Caring for your baby’s skin
Taking care of your baby's lovely soft skin is a top priority - and Bepanthen knows that you’ll want to protect it from anything that can irritate or damage it.
A new born baby's skin is more sensitive than an adult's,1 as well as being slightly thinner1 so it needs a little extra special attention to keep it in tip top condition.
Watch how you wash
You want to keep your baby clean and fresh, but at the same time, try not to overdo it with the washing.
Baby’s skin is likely to be more sensitive to the type of chemicals you sometimes find in harsh soaps or cleansing products, and so The British Skin Foundation’s advice is to limit the amount of products that you use on your baby's skin. For example, swap any perfumed products for kinder, fragrance free emollients if your baby has dry skin.2
It’s best not to use any harsh cleansing products on your baby, because they could strip her skin of natural oils –and dry it out. Avoid using any washing products that lather or foam up, especially soaps, bubble baths or shower gels that aren’t designed for babies. Check the ingredients list on any products before you buy them, and avoid anything that contains alcohol, colours, preservatives or added fragrances.2
Sun care for babies
Babies' skin is delicate and can easily be damaged by the sun, so even though we know you love taking your little one out to show him off, you should always keep babies of six months or less out of direct sunlight.4 If possible you should really try to keep very young babies in complete shade, either under a parasol or canopy, or indoors. Make sure that his buggy or pram is well shaded to keep sun off of his little face too.4
When you take baby outside, keep his skin protected by dressing him in loose-fitting clothes, including a wide-brimmed hat that will keep the sunlight away from his face, neck and ears.4
When you choose a sunscreen, look for one which is specially designed for babies' skin. Don't just use an adult sunscreen, because even though the sun protection will be just as effective, an adult sunscreen could contain chemicals that irritate his skin or even cause an allergic reaction.4
Try patch-testing any new sunscreen on the inside of baby's wrist before you cover her in it, ideally the day before you’re planning your trip out in the sun. Check his skin for signs of irritation and if you notice any redness, don't use that particular sunscreen.5
Many mums prefer to wash brand new baby clothes in a non-biological detergent with a sensitive skin fabric conditioner before they dress their babies in them. As a rule, it’s a good idea to use laundry products approved by the British Skin Foundation.
If your baby has very sensitive skin or eczema, you might find that it helps to carry on washing her clothes in non-biological detergents, as it's often the 'biological' stain-treating ingredients that cause the irritation if he has sensitive skin; this isn't always the case though, so you might just have to experiment with different detergents until you find one that suits.6
General hints and tips
If you're a smoker, or anyone in your household smokes, it's worth remembering that smoke residue on babies clothes can irritate their delicate skin as well as the smoke itself being dangerous to their health.3