Is baby lotion good for babies? Baby basics
If you are a first time parent, you have many questions about your newborn such as feeding, changing diapers, and cleaning. How to change a diaper? How much formula does he need in a day? Is baby lotion good for babies? These and more questions are frequently asked by parents.
This article is focused more on baby cleansing products such as soap and moisturizers. It hopes to answer the following questions: Is baby lotion good for babies? What kind of baby lotion is safe for babies? When can you put baby lotion on your baby?
Baby lotions contain ingredients that may harm your baby’s sensitive skin. There are different products so it can be hard to know if each formulation is safe and effective. Generally, the rule of the thumb for choosing baby products is “less is more.” But there is a more important question about baby lotions.
Is baby lotion good for babies?
The skin of the newborn is normally flaky and peeling which looks very dry. You might feel the need to moisturize it. But according to medical experts, babies do not need baby lotion. This is because their skin is covered with vernix which appears to be the flaky, peeling portion. While they were still inside the womb, this vernix protected their skin from too much moisture.
After birth, this vernix begins to shed off. Plus, the skin under the vernix or top most layer of the baby’s skin is very moist. With this skin structure, do babies still need baby lotion and other moisturizers?
Moreover, applying baby products on newborns is not recommended because they might contain chemicals or other ingredients that can harm babies. One research in 2008 found that one baby lotion ingredient called phthalates can lower the level of testosterone in male babies.
How to care for baby’s skin?
The flaky, peeling skin of newborns can also be caused by dry room air. Worse, cracked skin may happen. Babies may feel irritable. Pediatricians usually recommend olive oil, petroleum gel, or very mild lotion on babies.
To keep babies’ skin healthy, here are some tips on how to care for baby’s skin:
- Newborns do not need dailybaths
Bathing newborns daily removes their skin’s natural moisture. Without these natural moisturizers, babies may develop eczema and other skin allergies. Pediatricians advise to bathe them less than three times per week in their first 12 months.
Theoretically, babies do not get dirty because they do not sweat, except for dirty diapers and saliva. A light sponge bath and washing the diaper area is advised.
- Wash new clothes before putting them on babies
Do not use unwashed clothes that you just bought from the store. Wash them first with mild soap and wash them separately from other clothes. This is the same for baby’s bedding, blankets, and towels.
- Do not use baby products
For newborns, baby products can be harmful. Most of them contain ingredients that can deactivate the immune system to combat unknown substance. Baby products can cause allergies, eczema, or asthma.
If your pediatrician recommends the use of baby moisturizers, there are some good baby moisturizers that you can choose from. They do not contain harmful chemicals, are fragrance free, and have less ingredients.
How to choose baby cleansing products?
Choosing baby products can be a tricky thing because there are many baby products that are marketed as safe, non-allergic, and gentle. It is important to read the labels and choose the products with the fewest ingredients. Baby products should not have parabens, fragrances, formaldehydes, or other chemicals. Pediatricians usually recommend products that are not available commercially.
So how to choose baby cleansing products?
- For shampoos, always choose tear free ones.
- Cleansers do not need to lather. Always choose soap free liquid cleansers.
- Most baby wipes can cause irritation on the diaper area. The best, safest wipe, is a cloth and water. Never use wipes with alcohols for babies.
- You may use petroleum gel or zinc oxide cream as a diaper cream to keep the diaper area moisturized and to prevent irritation.
- You don’t have to use laundry detergent for kids for washing baby clothes. Fragrance free, liquid detergent will do.
- Even though they may feel greasy, petroleum gels are always safe as baby moisturizers. You may also use ointments or creams, but never use lotions.
Babies’ skins are sensitive. They are very thin and are susceptible to irritation. Newborns appear to have very dry skin because they are flaky. Surprisingly, this flaky skin is the vernix which iscreated to protect the baby’s skin from extreme moisture while inside the womb.
In fact, beneath the outermost layer of baby’s skin is very moist so you do not have to apply moisturizers on babies.
As first time parents, you are always attendant to your baby’s needs. But when it comes to your baby’s skin, you do not have to worry as it does not need any products yet, (unless advised by your pediatrician).