There is nothing lovelier than the feel – and smell – of your newborn’s soft skin. But, it’s incredibly delicate, so look after it in the right way
Your new baby has possibly the softest skin ever. And while her health will always be your number one priority, keeping her skin in good condition so she’s comfortable should be high on the list, too. In the first few months, it’s all about a ‘less is more’ policy.
Leave vernix be
Your baby is born with skin that seems a bit wrinkly and with a sort of waxy coating. This is completely normal and is a protective covering called vernix.
‘Vernix should always be left to absorb into the skin naturally,’ says Sharon Trotter, midwife and neonatal skincare advisor . ‘Don’t try and wash it off – it’s a brilliant moisturiser!’
Yes, even better than eight-hour cream for you!
Go au natural
Her skin is incredibly delicate and thin right now as her immune system is still developing, so go product free for the first 28 days.
‘This is with the exception of barrier cream,’ Sharon says. ‘Once your baby has passed this date, small amounts of mild products that are free from colours, alcohol and strong perfumes can be introduced, but it’s best to be very sparing, or steering clear of products altogether for the first few months.’
Recognise skin conditions
Newborns are prone to a number of skin conditions including rashes, baby acne and cradle cap. A lot of rashes that appear on your baby’s skin are irritations from being cuddled by people wearing perfume and make-up.
Don’t become a vigilante with visitors, but certainly cut down on your own use and drop subtle hints to people who are often around your baby.
‘These problems tend to self-soothe and disappear within a few days – it’s just your baby getting used to the outside world,’ says Sharon. ‘Of course, if anything remains and seems really angry then visit your doctor.’
Have a safe bath time
Your newborn doesn’t require the same level of washing that you do – it’s not as if he’s getting sweaty in the gym.
‘Don’t bath your baby until his cord has fallen off, but after this point he can have a sponge bath,’ explains Sharon. ‘Do this two or three times a week but there is no need to use baby products or shampoo.’
Concentrate on cleaning your baby’s bottom and mouth areas by top and tailing.
Wash everything together
There is no need to separate your baby’s washing from yours, as your baby will have built up a tolerance to whatever washing detergent you use while in the womb – how’s that for a fact?
Just remember to rinse out any power residue.