newborn may resemble you, their skin is so much more sensitive than yours – it’s soft, delicate, and requires more than just mild and gentle
cleansing. A baby’s skin barrier
is also especially fragile—it is thinner and immature, still developing and changing.
In fact, during a single bath, baby’s skin can lose moisture up to five times
faster than an adult’s, making it vulnerable to dryness. After soaking for nine
months in amniotic fluid, you’d expect a baby to be born with soft, silky skin.
However, most of the time, babies are born with areas of dry, cracked skin—which is a sign that pediatricians use to help determine how close a baby was
Here are the most frequently asked questions I get asked by new parents and a few key tips to guide the care you give to your baby's skin:
are the best kind of bathing products to use?
Consider baby skincare products
that are dermatologist and pediatrician tested, as well as those with a hypoallergenic
Can I bathe my newborn in the bath tub?
While in the newborn stage, sponge
bathe your baby until the umbilical stump falls off and the area is dry and
healed. Once healed, then you can start the fun tub baths with rubber ducky and
Should I take a less-is-more approach when
it comes to using products on my baby?
At the early newborn stage, washing
your baby with a gentle baby wash is enough to moisturize and nourish skin. You
want to look for a cleansing product that helps replenish moisture and
nutrients to protect the skin’s natural barrier. After the first few weeks, if skin still looks
and feels dry, use a mild lotion after bathing or apply directly on dry
How can I can rid of my baby’s cradle
This common condition usually peaks at
around 6 weeks old.If your baby
develops cradle cap, lather and massage your baby’s scalp with a mild shampoo
every two to three days and use a soft brush to gently exfoliate to help remove
scales and prevent it from occurring in the future.
What is the best remedy to prevent
To prevent diaper rash, wash baby’s
bottom daily to remove stool and urine that can cause irritation. Washing with
a mild, gentle cleanser will help replenish essential moisture and nutrients in
baby’s skin that is lost through bathing and wiping. Consult your pediatrician
about using a diaper rash cream for a few days if the redness and irritation
continues and if it worsens, see the doctor in person.
What products should I use or avoid
if my baby has sensitive skin?
For babies with sensitive skin, look
to reduce the number of fragrances in household products that come in contact
with skin and moisturize baby’s skin regularly. Using a free-and-clear
laundry detergent and skipping dryer sheets can avoid irritation to the skin.
Try fragrance-free bath products that are developed for babies with sensitive
Pediatrician Dr. Tanya
Altmann is the author of "The Wonder Years" and the official medical advocate for Baby Dove, a new range of baby
care products that go beyond mildness to replenish essential moisture and
nutrients in Baby’s skin.