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How to Protect Your Baby's Sensitive Skin

Your Health

All babies are born with sensitive skin, which makes them more likely to develop rashes than mommy and daddy. Certain preventive measures can limit the risk of irritation, so your little one can focus on more important things, like learning to roll over.

5 Tips for Healthy Baby Skin:

Skip the nightly baths. There is no need to bathe your baby every night. She has natural oils that protect her skin. When you scrub-a-dub-dub too often, those oils are removed, which leaves your baby's skin vulnerable, possibly triggering a reaction like eczema. Babies only need about three baths per week—just keep their bottoms clean and dry with regular diaper changes and wipe drool as needed.

Use mild soaps. Look for natural ingredients that you recognize. Products based on vegetable oils, like Castile soap made with olive oil, are a safe bet.

Wash baby's clothing before she wears it. Use only baby laundry detergents that are fragrance- and dye-free. Wash baby clothes, bedding and blankets separately from the family's laundry.

Pay particular attention to the diaper area. Moisture can cause diaper rash, so make sure to dry her bottom completely before putting a diaper on her. Use an ointment that forms a protective barrier on the skin after every diaper change to help protect your child's irritated skin from stool and urine. Petroleum ointment or petroleum jelly, nonpetroleum jelly, lanolin products and white zinc oxide are great options.

Don't use strong perfumes and colognes. While you might think it smells lovely, fragrances include ingredients that can be harmful to your baby's sensitive skin. Avoid skin-to-skin contact when you're wearing anything potent.

See all parenting content from HealthyWomen.org.

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