Skin Newborns may have blotches and rashes in most of their body areas, but these disappear after a few weeks. Stork bites, red marks on the forehead, upper lip, nape, or the back of the skull; these marks also eventually disappear.
Head A newborn’s skull isn’t fully formed yet, with soft parts called fontanelles, where the bones haven’t fully fused yet, found at the top and the back of the head, which will close over the next two years.
An occasional problem that develops in newborns is cradle cap, characterized by red splotches or dry patches of skin on the scalp. It can be remedied by rubbing the patches lightly with baby oil and rinsing with water.
Eyes When bathing your baby, refrain from using strong scented soaps during the first few months. Clean the eyes by gently running a damp cloth from the inner corner of the eye to the outer part. When you begin tub-bathing your baby, make sure to cup your hand over the forehead to prevent baby soap from going into his eyes.
Mouth A baby usually swallows a lot of air when feeding, so burping your baby after every meal is a must. Burping is usually done by rubbing the baby’s back gently while carrying him upright. Remember to support his head while doing this. You can also burp the baby by placing him face down on your lap, and gently tapping his back.
Neck Always support the neck and the head with your hand, especially when you’re holding the baby up or laying him down. When bathing your baby, remember to pay close attention to the creases on his neck. This is one of the places where dirt generally builds up.
Elbows & Knees As your baby discovers the pleasures of movement, he will naturally take to crawling. Rub a little mild lotion or cream, petroleum jelly, or baby oil on your baby’s elbows and knees to keep the skin on these body parts from drying or chafing.
Hands & Fingers Put mittens on your baby’s hands to protect their faces from scratches in case his fingernails get too long. In a month or so, you can start using a special baby nail clipper to cut his nails.
Arms & Legs Always remember to clean the creases found in his underarm area and behind the knees, as these are where dirt tends to build up.
Genital Area Change your baby’s diaper regularly to avoid nasty rashes. Clean the genital area thoroughly with damp cotton balls and a dry washcloth to wipe the area. For baby boys, remove the diapers slowly: sudden exposure of his private parts to air may cause him to urinate. For baby girls, wipe from front to back; doing it the other way around may cause urinary tract infections.
Feet Pay close attention to the areas between the toes. Don’t clip the baby’s toenails until the third month.