December 10, 2016 2 Namita Kutty
In my earlier article, I discussed the causes of dry skin in babies. Let’s have a look at how to alleviate the distress, with a moisturiser and other options, at all times! I’m going to be talking mostly about natural and gentle ways to ensure that your baby continues to have that petal soft, supple skin that nature intended. Let’s get started…
Avoid Extreme Temperatures:
Excess heat or cold can dry out babies’ skin. In winters you may want to avoid cranking up the heater. On the other hand, in winters, you may want to bundle up your little one in warm clothes to protect against the elements and dry skin too! In sunny climates, avoid long term exposure to the hot sun. Do cover up your baby while going into the sun (hats / long sleeves) but make sure the clothing is light.
Oil works as a great moisturiser and massaging oil into the baby’s skin before a bath is a great way to add moisture. I personally prefer virgin coconut oil, but feel free to go with what you like best. Remember, your baby is delicate and therefore massage the baby only in gentle strokes.
Vigorous massages and contortions of the baby by malish wali bai are now a thing of yore and discouraged by most paediatricians. A gentle massage by the mother or primary care-giver is a lovely way to bond with the baby while helping build up oil in the skin.
Added bonus, most babies love massages and sleep well after the massage and bath. My little daughter used to love her massages and even at three months, would lift her dainty bottom or leg to ensure we don't miss massaging there!
While on the topic of baths, its best to ensure that in winters, the baby’s baths are not too long and the water is lukewarm. Exposure to hot water at length can dry babies skin out. Moderate the use of soap as well for babies and ensure you use a gentle one.
You can even add tiny bit of raw, ground Oatmeal in bath water for gentle cleansing. Post the bath, pat the baby dry gently rather than vigorously rubbing and it’s the best time for lotion. Massaging the lotion after a bath ensures that moisture in the skin is locked in. Keeps skin nice and hydrated!
Picking a Lotion:
Post my baby, I have been doing a bit of research on what to use for the baby as I have dry skin and wanted to protect her in advance. What I realised is that the list of items what NOT to use for babies is staggering. The kind of stuff that even popular cosmetic giants hide in their list of ingredients is mind boggling to say the least.
Here goes the list of things to avoid for sure - dyes or artificial fragrances, phthalates, parabens. I would prefer to avoid lotions with mineral oil or petroleum derivatives as well. I would recommend going for gentle moisturisers, with plant based ingredients and plant based oils.
They are natural, great for sensitive skin and don’t leave behind icky residue on the skin either. That’s one of the reasons I love MamaEarth lotion.
The list of ingredients like Shea butter, Aloe, Vitamin E and Jojoba oil are gentle, plant based and avoid all the icky stuff! Big thumbs up from this mommy for sure. Feel free to pick up MamaEarth lotion and cocoon your baby’s skin away from the harsh dry skin causing elements.
Some parents feel that adding a cool mist humidifier to the baby’s room is helpful. This needs to be done carefully and I would recommend checking with a paediatrician before doing this. Also, the parts of the humidifier need to be regularly cleaned to avoid fungal deposits.
Washing Baby Clothes:
Pretty much anything that comes in close contact with the baby needs to be closely monitored. Baby clothes are no exception! Do look for gentle baby laundry detergents which can be washed out nicely. Harsh detergents can irritate the baby’s gentle skin, so one needs to exercise caution here. It’s also a good idea to ensure that you avoid scratchy woollens or synthetic clothes like polyester in close contact with the skin.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:
Ever noticed that parched, dry feeling you get when you don’t have enough water? Well, it’s kinda the same with babies as well. Ensuring your baby is adequately hydrated will go a long way in having healthy baby skin.
Well, here’s hoping that’s of some help in dealing with your baby’s dry skin. Wishing you and your little one tons of love, luck and hugs.