The Ultimate Guide to Baby Skin Care
What’s the best way to take care of your baby’s delicate skin? The answer is, as gently as possible, using only natural and simple products. Here’s the Ulula guide to caring for your baby’s skin.
Understanding Baby Skin
Baby skin is different from adult skin: it’s thinner and more easily damaged, and also absorbs chemicals more easily than our skins do. It takes about a month for your newborn’s skin to develop a protective barrier, so until it does, it’s best not to use any skin care products if you can avoid them.
However, sometimes newborns do develop skin conditions or rashes. Most babies start out with more spots than your average teenager, which is surprising if you weren’t aware of that. These milia are clusters of tiny little spots which will go on their own with time. Newborns can also get “baby acne”, which again, usually clears up without treatment.
Newborn skin is naturally dry at first; however, it’s definitely worth getting persistent dry patches checked out by your GP or health visitor, as it could be a sign of eczema. Regular check-ups with a medical professional should identify any issues early on.
What about nappy rash? A clean, dry bottom that enjoys frequent nappy changes shouldn’t be prone to nappy rash. However, most babies experience it at some point, which is why we use a gentle barrier clean after a nappy change. This is the exception to the early “no product” rule!
Cradle cap is another common skin condition in young babies. It may look a bit uncomfortable, but it actually isn’t. Try to resist picking at it, but instead, gently massage your little one’s scalp with moisturiser (they’ll love this!) then brush out the flakes with a soft baby hairbrush.
What are the best moisturisers for baby skin?
After a month, you can start to use baby skin care products. Look out for natural, hypoallergenic baby skin care, with no added nasties like parabens or alcohol. Generally unscented is best, although natural scent is fine for many babies.
How often should I bathe my baby?
Two or three times a week is plenty, using plain water. The rest of the time, you can simply “top and tail” your baby to keep them clean.
Can I use the same products on my baby's face and body?
Gentle baby care products should be OK for both face and body (but always read the label).
Essential Baby Skin Care Products
You’ve cleared a drawer or shelf in the bathroom for your little one’s care products. What essential supplies do you need?
At first, all you need is an effective, gentle barrier cream. This can help prevent nappy rash. When your baby is over a month old, you can use a mild moisturiser on their skin. This can be particularly helpful in the winter, when the colder weather can lead to drier skin.
And speaking of seasonal skin care, can babies use sun protection? They can yes, but it must be a special formulation for babies, because standard sunscreen is too harsh for young skin. Take a look at the Ulula range of family-friendly sun care to find out more..
Baths in plain water are fine; however, there’s nothing quite as adorable as a clean, lavender-scented baby, and the aroma may even help settle them at bedtime!
What about baby wipes? They are easier than cotton wool balls and water, especially if you’re changing nappies on the move! Look out for gentle wipes without alcohol. This is a common ingredient in wet wipes because it helps the moisture dry on the skin. However, because babies’ delicate skin is more prone to dryness, alcohol can make it too dry.
Finally, laundry. Look out for non-bio, organic products that won’t irritate young skin. You’ll need to use it yourself too, or run rinse cycles in between washes, so “grownup” detergents don’t contaminate your baby’s clothes and bedding.
Are cloth nappies better than disposable ones?
This is a decision for you to make as a family. Cloth nappies are better for the environment, which is why a lot of us have made that switch. However, they absorb wee more quickly, so need to be changed more often.
Can I use regular sunscreen on my baby?
Sorry, this is a firm no. It contains too many chemicals that aren’t suitable for babies, so you’ll need to use a special infant sunscreen.
How often should I wash my baby's clothes?
Wash your baby’s clothes every few days, if they miraculously escape becoming dirty! In reality, your little one’s outfits will need very frequent washing.
Natural and DIY Baby Skin Care
When you use natural ingredients, you have the reassurance of knowing exactly what’s going onto (and into) your baby’s skin. Natural ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil have been used as skin care products for thousands of years, and many of our items here at Ulula contain traditional natural remedies.
If you look online, you can find a lot of recipes for natural baby skin care. However, if you prefer to buy organic rather than make it, take a look at our range of organic and biodynamic skin care products for babies.
Is it safe to use essential oils on my baby's skin?
You can use a drop of an essential oil (in a carrier oil) on your baby’s skin, provided they’re over three months old. Younger than this, and you risk damaging the protective upper layer.
Can I make my own baby wipes?
If you’re worried about using disposable wipes, the best thing to do is to make your own reusable wipes out of small squares of cotton or towelling fabric. Use alongside a spritzer of water.
What natural remedies can I use for diaper rash?
Favourite traditional remedies for nappy (or diaper) rash include camomile tea or cider vinegar. We love the Weleda nappy cream, which reduces redness using natural calendula.
Organic Baby Skin Care at Ulula
It’s so important to use the right products on young and sensitive skin. Try to avoid any products for the first four weeks, then look out for organic and natural baby care after that. If you have any concerns about your baby’s skin, please speak with your doctor.
To find out more about our selection of quality organic baby care items, please get in touch with us at Ulula - we’re always happy to chat with our families.