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Baby on changing mat

baby skin care: soft, smooth but incredibly sensitive.

3 minutes

There’s no room for debate here. A newborn baby’s skin is the softest, loveliest, most sensitive thing there is. Just ask any parent.

But while all that soft silkiness is great, babies’ skin has just one fifth of the thickness of adults’, which can present challenges, leaving many parents wondering how to care for it. Should we cleanse, moisturise and whatever else to keep it at its very best, or just leave it well alone?

The answer, is probably a little bit of both.

Caring for baby’s sensitive skin

After using WaterWipes original for the first eight months or so on my son, Beau, I moved onto a different brand as wanted to save a bit of money and thought that as he got older, I could relax a little about what products I used” says mum, Rebecca. “But he occasionally got nappy rash and I realised that his skin is still super-delicate, even now at two years old, so I stopped bathing him as much and switched back to WaterWipes.

According to the NHS, you don’t need to bathe your newborn every day, and you shouldn’t use any soaps or cleansers for the first month. From then on, trust your instinct to decide what’s best for them.

How to keep your baby's skin clean

“We used to bathe Grace every day as we thought it was a nice evening routine, but we noticed the skin on her legs look a little dry,” says Dad, Max. “We changed to every other day or sometimes even every third day and it’s actually quite liberating. There’s less to fit in before bedtime, and we just make sure we’re extra vigilant about cleaning her down there after every nappy change, plus we have as much nappy-free time as possibly to avoid nappy rash.”

Babies aren’t like us – they don’t toil and sweat – so you don’t really need to bathe them every day. In fact, bathing them just three times a week is fine from a hygiene perspective.

What to dress babies in

“I try to stick to organic cotton baby clothes for William as he has fairly dry skin and that fabric is just more breathable,” says mum, Amy. “They are a bit more expensive but I just don’t buy as many clothes as I did for my first son. I prefer that anyway, as it means you can’t let the washing build up as much!”

Lightweight, cotton fabrics are the softest and most breathable for your baby, and as high street stores are beginning to realise that this is what parents want, you can get top-quality pieces for relatively low prices.

Baby skin care tips

  1. Use products with minimal, natural ingredients as soaps and fragrances can irritate skin

  2. Don’t bathe them too much as water can strip moisture from skin

  3. Opt for natural, breathable materials to dress them in

So there you have it. Taking care of baby's beautiful skin simply comes down to using your common sense, knowing what works for your child and most of all, trusting your instinct. If you're looking for more specialist skin care tips why not check out our premature skin care or baby skin conditions articles.

Also, for more tips on many other topics, browse our parenting community articles!

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1) NHS, Washing and bathing your baby,, last accessed 7 August 2020

2) WebMD, 7 tips for baby skin care,, last accessed 7 August 2020

3) Eucerin, Baby and children's skin,, last accessed 7 August 2020

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