Despite the glorious weather of the last couple of days, no doubt there’s more winter in store. Today, Carole Arsenault of Newborn Nurses shares simple and effective tips for protecting baby’s dry skin during the winter. Many of these ideas also are practical for older kids and adults.
Don’t fret. Babies can get dry skin just as adults do; it’s completely normal. Cold, dry outdoor air and indoor heat can cause the skin to lose some of its natural moisture and become dry.
Cut down on bathing. During the winter, when stickiness from sweat and sunscreen isn’t an issue as it is in summertime, it’s okay to cut down on bathing; every three to four days is reasonable for young infants (3 months and under). If your baby is older (e.g., at the stage of experimenting with messy solid foods), a quick bath every other day is appropriate.
Go mild. In the bath, use a mild soap. My favorite is organic Castile soap, but there are many other good options.
Read the labels. Avoid common skin irritants such as sodium laureth sulfate, parabens, lanolin, and alcohol. Don’t assume that a product is gentle just because it is marketed as such. Become savvy and read labels.
Consult the experts. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers lots of information about ingredients in baby products. Their Skin Deep cosmetic safety database offers a parent’s buying guide for children’s personal care products, including specific product recommendations and safety ratings.
Add moisture. Adding a humidifier or vaporizer in your baby’s room will help control the moisture content in the air and hydrate dry skin. Many pediatricians recommend warm mist over cool mist humidifiers (click here for a previously reviewed warm mist humidifier). Be sure to follow manufacturer’s cleaning instructions carefully.
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