Whose skin is more sensitive than the most sensitive person you know: a baby! If you’ve got a new bundle of joy in your family, skincare is going to play a huge role in making sure your little one grows up happy and healthy. Because baby skincare is so important, it is vital as a parent to know what products to use and which ones are considered unnecessary. Each year pediatricians are learning new ways to care for a baby’s skin so it’s a must that you as Mom or Dad know this info as well.

Most parents tend to think of baby skincare as consisting of nothing more than baby powder and baby lotion but this concept of caring for a little one’s skin has come a long way. Pediatricians now say that baby powder can actually be replaced by more effective products. If your baby suffers from diaper rash (a common skin irritation for newborns), instead of using a dusting of baby powder on your baby’s bottom, you can simply use a fast-acting ointment or cream specially made to relieve and prevent future diaper rash.

Speaking of powders, there are certain ones that should be avoided at all costs, namely anything that contains a cornstarch base, which can promote yeast growth. Talcum powder should also be avoided because such items can damage your baby’s lungs and hinder his/her ability to breathe properly.

As much as we want our babies to smell wonderful, you need to be wary of using certain items that contain perfumes or alcohol. Read the labels and be sure to only use gentle products on your baby’s skin. This includes the soap, baby wipes, laundry soaps, shampoos, lotions and other items that come into direct contact with your baby’s skin (both directly and indirectly). All of these products should be fragrance-free and use natural ingredients instead of artificial fillers or preservatives. On a related note, pediatricians say that is it not necessary for your baby to take a bath every single day.

If your baby is not yet a toddler chances are he/she spends more time in a crib, bassinet or in your arms than crawling around on the floor or outdoors. Bathing your baby a few times a week is more than enough to keep him/her clean and fresh. It is also recommended to only use soap on the areas that get dirty, like the feet, hands, genitals and underarms. A warm rinse on the other areas of the body will do.

Just like adults, babies can suffer from sun damage and sunburn. While it is important to incorporate sun care into your little one’s day, it is critical to note that sunscreen and similar products should not be used on babies younger than six months of age because they can become more prone to a bad skin reaction. If your baby is too young for sunscreen you can still protect him/her from the sun’s UV rays by putting on a hat or bonnet with a wide brim to shade the face and neck, placing your baby in the shade whenever possible and using loose-fitting clothes that are tightly woven so UV rays can’t seep through.

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