From washing and sunlight to their umbilical stump, here’s our good, bad and ugly guide to baby skincare.
Skin conditions are common in babies. Thankfully most clear up without treatment. Here are our top tips for caring for your baby’s skin.
At a glance
- Wash baby with just plain water for the first month
- Even if the umbilical stump looks like it's ready to come off, don't be tempted to pull it
- If you're sitting outside, find a shady spot to stay in and attach sun sades to your pram
A newborn baby’s skin is around 30% thinner than ours and much more sensitive to the chemicals in soap and skin products (even those aimed at babies) – particularly for the first month. It is recommended that for the first month you wash your baby with plain water. During this time, your baby’s skin will develop a natural protective barrier. So by month two you can begin to introduce mild products which are suitable for babies. Ingredients to avoid are sulphates, parabens, phthalates, artificial colours and perfumes. If you’re unsure you can always double-check with a pharmacist or your health visitor.
But basically, washing your baby with plain water during the first month and introducing baby appropriate products after month one = good. Giving them a quick spritz with Chanel No. 5 = not good.
Their Umbilical Stump
Obviously we love every tiny bit of our babies. Yes that’s right – even the umbilical stump (sort of…). It should change colour, turning almost black over time and eventually fall off. Most fall off within the first 5-15 days of your baby’s life though this can vary.
Whilst it’s still attached, it might be easier to sponge bath your baby. Even if it looks like it’s ready to come off, don’t be tempted to pull it as it needs to happen naturally. It’s important to keep it clean and dry and tuck the nappy underneath (some new born nappies have a cut away section for the stump) to reduce risk of infection. Signs of infection would be inflammation at the base of the stump or if it smells unpleasant. If you spot these signs or have any other concerns then seek medical advice.
Here comes the sun
Babies’ skin is so sensitive that it’s best to keep them out of direct sunlight by staying in the shade for the first six months of their life. If you’re sitting outside, find shady spots to stay in and attach sun shades to your pram. After this you can let them play in the sunshine but make sure they are wearing a hat, clothes that cover shoulders and a sunscreen recommended for babies.
Don’t mind if we do. Oh! For the baby… Baby massage is an increasingly popular way to soothe and bond with your baby, as well as helping with various common baby health conditions. There are many classes which teach baby massage techniques. If you are massaging your baby, it’s a good idea to use vegetable-based oils which are free from perfumes and colours.
For more top tips and what skincare to buy, visit our Bump To Baby Product Guide