I have plenty of experience treating dry newborn skin. All my children and grandchildren have highly sensitive, eczema-prone dry skin. It’s important for new parents to be aware that newborns naturally shed skin for the first few weeks after birth. This is not dry skin and is perfectly normal. You should also talk to your doctor about any newborn skin issues prior to treating them at home. Some skin conditions can be aggravated by lotions, creams and other moisturizers. Your doctor may recommend a prescription ointment. No prescription required? Try these five tips for treating dry newborn skin naturally.
1. Use soap sparingly on your newborn. Chemicals and fragrances in soap can rapidly dry an infant’s sensitive skin. Even products designed for babies aren’t sensitive enough for some newborns. Read the label of any product you intend to use on your baby. I’ve found that handmade glycerin-based soaps work far better than commercial brands on infants with sensitive skin.
2. Avoid fragrances in baby products. Be sure all the products you use for your newborn are fragrance free. Even natural fragrances pose a threat to infants with dry skin issues. As much as you might love the scent of certain baby products, your newborn deserves more consideration. Your baby has no control over how you treat his or her dry skin, but you do.
3. Petroleum jelly is one of the gentlest moisturizers for dry newborn skin. Using a thin coating of petroleum jelly on baby after bath holds moisture in. True, Vaseline is not glamorous, but it works wonderfully to soothe dry skin in newborns. Be sure your newborn is well protected from the elements, too. Dry skin worsens with exposure.
4. Pure shea butter and cocoa butter are all natural and fragrance free. Newborn dry skin responds well to both these products. Use caution when purchasing shea butter and cocoa butter for your newborn. Some lotions and creams may contain these all natural ingredients along with some that are not so natural. Check the label to see that there is only one ingredient listed.
5. Olive oil makes a wonderful fragrance free newborn moisturizer. Best of all, you already have it in your kitchen cupboard. Newborn dry skin may make an appearance when you can’t get to the store. No need to read the label. Olive oil is always fragrance free. No olive oil in the pantry? You can use other vegetable oils in a pinch.
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