Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Baby Skin Always is so Awwww-Inducing

One thing is true, when holding a new baby or any baby, there is always an aww shared especially when touching their skin. The reality however, is that this isn't always the case for our poor little baby girl. She definitely gets her sensitive skin from her mama and then prone to eczema from her dad. She definitely did not get very lucky in this department. 

Babies are born of course very wrinkly and as days pass after birth, you will notice flaking. Many times you will see the flaking happen on their face and their scalp, other times it could travel down to their arms and legs. 

For the first year of a baby's life, it is important to understand that their skin is still developing which means they will be extra sensitive and susceptible to skin damage from too much sun exposure, wind, cold weather and heat. Not only natural elements, but also other irritants such as scents in lotions, detergents, bubble bath, etc. 


Things to Avoid

As a mom, I know I always want my baby looking like she is in tip-top shape, smelling clean and looking presentable. When you are thinking about adulthood you think about having to shower everyday otherwise you may scare people off - which depending on the day might not be a bad thing! Reality is that, this is not the same when it comes to a baby. As an adult our skin is fully developed therefore the sensitivity isn't as high.

I remember it was a big struggle for me when little E was experiencing the bad baby skin flakes. It was so hard for me to NOT rub or scratch it off. I would apply lotions to help had to really make a conscious effort to just let it be. The scratching and rubbing of this dry skin is actually not going to help and this flaking is a natural process as the baby is not in a new environment compared to the past nine months. 

Although bathing seems like a means of cleansing and ridding of dirt, it actually isn't the best thing for your babe especially in the first few weeks. It is actually more important to try and prolong a bath for as long as you can. If you do this, your baby in the long run will actually have smoother, softer skin. This may not make sense, but if you are constantly washing your baby then you are ridding of the characteristics of their skin that is actually important in their transition and exposure to their new environment - the healthy and necessary oils for example. 

This was the most difficult for me to comprehend. Babies do not need baths every.single.day. In fact, in doing so you can damage skin and dry them out even more. So think about 'mini baths' between actual baths. Minimizing how often can be a big game changer and this was something we learned with Emilia because we were bathing her every single day and it caused a lot more dryness to her skin. 


Some Tips & Tricks 

A few things we picked up from friends as well as from our midwives. 

1. At birth, wait if possible up to 2 weeks to do a full body wash. You could wash baby's head but avoid washing the body to give their skin a chance to develop a bit. This will help keep babies skin a lot softer.

2. Do not bathe baby every day. Maybe do a full soak about 2-3 times a week and in-between use wash clothes in warm water to just rinse the folds, clean off any drool or milk. This will help keep rashes from appearing but also keeping baby clean without getting rid of the natural oils they need. 

3. After a bath - especially for a baby with eczema - try to lightly pat-dry their skin with a towel and apply cream right away. By allowing some water to remain on their skin it will help lock in the moisture from the lotion a lot better which will help with dryness. 

4. Washing baby clothes before they wear it, is so important as you do not know what products or other environments the clothing has come into contact with. Pre-washing everything will ensure that any possible toxins that can cause a rash or outbreak will be avoided. 

5. We use a diaper rash cream that has calendula in it because it is great for rashes especially in the genital areas or related to milk getting trapped in creases and causing a rash. 

6. Having a humidifier will also help keep baby's skin away from dryness. Especially in a province like Alberta where the winters are super dry, a humidifier is a must have! We have Emilia's on every night during the winter months and we notice that her skin does not become dry as there is constant moisture. 


Favourite Baby Products

There are so many things we have tried since having Emilia, but these are our top must haves when it comes to baby products and sensitive skin 

Babyganics: they provide hypoallergenic products ranging from bath products, lotions, detergents, and even diapers. They have very mild scents or products that are completely fragrance free which is great especially for babies that have super sensitive skin.

Aveeno Baby: They too have very mild scents, however the product specifically we use from them is their eczema lotion because Emilia often will get spots of super dry skin. 

Frida Baby: They have a variety of items but our favourite for sure was their SKINSOOTHER. It is a silicone pad which is to be used during bath time.

Ivory Snow: Great detergent for sensitive skin - I even use this for me because of how sensitive my skin is. 

Bbluv Group: They have amazing products and for us we found their humidifers to be the best as they also have built in air purifiers which are great for when babies have a cold. We enjoy the size of the tank it has which allows it to last an entire 8 hours or longer. They have a variety of settings and has a built in night-light.