Newborns are vulnerable, yet are often stronger than they look. Adults instinctively feel the need to protect them and this sometimes means excessive care that is counterproductive. Keeping a baby’s skin clean and healthy, for example, is not complicated.
Newbie parents are often assailed by doubts about the abundance of skin care products and tips regarding babies’ skin. Everyone naturally wants the best for their newborn baby, so paediatricians at the Mayo Clinic recently issued some recommendations in the International Journal of Dermatology. The most surprising recommendation is to forego the widespread custom of daily bathing and bathe the baby only every second day. On non-bathing days the body and face (including the eyes and eyelids) can be cleaned with just a water-dampened washcloth. As for the bath, tap water is fine and products, if used, should be gentle, dye- and fragrance-free and with a pH between 4.7 and 5.5. After changing nappies, the baby can be cleaned up using a little water and the naked skin should then be allowed to breathe for a while. Baby wipes should be hypoallergenic and without lanolin or alcohol. For nappy rash, a zinc oxide-based product can be used.