We’ve all heard the phrase, “smooth as a baby’s bottom.”
There’s a lot of truth behind that idiom — newborns and infants have especially soft skin. It’s why we love snuggling them so much!
But that smooth skin also needs to be cared for and protected, especially while our little ones are growing and developing. Why?
Infant skin is several times more sensitive than yours.
Babies grow and develop at such a fast rate — parents are especially aware of this, especially when little ones start crawling and putting everything in their mouths.
Their skin is also developing, and this includes adapting to their new environment.
“Unlike adult skin, newborn skin is thinner and may not fully mature for up to 12 months,” explains Jo Bridgman, Midwife for the Johnson’s baby Professional Team. “It absorbs and loses water faster, leaving it vulnerable to dryness and irritation. Infant skin can be up to ten times more sensitive than adult skin, making it prone to conditions like atopic dermatitis and eczema.”
Take extra care when cleaning your baby’s skin.
Anyone who’s changed a diaper knows the importance of keeping an infant’s skin clean and protected.
From taking care of diaper disasters to battling irritating rashes, keeping your kiddo’s skin clean might feel like a lost cause.
“A baby’s epidermis is not as fully developed as an adult’s, so it’s thinner and has smaller cells. This means your child’s skin has an increased risk of bacterial growth and may be more prone to irritation.”
Protective barriers over baby’s skin can be especially helpful here, ensuring that moisture stays in and bad bacteria stay out. Using ointments with zinc oxide are great for healing diaper rash and provide that layer of protection.
Breakouts, cradle cap, and eczema are common, but preventable.
Because a baby’s skin absorbs everything so much more easily, things like acne and cradle cap are going to happen.
Many of these conditions, while they might seem alarming, are totally normal. Something like cradle cap, for instance, is mostly harmless: “Possibly it has to do with overactive sebaceous glands in the skin of newborn babies, due to the mother’s hormones still in the baby’s circulation.”
And if you remember last week’s post about dry shampoo, you’ll recall that sebaceous glands will overproduce oil when skin gets dry — so using natural, nutrient-rich moisturizers and oils on your little one’s skin can help to prevent that overproduction.
But never fear!