Step 5 of Baby Skin Care Routine Sun Protection

sunscreen

Now that spring is just around the corner in South Africa, I thought sun protection would be a valuable topic today.

Your baby’s skin has not developed fully yet and they do not have enough melanin pigment in their skin to protect them from the ultra violet radiation from the sun. So protecting your baby’s vulnerable skin is vital against the harsh South African sun.

Use a waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF and moisturising properties, as dry skin is more vulnerable to the sun and re-apply regularly. Also make sure it’s a broad-spectrum brand that has a four or five star rating. This means it offers UVA and UVB protection, and it will state this on the packaging. Reapply at least every couple of hours and after she has played in water, even if it’s waterproof.

Clothes covering your baby’s shoulders are essential in the sun, particularly on hot days. Shoulders are particularly vulnerable and burn quickly. Make sure your baby wears a T-shirt while splashing around in the water. Change him into a dry one when he’s finished his swim. You can also try sun protection clothing made of Lycra or a Lycra and Nylon mix. They block more of the sun than a normal T-shirt can and also dry quickly and can be worn in and out of the water.

Ideally young babies should never be directly exposed to harsh sunlight. Make sure your baby always wears a wide brim hat and avoid being in the sun between 10am and 2pm.

Sun protection not only prevents painful sunburn but helps combat long-term effects of sun exposure, such as skin cancer. Most of the cellular changes which cause cancer, occur before the age of 18.

In summer babies are prone to heat rash so be sure to keep them cool and dry and dress them in loose, light/white coloured clothing, as this reflects the sun’s light better. Don’t overdress them as their sweat glands are not developed properly and their ability to regulate body temp is diminished.

Keep baby wipes handy to refresh your little one. Talc powder also helps combat heat rash by absorbing excess moisture and sweat on the baby’s skin.

Twelve more days till Spring and we can’t wait!

Take care of you and your baby

~Gilli~

 

 

Step 4 of Baby Skin Care Routine Nappy Changing

Nappy ChangeNappies are a necessity in your baby’s life, but they also create a warm, moist environment for bacteria to grow. In addition friction between the skin and nappy can cause chaffing and will lead to nappy rash.

Therefore its highly important to have regular nappy changes as it prevents the build-up of moisture and bacteria. Newborns will poo several times a day and wee every 1 – 3 hours. This means changing their nappy up to about 12 times a day, so if you’re using disposables, you’ll need about a dozen a day.

Choose a good-quality changing mat, as it needs to see you through more than two years of nappy changing, so pick a durable one. You will also need a portable mat that you can use when you’re out and about. Gillitots’ will be launching their range of travel changing mats this year, which rolls up and ties and is easy to slip into any bag. These will work perfectly with our waterproof nappy bags, which seals with Velcro to neutralise bad smells and prevent any leakage.

Always keep one hand on your baby at all times, never leave your baby unattended while he/she’s on a changing mat.

Use baby wipes or warm soapy water to clean baby’s bum. Remember when wiping, to wipe front to back to prevent the spread of bacteria in the genital area. Important to rinse and dry thoroughly in all the folds of the skin.

USEFUL TIP: Use cotton wool and baby oil to soften and remove stubborn dried dirt.

After cleaning apply a barrier cream like baby petroleum jelly . This will protect the skin from wetness and chaffing. Disposable nappies reduce moisture build up as it draws the moisture away from baby’s skin. This keeps them drier and less prone to nappy rash. Nappy rash is caused by urine and faeces and can be treated by a applying a nappy rash cream or paste after every change. It also helps to leave the nappy off when possible to allow the fresh air to help heal the rash. If it doesn’t go away in a few days then consult your clinic or doctor.

Nappy changing can be a pleasurable experience for you and your baby. Hang a mobile over the changing area to distract them, but keep it well out of her reach. You can also give them a toy to play with. Talk and sing to your baby or even explain what you’re doing. The trick is the tone of your voice, if you stay calm this will help to soothe her.

Once it’s all done and your baby is cleaned up and dressed, pick them up and have a hug and a kiss. It’s important to always end it on a happy note.

Take care of you and your baby

~Gilli~

Step 3 of baby skin care routine: Prevent Chaffing

Baby CareYour baby’s skin doesn’t produce its own natural oils and lubricants found in adult skin and that’s why extra care needs to taken to prevent chaffing. Chaffing occurs between the skin folds and also between the skin and clothing.

After bathing and nappy changing, special care needs to be taken. Too much moisture and heat are also the main causes of chaffing, so its wise to keep your baby cool and dry to prevent this discomfort.

Using a few drops of baby oil in the warm bath water will help with lubricating the skin. After bathing pat baby dry, don’t rub as that causes irritation. Be sure to dry in all the creases and folds of the skin.

Applying baby powder after bathing will absorb any excess moisture and reduce friction. Baby powder is made from tiny particles of a naturally occurring, soft mineral called talc. This mineral is safe for your baby’s skin, but the fine particles can be harmful if your baby breathes in lots of them at once, it could clog the delicate air sacs in her lungs. The correct way to apply powder is to first apply it to your hands and then gently smooth it over your baby’s skin. Talc baby powder absorbs half its weight in moisture therefore reducing friction of up to 70%.

