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  • Writer's pictureDr. Aparna Santhanam

Skin as soft as a Baby?

We love using baby skin as a metaphor for soft, smooth, perfect skin. But the truth is that the skin of newborn babies undergo a lot of adjustments in the first few months and can be quite unstable. Let us look at how best you can care for your baby’s skin in the first year of their life!

Skin care for new born


Western literature recommends a bath only 3 to 4 times a week. But in India, being a hot country, most people tend to bathe their babies every day. My advice is to always use a stable surface, like a small tub, with lukewarm water to bathe your baby.

Scented products could harm them. That’s why, only use fragrance free cleansers and ensure you pour warm water on the shoulders to keep the temperature constant. Also, use baby shampoos that have amphoteric cleansers. They are said to be gentle on the scalp. And don’t forget to dry your baby thoroughly after the bath.

Skin care for new born

Dry Skin

Many newborns have dry skin. But remember, it all goes away eventually. Babies don’t usually need additional lotion on their skin in the start. But if your little one has dry skin and splits, especially around the ankles and hands, you can use a lotion. Make sure that you choose a lotion that does not have perfume or dyes. Cetaphil, Venusia, Eucerin & Aveeno work well, or anything recommended by your dermatologist!

Skin care for new born

Cradle Cap

Seborrheic dermatitis, better known as cradle cap, is an extremely common condition in newborns. While it can look alarming, cradle cap is neither painful, nor contagious. To put it very simply, cradle cap is just dandruff for babies.

It is good to use a mild moisturizer and shampoo to wash your baby’s scalp. But if the problem persists, visit a dermatologist.

Skin care for new born

Diaper Rash

Clean your baby's bottom with a warm washcloth and wipe with every diaper change.

For your baby girl, wipe from front to back and be gentle between the folds of skin. It is important in order to prevent transfer of bacteria into the vaginal area. You may notice a white discharge. It is normal and does not need to be scrubbed away.

If you have a baby boy, make sure you clean all the creases and folds. When putting the diaper on, try to keep it folded below the umbilical cord. The cord will fall off sooner if the area is kept dry.

Also, dab some diaper cream containing zinc oxide or put warm water from a squirt bottle on you baby's bottom and gently pat dry. You can also use coconut oil to soothe the redness of a diaper rash.

Baby Acne

Babies can get acne in the first six months because of the influence of maternal hormones. They usually don’t require any treatment but if it persists, you should see a dermatologist.

Skin care for new born

Skin Care Products

It's best to use skin-care products especially made for babies, like fragrance and tear free shampoos, bath gels, and lotions. With every product you use, watchout for your baby’s reaction, since he/she might be allergic.

It is important to keep your baby's skin moisturized, so always have a supply of lotion around.

Contrary to popular belief, baby powders aren't a necessary step if you allow a little time for your baby to air-dry. However, in a climate such as India’s, use the powder in folds of the body, like underarms and buttocks. Make sure that you only sprinkle a small amount of powder on your baby's bottom.

Baby soaps are the best for your little one. Avoid perfumed, antibacterial, and deodorant soaps since they may be too harsh on the skin until your baby is a toddler.

You baby’s skin needs a little bit of product and a lot of tender, loving care. Make sure that you take good care of yourself and your baby. And remember, when it comes to babies, less is always more!

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