Babies’ skin is the epitome of softness. But because babies are so delicate, their skin requires special care. Exposure to chemicals, unnatural fibers or the weather’s elements can make your child’s skin rough, red or chapped. Baby skin care in winter requires a little extra attention. It’s important to avoid certain conditions and products which might irritate your little one.
Check out these 10 tips for keeping your child smooth, soft and happy during the colder months.
Swaddle with Warm Clothes
Babies have not learned to properly regulate their own body temperatures yet, so it’s important to make sure they get neither too hot not too cold in the winter. Dressing baby in layers will allow you to add or subtract clothes as necessary. Even in chilly climates, babies can still get heat rash if they are too heavily swaddled. Heat rash leads to diaper rash, and irritation around the folds of your child’s skin. That can lead to crankiness and sleepless nights, which are no fun for anyone.
Protect Their Lips
Babies are always drooling. In the cold weather, this can cause their noses and lips to get chapped and raw. Gently rub some petroleum jelly onto your child’s mouth before taking him out into the cold. This will protect that little mouth from everything except your kisses!
Babies’ skin is prone to getting dried out, and frequent bathing can exacerbate dryness. The best approach to baby skin care in winter is to keep Junior clean with gentle sponge baths and wipe downs with damp washcloths. It’s OK to bathe Baby once day, but make sure the water is only warm, not too hot. Avoid any products with perfumes or other additives. Warm water and baby shampoo are all you need to keep her clean and soft.
Use Products Made Specifically for Babies
Baby skin care in winter, or any time of year, means using the purest, most natural products available. Unfortunately, many products made for adults contain lots of unnatural ingredients which can irritate your baby’s gentle epidermis. It’s too early to know if your baby has allergies, or if he or she will react to something in your shampoo or bubble bath. Even bath products made for older children may not be right for infants. Err on the side of caution with baby shampoo, oil and liquid soap.
Sunscreen All Year Round
You know to slather the sunscreen on your child’s skin under the hot summer sun, but the winter sun also can expose your family to damaging UV rays. Sun reflecting off of the snow can be especially bright and can even cause sunburn. Practice effective baby skin care in winter by keeping your little one well-protected. Because sunscreen may contain chemicals if your baby has extra sensitive skin you may want to ask your pediatrician about which brand of sunscreen is best. Avoiding sunburns early in life has been proved to be effective in preventing skin cancer later on.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Like adults, some babies have dry skin which requires moisturizing. For children under one year and for those with extra sensitive skin, try to avoid products made for older children or adults. These could contain irritating scents or colors. Baby oil or coconut oil are natural and pure options. They can be massaged into your baby’s skin to help keep dry skin at bay. Massage has also been known to help babies go to sleep, soothe colic and strengthen bonds between parent and child – so, enjoy!
Guard Against for Diaper Rash
Any time of year, diaper rash and other skin conditions can arise from Baby’s damp nappy. Winter becomes especially problematic because the baby is usually swaddled in more layers. The difficulty of getting them all off makes changing diapers less convenient. Heat caused by excessive layers can increase the risk of diaper rash as well. If your baby develops a rash on her bottom, do not use talcum powder which can dry out the skin more. Use a diaper cream with zinc in it, or petroleum jelly to create a barrier between the skin and the moisture which exacerbates the rash.
Eczema is a dry skin condition that runs in families and flares up in cold weather. If people in your family have a tendency to develop this condition, you will have to exercise special care regarding baby skin care in winter. If your baby has eczema, bathe him frequently with a non-soap cleanser that your doctor recommends. You may want to rinse off his skin twice a day, patting him dry immediately after the bath with a soft towel. If the condition does not get better, a pediatrician may need to prescribe an anti-inflammatory ointment.
When in Doubt, See a Doctor
Skin rashes sometimes indicate a more serious condition. For example, measles may initially present themselves as a skin problem. Hand Mouth and Foot Disease, the frighteningly relatively common viral illness, also present as sores on a baby’s hands, mouth and feet. If you have any doubts about how best to take care of your baby’s skin in winter time or generally, contact your doctor right away.
When you take off your infants’ cap after a nice winter’s walk, you may be surprised to see some flakes of skin, like dandruff. Most of the time this is cradle cap, a common baby skin condition. It is caused by the oil glands in the baby’s scalp and it usually goes away within a few months. Rubbing baby oil on your baby’s scalp often helps alleviate this minor skin irritation as well.
Baby Skin Care in Winter: Happy Child Means Happy Parents
No parent is happy if their child is uncomfortable: dry skin, itchy bottoms and annoying rashes can make everyone in the family uncomfortable. By keeping your baby clean with pure products made especially for infants, you should be able to avoid all of the physical and mental anguish that accompanies annoying skin conditions in young ones.
Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s skin or any other health issue, contact a medical professional.
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