By Hannah Schenker
Your tiny wee baby has just undergone the most monumental change – moving from a warm, enveloping and protective womb to the outside world. Your baby’s skin is so brand new and still maturing over the first 1-2 years of life, so you need to be thinking carefully about what you put them in contact with. Here are our top tips for baby skin care.
Delicate, more absorbent skin
A baby’s skin is super delicate. It’s thinner than an adult’s, more easily irritated, and more absorbent – and doesn’t even fully mature for the first year or two of their life [source]. That means you need to be extremely careful about what they come into contact with. You won’t be surprised to hear that you need to be thinking about safer, plant-based ingredients.
Choose specific baby products
Products designed specifically for babies are there for a reason – they are milder and take into account that ingredients used will be absorbed into their little bodies and can cause irritation, if not a more serious reaction. Ideally, look for plant-based ingredients that more closely match the natural oils produced by your baby’s skin. These won’t strip away the natural oils, reducing the chance of irritation.
It’s best to patch test any baby skincare products first – that means using it on a small part of their skin (usually the arm or leg) and waiting at least 24 hours to see if there is any irritation, rash or reaction.
Think about fabrics
Another function of our skin is temperature regulation. Because their skin is still maturing, babies are also not able to regulate their temperature, so you need a selection of natural, breathable light materials in layers. That way you can add and remove layers as needed, and baby is protected from the harsh effects of the sun while avoiding overheating. This mean you need to choose carefully when it comes to fabrics and laundry detergents too. You may not normally think about something like laundry powder or liquid being potentially problematic, but the residues can come into contact with your sensitive wee babe through their clothing, their bedding, wraps and shawls. Keep an eye out for things like synthetic perfumes and optical whiteners – and again, choosing as natural as possible is the way to go here.
Bathing your baby is something that becomes a regular routine, but it pays to be really gentle about it. Avoid extremes in water temperature, excessive washing and vigorous scrubbing or drying – easy does it! You don’t have to forgo the joys of the bubble bath either – but make sure you are choosing a gentle product, like the ecostore bubble bath. It is independently dermatologically tested for sensitive skin, so is gentle on your baby’s skin unlike conventional soapy bubbles.
Right now they are offering you the chance to personalise their bubble bath with a picture of your cutie on your own 500ml bottle! Visit bubblestars.ecostore.com to find out how.
Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand.