Many of us are shocked when we have babies to find that they don’t all have that perfect baby skin we imagined. Baby skin is actually very prone to breakouts or even acne, lumps, bumps, dryness, flakiness, sensitivity and redness.
Of course, ALL babies are beautiful but when they come out they don’t look like those babies in the fruit baskets…
Baby skin can actually be covered with vernix, which is the thick white, cheese-like substance that protects the baby’s skin when it’s in the amniotic fluid in utero. This should wash off after a few days. But you’ll also likely notice your baby’s skin is purplish-blue, perhaps with a red rash or some lumps and bumps as well as a fine layer of hair called, lanugo. This is all perfectly normal.
Babies can also suffer from baby acne or neonatal acne, which can appear as small white bumps or reddish-pink lumps or pus-filled whiteheads. Never, ever squeeze these. They are perfectly normal and will clear up on their own, usually within the first three months.
You might also notice clusters of little white lumps, and these are called milia or milk spots, although it is actually a common misconception that they are related to milk consumption. These spots are blocked pores and are very common, occurring in around 50 per cent of babies. They should clear up on their own within the first three months and require no intervention.
Baby skin is delicate and should be treated accordingly, here are a few tips to care for your baby’s skin:
Go easy on the baths
Babies don’t need to be bathed every day, and if you find your baby’s skin is particularly sensitive, then you might need to just stick to 1-2 baths a week. Make sure the water isn’t too hot (use a bath thermometer and aim for around 37 degrees) and use a gentle bath wash or even no soap at all.
Also make you dry their skin thoroughly once you get them out of the bath, getting into all their glorious little fat rolls, creases and underarm nooks and crannies.
Baby’s skin tends to be dry so make sure you slather on the moisturiser straight after the bath to lock in the moisture. This is a great time to do a little baby massage which is a great way to bond with your baby. If your baby’s skin is particularly dry you might need to put on a gentle, nourishing moisturiser morning and night.
Check what products you are using
Make sure you are using products that are specially formulated for baby’s skin, and that they are natural and contain no harsh chemicals or fragrances that will irritate their skin.
Protect against nappy rash
Make sure you are changing their nappy frequently, drying the area properly and giving them nappy-free time to give the area a breather. Nappy rash is pretty much unavoidable, so make sure you have nappy rash cream on hand, it should usually clear up within a few days but if it doesn’t you might need to speak with your doctor as they might need a medicated lotion.
Baby’s need to be kept completely out of the sun for the first six months as their skin cannot handle the harsh UV rays. Also, keep them protected from cold and wind as this will irritate their delicate skin.
If you are worried about your baby’s skin, speak with your doctor and they will be able to help you choose the best products and guide you on how best to care for their skin.
Baby’s skin changes so much in these first few months, it might be peaches and cream one day and covered in acne the next. Remember that this is perfectly normal and it’s really just down to hormones and genetics. Just do your best to care for it, and no matter what their skin looks like, all babies are beautiful!