Every mother wants her baby to have a lovely, smooth skin.
And this has many health benefits too.
Why it is important to create a healthy and protective skin
Not everyone realizes that the skin is our largest organ but they probably know that it provides a protective barrier from the environment.
If babies suffer from dry or broken skin, they become more vulnerable
They can be uncomfortable and itchy but unwanted allergens can enter through cracked skin (in the form of food particles in the air, on home surfaces or even from parents' hands). Should this happen, your baby's skin can become intolerant to that food because the body reacts to it as a foreign object.
Of course, a baby's first taste of new foods should be through the mouth and the tummy - and not through the skin. As your baby digests her food, her body learns to accept food as food rather than having an adverse response to it as an allergen.
How to keep your baby’s skin healthy
And ensure your baby's protective barrier.
Look for dry, cracked skin. Apply a natural moisturizer every day as frequently as is necessary to prevent dry skin.
- If your baby's skin is completely free of any dryness, cracks or abrasions, you can use organic coconut oil as a moisturizer (after doing a small skin test first). However, if there are any ways for the coconut oil to enter through the skin, this is not advisable as its use could cause improper exposure to allergens and possible sensitization. Coconut oil is obviously a food source. And the dilemma deepens because when I researched several natural baby lotions and moisturizers, I found that, to avoid unwanted phthalates, parabens, or petrolatum, natural ingredients are used instead but these can include (along with coconut oil) oat and rice proteins, sesame and olive oils, rich mango seed and cocoa butter - all food sources.
- While the diapers used for babies are actually helpful for keeping her clean and fresh, certain brands may irritate the baby’s skin, even causing rashes or infections. It is best to change the diaper as soon as you find your baby has ‘used’ it. If you find that your baby's skin is irritated at the diaper area, choose another variety or brand or consider using cloth diapers instead. Change your baby’s diaper as soon as she dirties it because left on too long can cause infections.
Perform routine skin care
- Many parents enjoy bathing their baby daily even though it is not necessary. Always use warm water (not hot). It is also unnecessary to use soap every time and when you do, always choose a gentle natural soap. Avoid trying new products on your baby. Antibacterial soaps can be too harsh.
- The room that you use to dry off your baby should be warm. Use towels made with natural cotton and when drying your baby, pat the skin - don't wipe.
- Once the baby is dry, immediately seal the skin with a natural moisturizer to provide a critical protective layer.
Things to remember
Avoid baby wipes as they may contain astringent chemicals. Wiping too hard can create cracks or fissures in the skin, again putting your baby at risk of an allergic reaction - but this time from the chemicals. If you have to use wipes, it should be done very gently.
Always wash your hands after touching foods, and before touching your baby - especially if you've handled nuts, shellfish or other potential food allergens.