In my day-to-day clinic I often get asked many questions about newborn babies skin – they get rashes, spots, dry flaking skin and of course the dreaded blocked tear duct!
We often think newborns look like the babies off the commercials; but in reality they don’t! So, then of course we look for the magical cream to solve such troubles…
Let me walk you back through the pristine world your baby lived in prior to birth. There were no chemicals, no washing powders, no insect or fragrance sprays – it was totally natural (and full of the babies own wee- let’s just say that’s for another blog!!).
SO, before you panic or rush for the magical cream, think about what is in the cream you are thinking of using. Are you adding more chemicals which will potentially make your precious babies skin look worse?? If creams are heavily fragranced then think of what is in the cream to make it smell like a baby. Often using low fragrance ph neutral products helps to nourish baby’s skin without irritation. When bathing your baby also remember to keep the washing to a minimum. If your baby gets a fine red irritation like rash after a bath or a new product, stop using the product for a few days and see if it gets better. Newborn skin is only super-sensitive for the first 6-8 weeks and from there you can gauge your baby and what products suit their skin.
In addition, wipes and nappies are another source of potential chemicals – we don’t even think about what’s in the wipes or what’s sprayed on the nappies so they don’t stick together. I often recommend using water on a ‘chux’ wipe or the fantastic ‘Cheeky Wipes’ system which are washable flannels to clean your babies bum rather than traditional disposable wipes.
Remember many maternity units get lots of samples given to them for use in the hospital- it is very clever marketing when you think about it!!
So don’t panic to fix every rash or spot your little one has, as they are usually very normal, and will fix themselves with time.