One of the most often asked questions asked by new mothers is "what is the best way to care for my baby's skin?" Newborn skin can be very delicate and is prone to all kinds of different issues and reactions. The guide below will provide general advice about how to properly care for your newborn baby's skin.
How you care for your baby's umbilical cord will ultimately impact how his or her belly button will look later in life. It is important to care for this area carefully in order to avoid infection. Swab the base of the umbilical cord with alcohol twice a day. Make sure you fold diapers down at the waist so the cord can be exposed to air. This helps it dry up and fall off faster.
Until your baby's umbilical cord falls off, stick to sponge baths only. When it falls off completely, you can move on to baby baths. In the first couple of months, babies only need to be bathed two or three times a week. Bathing more frequently at this early stage can dry out your baby's skin. Keep your newborn clean on days he or she won't be getting a bath by using a warm, damp washcloth on his or her face, hands, diaper area and neck.
When bathing your baby, use warm tap water, testing the temperature on the inside of your wrist. Make sure you use only water or water along with non-drying baby soap.
Baby Lotion, Baby Oil, Baby Powder
Unless your baby has unusually dry skin, lotions and ointments won't be necessary. Avoid putting baby oil or any type of greasy compound on your baby's skin, as this can lead to clogged sweat glands and rashes. If you notice that your newborn's skin is dry and scaly, you may consider using a moisturizing baby lotion.
The best moisturizing technique is to apply the baby lotion right after the bath. In terms of baby powder, opt for powders made from cornstarch rather than talcum. Cornstarch is all natural, and talcum contains chemicals that can cause a severe form of pneumonia if inhaled.
Diapers & Wipes
Every time you change a diaper, use a baby wipe to clean the entire diaper area. If your baby had a bowel movement, you may require more than one baby wipe. If you have a girl, be careful not to wipe any feces into the genital opening by wiping front to back. If you have a boy, make sure you wipe carefully under the scrotum as stool can hide there.
A Final Word
Bringing home a new baby is without a doubt a very special and exciting occasion. It can also be very daunting for first-time parents who aren't exactly sure how to care for their new bundle of joy. With these tips on caring for your newborn's skin, you'll be well on your way to learning the ropes of parenthood.
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