Lastly avoid tight clothes or rough fabrics when dressing your baby. One of the top choices of fabrics for baby clothes is cotton. It is super soft against the skin and therefore very comfortable to wear, making it ideal for babies.

Cotton is a natural fibre, therefore allows for better air circulation, which helps remove and absorb body moisture, drawing heat away from the skin. Cotton “breathes”, keeping them cool in summer and dry in winter. Cotton is non-allergenic and the best choice of material for children who suffer from asthma or allergies, or those who have sensitive skin prone to irritation.

It’s important to remember that prevention is always better than cure.

Take care of you and your baby

*Gilli*

Moisturising

MoisturisingToday we move onto Step 2 of the skin care routine:

Moisturising

Your baby’s skin dehydrates at a rapid rate and this dryness reduces the skin’s barrier function and makes your baby more vulnerable to skin irritations.

Regular moisturising will prevent dryness and in turn protect your baby’s skin and keeping your baby healthy, which is very important in the cold winter months we are now experiencing.

After bathing, pat them dry with a soft towel and gently massage either aqueous cream, lotion or baby oil into their skin. Did you know baby oil locks in up to 10 times more moisture than any other creams or lotions, when its applied to damp skin?

Applying your moisturising cream/lotion or oil of your preference is the perfect time to do your baby massage. Doing this massage regularly encourages development of muscle co-ordination and suppleness, as well as being a great bonding time with you and your baby.

I will go into more detail about baby massage, techniques and its benefits, in the weeks to come.

But in the meantime, wrap up warm and I hope you have a lovely week.

Take care of you and your baby

~Gill~

Cleansing

cleanisingWelcome back to Loving Your Baby, we now focus on the first step in baby’s skin care routine.

1. Cleansing:

It’s important to establish a regular bath routine at the same time everyday. Make sure it’s an uninterrupted relaxing time for you both. Turn off your phone, relax and just enjoy each others company. Talking or singing to your baby will reassure her that he/she is safe.

Avoid bathing your baby when they are hungry or too soon after a feed.

Babies lose heat very quickly, so make sure the room is draft free and cozy. You should only use a heater if it is thermostatically controlled.

Never leave your baby unattended.

In addition to regular bathing remember to clean your baby’s mouth, cheeks, chin and folds of the neck after every feed. Traces of milk or saliva may irritate the skin.

Face:
Before cleansing the body, gently clean their eyes with damp cotton wool, wiping from the inside corner out.
Make sure you use a clean area of the cotton wool for each wipe.
Use another piece of dam cotton wool to wipe her face, when they are a little older you can progress to a soft facecloth.

Hair:
Check the temperature of the water with the inside of your wrist. Wrap your baby in a towel and hold her securely.
Use a small amount of mild baby soap and massage it into the scalp. Rinse the hair thoroughly and gently pat it dry with a soft towel, do not rub!
Never leave your baby’s hair wet as it will lead to rapid loss of body heat.

Body:
Clean her bottom with either baby wipes or cotton wool and warm water. Use baby oil to help remove stubborn dirt.
Gently massage baby cleanser all over her body. Holding baby securely wash her body off thoroughly. Then let her enjoy the warm water for awhile. Baby oil added to the bath water will help moisturise your baby’s skin and acts as a lubricant to prevent chaffing.
Lift baby out of the water, working quickly use a soft towel and pat baby dry. Pay specific attention to the folds in your baby’s skin.

Umbilical cord:
Carefully clean the cord with a cotton bud and some surgical spirits.

Hope these tips help and see you next week for the next step moisturising.

Take care of you and your baby
Gill

Loving your baby

baby-careHi everyone,

Welcome to my very first weekly blog on Loving your Baby. Each week I will share a little information or helpful tips for your baby’s care and well being. This week I will start with Baby Skin Care.

It’s through gentle skin to skin contact that you will first communicate your love to one another, as your tender touches help your baby feel safe and secure in a strange new world and strengthens your emotional bond.

A baby’s first line of defense against harsh environmental factors is their skin. That’s why it is important to protect and maintain their skin’s condition, it protects their health now and also lays a foundation for healthy skin for life. Their skin to surface ratio is much higher than ours and is at least half the thickness of adult skin, which makes it more permeable and susceptible to irritants. Their skin isn’t fully developed yet, so won’t be able to cope with harsher ingredients found in adult products.

Baby’s sweat glands are not fully developed, so their ability to regulate their own body temperature is diminished. Therefore correct skin care is important to their general health. Your baby’s skin doesn’t produce all the moisturising oils it needs, so regular moisturising is essential. They have a low melanin production so they lack proper sun defenses.

Therefore your baby’s skin care routine should consist of :

Cleansing
Moisturising
Prevent chaffing
Nappy change with barrier protection
Sun protection.

When it comes to baby’s skin care, prevention is better than cure.

Over the next few weeks I will elaborate more in-depth on each step of your baby’s skin care routine.

Thanks for visiting

Kind regards

~Gill~