As a new parent, you naturally want the best for your baby. A newborn baby’s skin is delicate, as are their immune systems. Chemicals, fragrances, dyes in clothing, detergents, and some baby products can cause newborn skin irritation, dryness, chafing, rashes and allergies. Caring for their delicate skin is another important aspect of being a parent and thankfully, there’s plenty you can do to protect your baby from skin problems and immune impairment from chemical products.
With newborn skin care, the adage is “less is more.” The fewer chemicals, fragrances and additives in newborn skincare products, the better. Pediatricians advise that too much exposure to chemicals and other potential allergens can set the stage for skin allergies later in life. One of the reasons that many parents choose natural and organic baby skincare products because they are less likely to contain potential skin irritants. The most common skin irritants in baby skincare products are perfumes (particularly products that just list ‘fragrance’ as this is probably synthetic), preservatives (particularly parabens) and artificial colours. If you like some fragrance, opt for baby skin care products that are fragranced with natural essential oils.
One of the most common places to first notice a baby’s skin irritation is in the nappy region. Most often, nappy rash is caused by the irritating wetness of a soiled nappy. The rash can also develop when baby’s skin is not properly dried after a bath or nappy change. Sometimes, a bacteria or yeast infection will cause nappy rash. Babies taking antibiotics are especially susceptible to yeast infections. To treat nappy rash, consider the following:
- Check nappies frequently.
- Change nappy immediately when wet or soiled.
- Pat (don’t rub) baby dry. Let the nappy area air-dry fully before putting on a fresh nappy.
- Apply a protective layer of nappy rash balm such as Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream.
How about the upside to a baby’s skin sensitivity? Well, babies are very sensitive to touch, so your touch has a soothing, nurturing and immune-enhancing effect and is critical to your baby’s development. Giving your newborn a massage is important one-on-one time and is a way to convey your love and affection for your baby. Massaged babies are said to be calmer, sleep better, and cry less than non-massaged babies. Simply lay baby on a soft blanket or change mat and gently warm some natural baby oil (such as Weleda Calendula Oil) between your hands. Then, while making eye contact and softly talking to your baby, gently rub the product onto their body.
Along with the soothing touch of loved ones, it’s assuring to know that baby’s delicate skin can be best cared for with a little help from good old Mother Nature.
Article by Renée Leonard-Stainton, Naturopath & Nutritionist
Renée Naturally – www.reneenaturally.com
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