, the easiest times to do this are at diaper changes and bath time. Of course, you're probably already on the lookout for any ouchie-looking areas, but these times are good because baby's skin is exposed and you're already focused on it. Also, if needed, skin care products are usually handy at these times.
2. Talk to the Pediatrician. Sometimes a rash can appear at the drop of a hat, and will be gone the next day. If you have any concerns, they are best discussed with a professional who knows what you're dealing with. This will also help alleviate any fears you might have about things that aren't a big deal. Most importantly, don't use a medicine on your child's skin without talking to the doctor first.
3. Research products that work for you. While some products are perfectly safe, they might not be the right choice for your baby's skin. One way to find out is by obtaining a sample, and doing a patch test. Just put a small amount on one area of baby's arm or leg, and wait 24 hours to see the effects. This will help you know whether to keep using the product or not.
If either parent has a family history of skin problems, go with mild and unscented skin care products. As a general rule, over-the-counter baby skincare products are tested and created with baby's sensitive skin in mind.
4. Be patient with yourself and your baby's skin. Not every little red mark is a huge deal--in fact, most newborns go through some sort of skin rash before their first birthday. Just keep a watchful eye and call the doctor if the rash is ever accompanied by a fever. Most of the time though, their skin will settle down within a few days.
5. Bathe your baby, as needed. Skin problems can arise from over-bathing, just as they can from under-bathing, too. Most babies under the age of one don't need a bath every day, and daily bathing may cause their skin to dry out. I usually opt for every other day or 3 times a week, but it's whatever works for you. No matter how often you bathe baby, make sure to moisturize after each bath as this is when baby's skin is most vulnerable to dryness. As far as daily skin care, you're probably already doing what's necessary. Clean your baby's bottom and genitals with each diaper change. Make sure their skin stays clean and dry during the day. Wipe their face and hands following meals.