Baby Care

Take care of your newborn baby’s skin in winter with these expert-approved tips | Parenting News

Taking care of your newborn baby is a daunting task. However, in the process of ensuring your kid’s well-being, many new parents overlook the importance of providing equal care to their baby’s delicate skin. Every season brings its own challenges, but winter is especially hard on the baby’s skin, according to experts. “The winter season with extreme cold temperature, low humidity and moisture levels, and excessive indoor heating can be extremely harsh on a baby’s sensitive skin,” Dr Shamik Ghosh, senior consultant, paediatrician, Bhagirathi Neotia Women and Childcare Hospital, tells in an interaction.

Since the outer most layer of the skin of your baby’s skin is almost 30% thinner as compared to yours, it loses moisture twice as quickly, and is more prone to irritation and damage. “During winter, it is crucial to protect a baby’s skin barrier from irritation and dryness from Day 1 by building a thorough skincare regime with moisturisation being the most important aspect,” Dr Ghosh highlights.

If you are wondering where to start, Dr Ghosh shares some tips for parents to protect their baby’s skin and create an effective skincare routine during winter.

1. Avoid excessive bathing

While it’s important to keep your baby clean, excessive bathing during the winter can make their skin more vulnerable. Bathing too frequently or with very hot water can strip the baby’s skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Instead, opt for shorter, lukewarm baths and limit them to a few times a week during the winter months. As a baby’s skin is more prone to dryness, choose a gentle soap or cleanser with a balanced pH formula specially designed for them. After the bath, pat the baby’s skin dry instead of rubbing it, and immediately apply a cream or lotion to seal in the moisture.

2. Choose a pH-balanced cleanser that gently cleanses baby’s skin from Day 1

As a baby’s skin is very sensitive, using harsh cleansers with high pH levels can harm their skin, causing dryness, redness, and discomfort. It is recommended to look for cleansers that are pH balanced with baby-safe ingredients like naturally derived coconut and glycerin, known to be moisturising and gentle on babies. Additionally, opt for cleansers labeled as clinically proven and hypoallergenic to minimise the risk of triggering allergic reactions or skin irritations.

3. Massage your baby gently

As part of a healthy skincare routine, massaging your baby is very beneficial in nourishing the baby’s skin as well as improving sleep and enhancing neurological and neuromotor development. During the winter, it is recommended to give the baby a massage after the bath.

Choose a massage oil, cream, or lotion that contains ingredients like Coconut and Sunflower oils, which moisturise and are fast-absorbing. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) has put in place standardised guidelines to ensure quality pediatric skincare for neonates, infants, and children. According to the IAP guidelines, emollients marketed as natural, herbal, and organic should be used with caution. Additionally, parents should refrain from using natural olive oil and mustard oil as moisturising agents, as they can cause erythema and disruption in skin barrier function.

4. Use moisturisers that provide day-long protection against skin dryness

During winter, the importance of moisturising as part of the overall skincare regime cannot be emphasised enough. A good moisturiser hydrates the skin and acts as a barrier against the cold weather. Parents must choose the right cream or lotion designed to protect a baby’s skin from Day 1, with ingredients like milk protein, essential vitamins, aloe, chamomile, and glycerine to keep the baby’s skin soft, supple, and nourished. Such ingredients are effective anti-irritants and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier to prevent moisture loss, especially during winter months. Choose quick-absorbing and non-sticky products specifically to provide minimal irritation and maximum hydration.

It is also recommended to use baby cream for the face and baby lotion for the body. Since the baby’s face is most exposed to the cold wind, it is important to keep the baby’s cheeks hydrated to prevent dryness.

As per Dr Ghosh, every baby is unique, and it’s important to address a baby’s individual needs and adjust the winter care routine accordingly. In winter, to retain the baby’s natural softness and balance their skin pH levels, it is critical to select skincare products made with ingredients that are safe for the baby and designed to help protect the baby’s delicate skin from day 1.

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