During the first year of life, your baby's skin is actually quite different than yours. It’s more soft and pristine of course, but there are actual anatomical differences between their skin and ours. Their skin is reasonably more sensitive because it is much thinner. Your baby’s skin is highly delicate and vulnerable to daily outside attacks, and does not reach the first stage of maturity until the age of two. We know that our skin is the largest organ in the body, and it easily absorbs anything it comes in contact with. Even more so for babies.
So what can you do to protect your baby’s skin?
Choose a soap or cleanser that is hypoallergenic and specifically made for babies. Babies don’t actually even need soap unless things are caked on their skin. Water works just fine for the first few months, unless of course you’ve got something sticky. If you feel soap is necessary, you’ll want to read the labels carefully and ask your doctor for a good baby soap recommendation.
There is much debate over whether babies should spend time in the sun each day or not. Dr. Melissa Long says, ‘AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends that infants younger than 6 months stay out of direct sunlight completely with the use of shade, a protective hat and clothing, and sunscreen on the face and hands when sun exposure is unavoidable”. Choose a sunscreen in the same way that you would choose a soap. And always check with your doctor if you need a recommendation.
Choose clothing that is soft and non-irritating for your little one. If it feels soft to you, it will feel soft to them. Your clothes matter too! Use the same rules for selecting clothing for yourself. You’ll also want to think about what you are using to wash clothing. Your baby's clothing carries a bit of the detergent from washing with it, so you’ll want to choose a detergent accordingly. There are many detergents that are free from perfumes, and even more baby-specific ones. Since there is so much snuggling happening during the first few months, be sure to wash your clothing in the same detergent as you do your baby’s.
Similar to clothing, choose towels and washcloths and blankets that are soft and made from quality fabric. Our Bamboo Washcloths and Bamboo Hooded Towel are great choices for bathing your baby, made from only the safest materials for their delicate skin. You’ll also want to grab some quality burp cloths, like these Organic ones. The same recommendations about washing clothes apply to these items too.
Of course if you notice your baby’s skin is dry or irritated in any way you will want to contact your doctor. But most of the time their precious little skin is just adjusting to elements of the outside world. Most importantly, enjoy the smell and touch of that sweet baby skin as long as possible.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Amanda
Amanda Dixon is a mother of three young children and has her master’s degree in early childhood education. She spends her days homeschooling her kiddos, freelance writing and teaching college. Her favorite things are a good cuppa tea, chocolate chip cookies, books, and her 3 dachshunds.