Itty bitty baby fingers, teensy tiny baby toes, squishy, squeezy baby tummies – couldn’t you gobble your newborn baby up? Newborn skin is so soft and kissable, but it’s also incredibly sensitive which is why it’s so important to protect baby’s skin. And not just with thousands and thousands of kisses.
A baby skin care routine is an important way to not only protect and nourish your little one’s skin, but also instil a daily routine that your little one will start to look forward to. A warm bath, a gentle massage, a few dozen more kisses and it’s time to drift off to sleep.
Three things to remember about baby skin
- Newborn skin is extra soft and sensitive which means it needs extra care. Your baby’s skin is nearly half the thickness of yours. This means it’s also far more delicate and prone to becoming damaged or sore. This sensitivity is why it’s important to choose products without harsh chemicals or irritant ingredients so the skin can be as protected as possible.
- Babies are prone to a number of skin conditions including baby acne, milk pimples, heat rash and more. Although these little bumps and spots can be alarming, most are not. Have a read of our guide to newborn skin conditions for treatment options and when to see a doctor.
- Regular products can often be too harsh for baby’s skin. Instead, opt for made-for-baby products, such as the Cetaphil Baby range. They’ve got bath products to make bath time a delight, lotions to soothe and protect baby’s precious skin, massage oil to promote a more settled sleep and more. We love this range and we think you will too. You can buy it at Woolworths, Coles, Priceline, or Chemist Warehouse.
Baby skin care routine tips
Clothing and Laundry Tips
- When it comes to baby’s clothes, always wash before first wear. Check to ensure you’ve removed all tags as well.
- When buying baby clothes, opt for cotton. Cotton clothing breathes and absorbs moisture making it more comfortable for bub. Fabrics to avoid include polyester, acrylic, rayon, acetate, triacetate and nylon.
- Stick to mild, sensitive detergents that won’t irritate baby’s skin. It’s a good idea to go for one that is free of optical whiteners, phosphates, and artificial fragrances.
- Wash baby’s clothes separately.
- Purchase a towel (or two) and wash clothes, just for baby. It’s best that everyone in your household has their own towels, including your newborn! This lowers of risk of sharing germs that could be on towels and also avoids fights from older siblings about whose towel is whose. And, bonus, there are so many soft baby towels on the market, many come with adorable little animal hoods for extra cute bathtime pics!
Baby Bath Tips
- Use lukewarm water. The perfect baby bath temperature? A warm 37°C.
- Limit baths to 5 minutes, tops.
- Stick to 5cm of water. This is just enough water to cover the bottom of baby’s body.
- Bathe every second day. Newborns don’t actually need a bath daily. Two or three times a week is enough. However, many parents prefer to bathe daily as part of the baby skin care and bedtime routine. It’s up to you.
- Opt for made for baby products. Soap isn’t always a good idea as it can dry baby’s skin out. A better choice is a made-for-baby body wash such as Cetaphil Baby Gentle Wash and Shampoo or Cetaphil Baby Moisturising Bath and Wash.
- Pat dry, don’t rub. Baby’s skin is simply too sensitive. Dab baby dry instead.
- Try adding baby massage into your baby skin care routine. Check out our article on baby massage for tips and tricks on perfecting the fine art of infant massage.
Tips for Keeping Bub's Skin Cool and Comfortable
Check baby’s room temperature. It is suggested the best temperature for baby’s room is 20 to 22°C. If the room is too hot, bub could sweat or develop heat rash.
Opt for a sleeping bag for bedtime and naps. These are great to keep baby comfortable throughout the night without worrying about blankets and getting too hot or too cold. Sleeping bags come with different TOG ratings depending on the season, from 0.2 TOG (for summer) to 3.5 TOG (for winter).
- Stay clear of sun exposure. Cover baby completely when heading outside and stick to sun-safe clothing including a hat, long pants and long shirt. Newborns shouldn’t be exposed to any sun as their skin is simply too sensitive for it.
- Breastfeed skin to skin – Sweaty breastfeeds is a common concern, especially in summer. To reduce the risk of heat rash, opt for skin to skin feeds, and have the fan or air conditioning on. If you notice bub is getting too hot, you can gently wipe the skin with a cool, clean wash cloth.
Avoiding Nappy Rash
- Opt for wipes that are free of preservatives, nasties, and fragrances, all of which can irritate baby’s delicate skin.
- No need for powder. A good barrier cream is a must though!
- Say yes to nappy free time! Have a towel down, just in case.
- Change often. Newborn babies will pee and poop often which means you’ll probably be changing them 8+ times a day in those first days.
- Pat, don’t rub. As mentioned above, your little one’s skin isn’t used to rubbing or friction, including the tushy. This can actually cause irritation and make the skin more susceptible for germs to establish themselves. Be sure to pat baby dry with a light touch.
When it comes to keeping baby’s skin healthy, you can expect a few bumps along the way. Dried skin, cradle cap, milk pimples – all perfectly normal. Incorporating a moisturising lotion, gentle wash, and massage oil into your baby’s skin care routine will help keep baby’s skin healthy, reduce dryness, and keep every itty bitty baby part soft and smooth.