Did you know that our skin is our largest organ? As adults we spend a lot of time caring for our skin. Most of us have a cornucopia of products sitting on our bathroom shelves that promise to do a myriad of good for our skin. However, caring for our children's skin is a different kettle of fish. A baby’s skin is much thinner and more delicate that an adult’s leaving it more vulnerable to harmful substances.
Saved article for later
We spoke to the team at Waterwipes who have partnered with Midwife, Jenny Lord and Microbiologist, Siobhain Carroll to create the ultimate skincare guide for your little one.
For ease, we’ve broken the advice down into key stages of development:
- Skincare for Newborn
- Skincare six weeks – six month
- Skincare Six months – toddler age
First 24 Hours:
After birth, the umbilical chord is clamped and cut. Whats left is an ideal environment for bacteria and infection to gather, so its important to give it a good clean with a sponge and warm water, or a neutral wipe.
If your baby is overdue, their skin may be cracked and dry as the protective vernix has been absorbed in the womb. Only use warm water or a pure wipe to protect their skin from nasties.
When a baby is born, they have a neutral skin pH of 7 which is important to maintain to avoid irritation. Using wipes of a similar pH will help to reduce irritation, dryness and discomfort. Jenny recommends a brand such as WaterWipes.
Skin-to-skin contact is key for maternal bonding with your child. It is said to promote bonding, breastfeeding, and encourage the baby’s natural breathing, heart rate and temperature. Early separation can have negative effects on maternal behaviour and can reduce a mothers affective response.
WaterWipes created short film, ‘Pure Love’ which examined the science between skin-to-skin contact
First Few Weeks:
As the protective vernix starts to shed away in the first few weeks of life, it can cause the baby’s skin to appear flakey or dry. This is a natural process and doesn’t need intervention such as using oils.
A common phrase amongst parents is ‘wait for eight’, which is a rule of thumb Jenny agrees with when coming to bathing your baby. This wait allows for your baby to make the most of their natural defences and protects their delicate skin. Washing soaps may irritate the skin as it changes its natural pH levels and a sponge with warm water is more than adequate for the first few weeks.
If you notice any redness on your baby’s bottom when changing, allow to air dry and give them some nappy off time. Always ensure you use a pure wipe. If the rash worsens, you can use a nappy rash cream. The key is changing frequently and allowing the air to circulate
If you look at a newborns hands and feet, you’ll notice a web of lines and wrinkles that they have gained from floating in the amniotic fluid. It is key to clean and dry out these wrinkles properly to avoid rashes or dermatitis.
All that milk can collect around their mouth and neck, so make sure those areas are kept clean to help prevent risk of thrush. Check daily, especially after feeding
Jenny recommends the use of WaterWipes as a neutral, clean way of protecting your baby’s skin. Aly and I have both used WaterWipes and definitely recommend them as a go to wipe.
Developed specifically for newborn baby skin, WaterWipes are the only wipe to be endorsed by Allergy UK and the awarded the National Eczema Association of America seal of acceptance. Made with just 99.9% purified water and a drop of fruit seed extract, you can be confident that you’ll be leaving baby’s skin clean.