A Guide to Your Baby's Skin
As a parent, there’s nothing more special than nuzzling into your baby’s amazingly soft skin. Yet protecting and caring for your baby’s delicate skin can sometimes be tricky, because as beautiful as it is, it’s also super sensitive!
For any first time or expecting parents, we’ve put together some top tips on protecting your newborn’s skin as they get used to the outside world.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BABY SKINCARE
Your baby’s skin provides an essential barrier, not only protecting them from the heat and cold, but also from harmful bacteria, and other germs that can cause skin conditions.
One thing you may not know is that your baby’s skin is still developing! The development of your baby’s skin begins in your womb and doesn't finish until at least a year after birth. This means that a baby’s skin can be 30% thinner than an adult's, which is one of the reasons their skin is often much more sensitive.
Having sensitive skin can lead to them reacting to products such as washing detergent and soaps, as well as developing common skin conditions. Whilst fortunately most skin conditions clear up without treatment, there are a few ways for you to help reduce irritation and protect your baby’s skin.
NEWBORN DRY SKIN
Dry skin on newborns is a common worry for parents, but you shouldn’t be concerned by peeling or flaking in the first few days after birth - it’s completely normal!
Over the first month, your baby’s skin will develop its own natural protective barrier. It’s recommended that for the first month, you wash your baby with plain water and by month two you can start to introduce mild products that are suitable for babies. You should avoid using sulphates, parabens, phthalates, artificial colours, and perfumes. If you’re unsure what to use, you can always speak with a pharmacist or your health visitor.
Any cleansing and moisturising products you choose for your baby once they are a little older should be gentle and developed especially for babies. Sticking with the same products will also help so that your baby’s skin doesn’t have to adjust to different ingredients.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BABY’S SKIN FROM NAPPY RASH
Nappy rash is common in babies and typically happens when the delicate skin around your baby’s nappy area becomes irritated. Our top tips to prevent nappy rash and irritation are to change nappies as frequently as possible, and always use a barrier cream!
There are a few key times when your baby may be more prone to nappy rash in those first few years, including when you are introducing solid foods, when your baby is teething, or when they are poorly. Nappy rash can be a really hard time for both you and your baby - so to avoid that oh no moment, take steps to prevent - rather than waiting to treat.
Metanium's Everyday Barrier Ointment can be used at every nappy change to help prevent nappy rash. Make sure that your hands are clean and dry before evenly spreading a pea-sized amount of ointment to protect and moisturise your baby’s delicate skin.
If you are new to nappy care and your little one currently has nappy rash, you can apply a small amount of Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment onto the affected area. Our Nappy Rash Ointment has been specifically formulated to help soothe and treat your baby’s nappy rash, relieving irritation, and redness. Once your baby’s nappy rash has cleared up, you can switch to the Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment to help prevent future outbreaks.
Here’s a little more information about our range:
- Our formula is unscented and does not contain lanolin
- Metanium is 100% vegan-friendly
- 94% of parents recommend our Everyday Barrier Ointment*
*Home Tester Club survey September 2019. 397 respondents.
You can find out where to buy the Metanium full range on our stockists page, or purchase directly on Amazon. For more tips on preventing and treating nappy rash, you can also read our blog Nappy Rash Strikes Again.
LAUNDRY TIPS TO REDUCE IRRITATION ON YOUR BABY’S SKIN
Between baby sick and nappy disasters, as a parent, there is a constant cycle of laundry on the go! With this in mind, it’s important to find a detergent that will clean their clothes without irritating the skin.
When it comes to washing your little one’s clothes, look for a non-bio detergent that will get rid of those messy food stains, without irritating their skin. Using a fabric softener that has hypoallergenic properties, will also make their clothes soft and help to reduce the risk of irritation in your baby’s skin.
A top tip from us would be to choose clothes that are made from natural fibers such as cotton and linen, which let the skin breathe. Although knitted cardigans and jumpers can look super cute, it’s important to remember that wool can irritate already sensitive skin. So, when you’re pairing together with your baby’s winter wardrobe, it’s best to put on a cotton vest underneath any woolly knitwear.
PROTECT YOUR BABY’S SKIN FROM SCRATCHES
Although your baby’s nails may be softer than yours, they are still sharp enough to scratch and they grow surprisingly fast! When it’s time to give your baby a manicure, you can either use an emery board or special baby scissors with rounded tips. Lots of parents find it’s easier to trim their baby’s nails when they are sleeping, so they aren’t wriggling!
- To avoid clipping too close to their fingertip, hold your baby's finger, press the fingertip pad down and away from the nail.
- Their toenails grow more slowly and will require less maintenance!
- Call your healthcare provider if the skin around the toenails gets red, inflamed, or hard.
PROTECTING YOUR BABY’S SKIN FROM THE SUN
Babies’ skin is so sensitive that it’s best to shield them from the sun rather than use sun cream for the first six months. It’s particularly important to avoid direct exposure when the sun is at its highest intensity, between 10 AM to 4 PM.
Even though sunny days may be rare in the UK, during the summer months the sun can still be strong enough to cause damage - so make sure to follow these rules at home too!
When your baby is at least six months old, you can let them play in the sunshine and you can protect their skin by applying sunscreen with a high SPF, like SPF50. Make sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and reapply it every two hours or more frequently if you take your baby into the pool or if he or she is sweating!
TOP TIP: To test for irritation with particular creams, you can try applying the sun cream to your child’s wrist prior to use.
We hope this article helped you to learn more about your baby’s skin. Do you have any other questions about nappy rash? What tips would you like to hear from us? Let us know on Instagram or Facebook.
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Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment is a medicine. Always read the label.