Baby skin care

How to care for your baby's skin from head to toe.

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  • Baby skin care

    From the moment your baby is born, you can't take your hands off her, can you?

    You just want to stroke, touch and nuzzle every part of that gorgeous tactile little beauty that YOU have created.

    Touching your baby's skin strengthens that special bond between parent and baby, but because her skin is thinner, more fragile and less oily than yours, you do need to treat it delicately.

    Our guide shows you how to keep that dewy soft skin in tip-top condition.

  • Baby skin care

    Face facts

    Your baby may get tiny white spots across her nose or elsewhere on her face. These are milk spots or millia, but actually have nothing to do with milk and are caused by your baby's sweat glands kicking into action. They are harmless and will soon disappear.

    Your baby's immature circulation may also mean she suddenly develops tiny red spots or blotches on her face or body too. Don't worry - it's probably a heat rash and wil disappear as she cools down.

    Do not be tempted to pick or squeeze any spots - you could make them worse or cause scarring. If you are worried about any spots or marks, talk to your health visitor or doctor.

  • Baby skin care

    Heads you win

    Don't be tempted to wash your baby's hair every day - it's not necessary, says baby hair specialist Karen Shelton. Washing on an 'as needed' basis is fine.

    Use a shampoo especially for baby hair as it will be milder than adult brands. Try Green Baby Shampoo and Bodywash, or Boots Baby Shampoo.

    Babies often develop cradle cap - yellow scaly patches that look unsightly but are harmless. Try treating it with olive oil - massage in gently and leave overnight to help loosen scales -  or Metanium Cradle Cap Cream (available from pharmacies). Its mild peeling action helps loosen dry scaly skin, making it easier to fall off.

    Never pick at cradle cap scales - you could make your baby's head sore and cause an infection. 

  • Baby skin care

    Ear, ear

    However waxy your baby's ears may look, don't try to clean them with a cotton bud as this is likely to push the wax further in.

    Your baby's ears are self-cleaning and any build-up of wax will work its way out naturally. Remember, earwax is not dirt - it is clean, healthy and protects your baby's ear canal.

    It is safe to clean the outside of your baby's ear, using the corner of a flannel. 

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  • Baby skin care

    Nooks and crannies

    Until your baby gets more mobile and starts to develop muscles, her arms and legs will have lots of folds and creases, and while these can harbour dirt and grime, it's worth remembering that babies don't really get that grubby, so you won't need to bath her every day. Two or three times a week is fine. Any more, and you could upset the natural balance of your baby's skin, causing eczema-like symptoms.

    We've got the7 best creams, oils and lotions to treat eczema in babies.

    On non-bath nights, top and tail your baby, using cotton wool and water. 

  • Baby skin care

    Bottoms up

    Air your baby's bottom as often as possible. Put her on a waterproof mat and let her kick around without her nappy on - she'll love it.

    Nappies create a moist, warm environment that can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which is why it's so important to change her nappy regularly. But even frequent changing and bottom airing is no guarantee against nappy rash, which can range from a slight inflammation to weeping sores.

    Sudocrem cream can really help severe cases, while Bepanthen is good for milder occurrences. Both are available from pharmacies.

    If the skin is broken or the rash worsens after two days of treatment, see your health visitor or GP.

  • Baby skin care

    Hands on

    In the first few months of your baby's life, her little hands, particularly around the wrists, and her feet and ankles may be prone to peeling. This is perfectly natural and is just your baby's skin adjusting to her new environment.

    Try rubbing them with a gentle baby oil such as Nourishing Organic Mandarin Baby Oil from Pur Babies, or Johnson's Baby Bedtime Oil from supermarkets and pharmacies.

    We've got more on baby skincare...

Last updated on 11 February 2008

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