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Is anything more perfect than your baby’s skin?

Posted In Infant, Parents, Your Child - By KidsMug On Monday, April 8th, 2013 With 0 Comments


Is anything more perfect than your baby’s skin? You can’t help but touch and stroke it. Go ahead! Your baby loves it as much as you do.

Protecting delicate skin from harm is an important job for a parent. Here’s what you’ll need to know and do.


The Soft Touch

While your baby’s skin is famously soft and smooth, it is also strong and resilient. The skin is the body’s largest organ – a group of cells stacked together to form a thin but tough barrier. Skin constantly renews itself throughout life, a process that begins even before birth.

Even so, many a newborn’s skin is anything but perfect at first. Don’t be alarmed by considerable peeling, redness or flaking in the first few days after birth. Areas like the wrists, knees and feet may even bleed as they adjust to being exposed to air. This is all normal. Use a gentle skin ointment to help lubricate and heal cracked or bleeding skin. Your baby’s skin will fill out and get smoother very soon.

For more information on how to prevent or heal nappy rash, click here.

To keep your baby’s skin healthy, you need to maintain its natural softness and strength. Even if your baby’s skin isn’t peeling, it will benefit from using moisturisers. For everyday lubrication, try petroleum jelly or specially for infants formulated body lotions. You can get fragrance-free products with ingredients such as mineral oil or petrolatum. The normal moisturiser you use on your infant should not contain alpha-hydroxy acids or sunscreens. Possible sensitivity to any of the ingredients may be checked by applying a small amount to the forearm.

In fact, using the same moisturiser you use on your body is an excellent choice, since you and the baby are always touching anyway. Whatever you choose, stick with it so your baby’s skin won’t have to readjust to the different blends of ingredients in various products.
Sun Facts

Babies of all ages should stay out of direct sunlight. A baby can get sunburnt in as little as 10 to 15 minutes, even on cloudy days.

The first line of defence should be clothing. On warm days, dress your baby in lightweight cotton clothing that covers his arms and legs, and make sure he wears a wide-brimmed hat for every outing. Try to avoid going out when the sun’s rays are strongest, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The UK Department of Health recommends that infants in the first 12 months of life should be kept out of the sun completely. For toddlers and young children apply a sun screen with a sun protection factor of at least 15. Even so, don’t use sunscreen as a substitute for protective clothing. Use it to cover your toddler’s exposed face, hands and feet.
Nail Care

Your baby’s tiny fingernails are very thin and sharp and grow surprisingly fast! You may need to trim them as often as twice a week. This is important since newborns can scratch their faces with their own nails.

Use a soft emery board, baby nail clippers or baby nail scissors for trimming. You may find it easier to do this job when your baby is asleep. To avoid snipping the fingertip skin as you trim the nail, hold his finger firmly and press the finger pad away from the nail as you cut. Don’t panic if you draw a bit of blood (this is bound to happen at least once, despite your best efforts). Just apply a little pressure to stop the bleeding.

Toenails grow much more slowly and are usually very soft. They don’t need to be kept as short as fingernails – a trim once or twice a month is enough. Although they may appear to be ingrown, babies seldom suffer from ingrowing toenails. Call your GP if the skin around the toenails gets red, inflamed or hard.

Caring for your newborn son’s circumcision isn’t difficult if you know what to do. For the first week after the procedure, the penis may look quite red and develop a yellow scab. Keep the area clean using mild soap and water after each nappy change. Coat the head of the penis with petroleum jelly to protect it, and cover it gently with a gauze dressing. Your doctor will tell you how long to keep the dressing on. If you suspect an infection at any time, notify your GP.

If your son is not circumcised, bathe his penis with mild soap and water just like the rest of the nappy area. Don’t try to pull back the foreskin – it will gradually retract on its own, usually by his third birthday.

Dress your newborn in one more layer of clothing than you are wearing yourself to keep him warm and comfortable. For newborns, except in the hottest months, this means a vest and nappy, pyjamas, and a lightweight blanket. When the temperature rises above 24 degrees C (75 degrees F), you can reduce this to a single layer. Touch your baby’s skin often to detect signs of discomfort: If his hands and feet feel cold, add a layer; if his skin gets hot and sweaty, remove one.

If your newborn is premature or has little body fat, he will be less able to regulate his own body temperature and may need additional layers for warmth.

Your baby’s skin may be sensitive to chemicals in new clothing and to soap and detergent left on clothes after washing. To avoid problems:
Wash all new clothes and linen before your baby uses them.
For the first few months, do your infant’s wash separately from your other laundry.
Use a gentle detergent and double rinse.


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