Bathing & Skin Care
Babies have sensitive skin and most rashes are benign. Lots of companies make lots of money selling you products to take care of them, however.
- Soap is soap. Baby soap is expensive soap with perfume in it to smell baby-like. Soap dries and irritates sensitive skin. Most babies can be cleaned quite nicely with water alone for the first few months. Once you feel you need soap, use a mild one mixed with moisturizing lotion like Dove or Jergens.
- Sunlight is the biggest threat to healthy skin. ALWAYS use a sunscreen on exposed baby’s skin – even in spring and fall when you might not think of it. Select a PABA-free preparation with SPF 15 or higher.
- Ointments are best for protecting against diaper rash, but it really doesn’t matter which ointment you use. Powders can be dangerous & should be avoided. Consider cloth diapers. They are wonderful for the skin, and much cheaper than disposables even if you use a diaper service. They are less damaging to our environment as well.
- How do you know if a rash is a problem? If there are blisters of any size, any break in the skin or bleeding, or what looks like bruising or blood under the skin it might be a problem. Otherwise, its probably not serious.
- “Cradle Cap” is harmless to the baby, but unsightly. You can prevent it by scrubbing the baby’s scalp gently but firmly with a hairbrush and either baby oil or Dove soap. There are medicines to treat this, but they are reserved usually for severe cases.