So you have gone through all pregnancy weeks and are finally holding your reward in your arms: your tiny one! First of all, congratulations, you have worked so hard to get through the rocky and awkward beginnings of motherhood.
We know that all those discomforts of pregnancy couldn’t have been easy to bear, so we want to tell you that we are very proud of you. Second of all, if you are wondering what is going to come next in this lifelong journey of being a parent, then that’s completely natural. Just know that we are here to make the process a little easier for you.
A newborn is a vulnerable being, freshly out into this world from the warm and soft cocoon of your womb. This means that there are extra precautions that need to be taken so your baby can be as comfortable as possible in their first few years. Between looking up essentials to buy and reading up on newborn care tips, which means that you have got your hands full!
One such thing which you will come across on your checklist is your baby’s skincare. It is crucial to be aware of all the newborn skincare guidelines so you can take care of your baby in the best way. This is especially true if you come across signs that your baby has sensitive skin. For this, you need to be vigilant, so you can get the products that best suit your baby’s needs.
Today, we will talk about how to care for baby’s sensitive skin.
Signs that your baby has sensitive skin
While you are taking extra care of your baby’s skin, it is important to note down any changes you see. As much as you may have read up on general newborn skincare guidelines, knowing the needs of your own baby’s skin is very essential. Being aware of what the baby’s skin is telling you helps in being able to tell what is normal and what needs extra attention.
Here are 4 signs that your baby has sensitive skin:
- A reaction on your baby’s skin after taking a bath using soap.
- Certain differences or changes in the skin after your baby was wrapped in a blanket, clothing, or bedding, as a reaction to either the dyes or detergent used.
- A reaction on your baby’s skin after using lotion, possibly due to the ingredients or fragrances present in the solution.
- Any reaction on your baby’s skin after taking part in a normal activity which involves the use of external agents such as detergents, soaps, solutions, dyes, fragrances, or other factors such as sweating, changes in the temperature, wind, etc. may be signs that your baby has sensitive skin.
Causes of baby skin irritation
While there can be several factors that are triggering the sensitive nature of your baby’s skin, there are certain rashes and conditions which you may need to watch out for. Depending on the condition, there will be different methods of how to treat sensitive skin in babies.
While some of these are normal in the first few weeks, they still need to be checked out if they get severe.
Here are 6 possible causes of baby skin irritation:
Cradle cap is a skin problem that appears in the form of a scaly, greasy rash on your baby’s forehead, scalp, or around their ears. This is not contagious and usually does not require special medical treatment, getting better after gentle scrubbing on the scales during bath. However, if the cradle cap does not seem to get better after bathing or if the rash spreads to other parts of the body, it is important to inform your baby’s doctor immediately.
Eczema is one of the common, chronic skin conditions which can affect people. This can show up in your baby through patches of red or dry skin. These first appear on your baby’s cheeks and then spread to the rest of the face, arms, and legs.
The usual treatment for this is to use dye-free, unscented moisturizers on the affected area at least two times a week, especially after bathing. It is better to not use soap during your baby’s bath since skin affected by eczema is especially sensitive to soap.
If your baby’s eczema is ranging towards the severe side, talk to your baby’s doctor about using antibiotics or steroid creams.
Heat rash is one of the causes of baby skin irritation which usually appears on the folds of your baby’s skin or the areas where the clothing is tight. Heat rash can happen at almost any time of the year, occurring because of the sweat glands being blocked.
To treat heat rash, you can try methods such as cooling the baby’s skin with a washcloth or cool bath, using looser, comfortable baby outfits and preventing the use of oil-based ointments.
The heat rash should go away in 2 to 3 days after treatment, so inform your doctor if you find yourself concerned.
This happens in around 20% of all newborns and is not a cause of concern if it happens before 6 weeks. You can take care of it by using lukewarm water to clean the baby’s face and affected areas, while also avoiding the usage of oil-based creams or washes. There is no need for any acne creams or ointments, either. The condition will usually go away on its own without any medical treatment.
However, if baby acne appears after 6 weeks, then it is important to inform your doctor and get it checked out.
Erythema toxicum is a common rash that is usually harmless, causing pustules on your baby’s hands, feet, arms, legs, and trunk. In most cases, this does not require any medical treatment and goes away on its own within 5 to 14 days. If you find yourself concerned for any reason, inform your baby’s doctor,
Contact Dermatitis is an allergic reaction on your baby’s skin as a response to certain irritants such as soaps, detergents, bodily fluids, metals, medicines, etc. This can show up in the form of rash, swelling, oozing, or hives.
To know how to treat sensitive skin in babies caused by contact dermatitis, first identify the irritant and do your best to avoid it. Then, treat the affected region by washing it thoroughly with soap and water, while also asking your doctor for safe creams and ointments to apply.
If your baby is also experiencing respiratory symptoms, or if their face or genitals are affected, or if there is any indication of infections such as a fever that is equal to or greater than 100°F.
How to care for baby’s sensitive skin?
Knowing how to care for a baby’s sensitive skin is always an ongoing process and you will learn more with time. Here are a few ways in which you can start:
- Recognizing the irritants behind the reactions and avoiding triggers.
- Using mild-soap during bath time.
- Avoiding the use of detergents with dyes or fragrances when cleaning your baby’s clothing or bedding.
- Cleaning the affected area carefully and properly.
- Making sure to keep baby’s skin well-moisturized.
- Practicing good bathing methods for your little one.
- Making sure to keep the diaper region dry and clean.
- Using any creams or ointments which have been deemed safe by your doctor.
- Seeking immediate medical attention in case of other symptoms like rash or dry, cracking skin that doesn’t go away in a few days or gets worse, if treatments don’t seem to be working; if the rash appears infected, or if the rash is accompanied by a fever equal to or greater than 100°F.
Practising proper care for both the baby and you
So now you know how to recognize all the signs that your baby has sensitive skin and you’re determined to make your tiny one as comfortable as possible. But as important as it is to know how to care for your baby, it is just as essential for you to practice proper postpartum care for yourself. After all, this has been a difficult journey for you, too. You can only give proper care if you are in the best, healthiest condition as well.
Remember to take it easy and allow the few stumbles which happen along the way. With each day, you are learning more and more. The love in your heart for your tiny one is what will keep you going for the rest of the journey.