As a new Mum, you’re faced with all sorts of practical advice on looking after your baby. Baby Skincare though is one of those subjects that doesn’t seem to get the priority treatment.
When you’re pregnant it’s all about learning about baby feeding and sleeping. There are decisions to be made about cots and prams. Should you buy cloth nappies or disposables? Are you going down the sustainable parenting route? Is yours going to be a green baby?
Baby skincare should not be just an afterthought though as it’s crucial to get it right. A baby’s skin is very delicate and fragile. There’s little point in wrapping baby in a bamboo swaddling a baby and dressing him or her in organic baby clothes if you’re not going to do the groundwork first.
Skincare for Newborn Babies
In antenatal classes new parents learn about the importance of skin-to-skin contact. Once your new baby is delivered he’ll be placed on your chest straightaway unless there’s any kind of a problem. Once upon a time, babies were bathed not long after the birth. Mums, dads and hospital nurses used baby bath products. Now however that is frowned upon.
Parents are bombarded with baby cleansing and skincare products in Baby Departments in all the main stores and supermarkets. But research now indicates that ‘less is more’. Parents and hospitals are advised NOT to use baby bath and moisturising products for at least the first month. You should let baby’s skin mature in a more natural way.
After your baby is born, the vernix (that white sticky stuff covering baby!) should be left all over his or her skin. The creamy white coating should be allowed to absorb naturally into the skin. There’s no need for shampoo on baby’s head either.. Yes baby’s hair may look a bit greasy for the first few weeks but it’s good greasy not bad!
The other thing new parents mustn’t do is clean baby’s eyes unless the midwife or health-visitor tell you to. If there’s any hint of sticky eyes then wipe gently with cotton wool and cooled boiled water. And remember to use a clean cotton-wool ball for each eye – organic bamboo if you can get it.
If you expose your new baby’s skin to lotions, potions and creams before 4 weeks, then it’s likely that baby’s skin will react. And nobody wants their baby to have allergic skin reactions and/or eczema! It’s far better just to use plain water to bath and clean baby. You definitely don’t need to use soap or baby bath foams.
If baby has cracked or dry skin and is more than a month old, then it’s safe to introduce an emollient based cream. But no earlier.
And whatever you do, you mustn’t use wet wipes or baby wipes until a month has passed. Water Wipes are the best or at the very least buy baby wipes without perfume and other ‘nasties’.
For premature babies, parents should wait even longer. A premmie’s skin’s protective barrier takes longer to mature obviously. This means you shouldn’t use baby skin or bath products for the first 6 to 8 weeks.
So there you are. You don’t need to buy fancy bath products for baby. Water is all you need and it’s free! All the more to spend on some gorgeous organic cotton baby clothes.
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