Skincare Tips for Newborn Babies – Advice From A Midwife Expert
A newborn baby has very sensitive and delicate skin. Did you know that a newborn’s skin is much thinner than adults’ skin? Baby skincare can be intimidating to new parents with skin conditions like eczema being common. It’s not surprising that a new baby’s skin is delicate — your baby has just spent nine months in the womb, protected from damage and sun and any kind of friction. The outside world is a completely different environment to get used to.
“Baby skin has fewer elastic fibres, so it acts like a sieve, allowing more harmful substances to pass through than adult skin. The epidermis isn’t as firmly attached to the deeper dermis layer, so we need to be careful what products we use and what we expose them to.”
Don’t worry if you’re about to have a baby or already have a new little bundle of joy — in this post I’ll be sharing some tips from the experts. WaterWipes have teamed up with midwife and blogger Jenny Lord to guide parents through their baby’s skincare from the first 24 hours and beyond.
Grainne Gallagher, Marketing Manager at WaterWipes says:
“The skin goes on a journey from birth, its sensitivity means it needs extra special care. WaterWipes are here to help parents navigate their way through parenthood and help protect and nourish their baby’s skin.”
The First 24 Hours: Skincare Tips from Midwife Jenny Lord
- After birth, the umbilical cord will be clamped in two places and cut. Some first-time parents may find manoeuvring and cleaning around the umbilical cord stump daunting, however it doesn’t have to be. The umbilical cord stump is an excellent medium for bacterial growth and can easily become infected so wiping down with a sponge and warm water, or using a pure wipe, such as WaterWipes, to keep it clean, is key.
- If your baby is overdue, their skin may be dry and cracked as the protective vernix has been absorbed in the womb. Only use warm water or a pure wipe, such as WaterWipes, to keep your baby’s skin protected from any nasties. When choosing a wipe, always make sure to read the ingredients on the back of pack to ensure you are choosing a safe option for your baby.
- If a new baby is exposed to extreme pH levels, their skin can become irritated, causing inflammation and dryness. At birth, a baby’s skin pH is close to seven (neutral), so use products that have the same pH level, such as WaterWipes.
- It’s better to give mother and baby uninterrupted skin to skin contact for as long as possible to promote bonding, breastfeeding, and encourage the baby’s natural breathing, heart rate and temperature. Interestingly, a lack of skin-to-skin care and early separation may disturb maternal–infant bonding, reduce the mother’s affective response to her baby, and have a negative effect on maternal behavior. WaterWipes created short film, ‘Pure Love’ which examined the science between skin-to-skin contact.
The First Few Weeks: Skincare Tips from Midwife Jenny Lord
- Many babies get dry flaky skin in their first few weeks of life, this is a natural process and usually doesn’t need any intervention like oil. The baby’s skin is quite moist underneath, and it’s just the vernix shedding away (the white coating of the skin in the womb).
- ‘Wait for Eight’ is a common phrase used amongst parents when bathing their newborns, referring to waiting at least eight days before bathing their baby to help make the most their natural defenses, whilst protecting their delicate, sensitive skin. Using soaps and other products may exacerbate any skin conditions, such as eczema or cracked and dry skin, causing further irritation, dryness or damage. Opting for a sponge and warm water, or WaterWipes will be adequate for the first week or so.
- If you notice any redness on your baby’s bottom when changing, allow to air dry and give them some nappy off time. Always ensure you use a pure wipe. If the rash worsens, you can use a nappy rash cream. The key is changing frequently and allowing the air to circulate.
- Across a newborn’s hands and feet, there may be a road map of fine lines and wrinkles from their time spent floating around in amniotic fluid. These deeps folds and wrinkles in their skin trap excess moisture allowing microbeads to multiply, leading to skin rashes, chaffing and dermatitis. So be careful to clean these little rolls gently.
- All that milk can collect around their mouth and neck, so make sure those areas are kept clean to help prevent risk of thrush. Check daily, especially after feeding.
Thank you to WaterWipes and Jenny Lord for sharing these tips!
Developed specifically for newborn baby skin, WaterWipes are the only wipe to be endorsed by Allergy UK and the awarded the National Eczema Association of America seal of acceptance. Made with just 99.9% purified water and a drop of fruit seed extract, you can be confident that you’ll be leaving baby’s skin clean.