Babies are born with a unique, sweet smell that we often find irresistible (but, fair warning, please don't kiss the baby!). Did you know that it only lasts for a few weeks — about six, to be exact? No one knows where this distinct scent comes from exactly, but research suggests it might be from the amniotic fluid that the babies swim in in the womb, while others say it comes from the vernix caseosa, the white substance coating a newborn's skin when it is born.
George Preti, Ph.D., an analytical chemist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, theorized the scent is secreted from a baby's sweat glands while others say it has something to do with a child's metabolism.
A baby's skin truly smells wonderful, and we only wish we could bottle it up and take a whiff of it everytime we feel stressed out (it's a natural stress buster!). And while we may think that baby's skin is made so perfectly that it doesn't require much to maintain, it is actually extra sensitive and requires utmost care.
According to Dr. Giselle Adasa, a pediatric dermatologist and a member of the Philippine Dermatological Society, a baby's skin is "40 to 60 percent thinner compared to adult skin. [It] is really more delicate, it's more sensitive.” And because baby's skin is thinner, it loses water five times faster than adult skin.
An infant's skin also has a lower natural moisturizing factor, says Dr. Adasa. "Your baby's skin has smaller corneocyte which are cells in your skin that hold water, so, your baby’s skin has a lesser holding capacity for water."
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It's why you will notice that your baby's skin is sometimes dry, flaky, and "nagbabalat." This answers the question of whether you should use a moisturizer or lotion for baby's skin.
As to when it is advisable to use lotion on your baby, many moms in SmartParenting.com.ph Parent Chat group shared they were advised by their pediatricians to use skin lotion on their babies starting at 6 months old. On the other hand, Mayo Clinic recommends the use of moisturizers on an as-need basis only, such as when your baby has rough or very dry skin.
Here are some of the most trusted brands when it comes to lotions by members of the Parent Chat