You may have noticed that white, gooey, weird-looking substance covering your baby once he is born. It's called vernix caseosa, a natural protective coating over the skin that appears during the third trimester of pregnancy.
This natural substance keeps your baby’s skin safe from bacteria and amniotic fluid, allows the skin to develop under it, and keeps your baby’s skin hydrated. Think of it as a natural moisturizer that your babies produce to keep their skin healthy while growing inside your body.
But once this washes off, how do you keep your baby’s skin soft and healthy?
Choose your baths wisely.
Long and frequent baths strip the natural oils from your baby’s skin causing it to become dry. Keep every bath at 10 minutes max. Avoid using hot water as this contributes to dry skin, and instead, bathe your baby with warm water. Choose a bath product like NIVEA Baby Head-to-Toe Wash to gently cleanse baby's skin.
Newborn babies, in particular, need baths around three times a week! Wipe your baby’s face and body with a wet clean cloth during bath time. Unless you’ve got a messy diaper situation or an incredibly sweaty play session, try to keep baths limited and quick.
Do a quick diaper change.
Diaper rash can be irritating and painful for babies. Your poor baby will be feeling tortured and miserable as the skin around the diaper area becomes red and inflamed, causing it to feel itchy or tender. This can range from reddened skin to skin abrasions.
The best way to treat diaper rash is to dry the skin thoroughly, especially in the affected areas. You may also try using NIVEA Baby Smoothy Cream. It helps moisturize and soothe red and irritated baby’s skin. Keeping the area free of any diaper or clothing for a few minutes may also help, as this lessens any skin aggravation. Avoid diaper rash by changing your baby’s diaper as soon as it gets soiled. This will help the skin from being exposed to wetness and bacteria for an unnecessarily prolonged period.
Give your baby a massage.
Taking the time to give your baby a light and comforting massage actually improves the bond between mother and child. Massaging your babies can be an effective way of making them feel loved and secure. This can be done after bath time or any time after you’ve cleaned your baby.
Lay your baby down on a soft surface at room temperature. Make sure your baby won’t feel too warm or too cold. Use an unscented or lightly scented baby oil like NIVEA Baby Caring Oil to gently massage your baby. This can help keep your baby's skin feeling soft and supple.
Keep your baby's skin hydrated.
You can use a gentle and hypoallergenic moisturizer specifically formulated for babies to treat your baby’s dry skin. Not all products are made for a baby’s sensitive skin. You can check with your pediatrician or a pediatric dermatologist before using any product on your baby's skin just to be sure that you won't be causing or aggravating any skin condition such as eczema.
When choosing a moisturizer for your babies, make sure that it doesn't have any of the following: parabens, alcohol, and artificial colors. Choose a gentle moisturizer specifically made for babies. NIVEA Baby Moisturizing Lotion not only helps keep baby's skin soft with aloe vera, but it also helps protect and strengthen your baby's skin barrier to prevent it from drying. It also helps replace moisture in the skin.