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Baby’s skin is very different to adults – it’s thinner and a lot more fragile. And although it does have a protective barrier to help to maintain moisture, using soap can dry out this barrier and possibly lead to a range of skin issues.
While it’s essential to be aware of the ingredients in your baby wash, it’s equally important to know that babies don’t need a bath every day. But that doesn’t mean they go without.
Instead, on non-bath days, it’s recommended that you ‘top and tail’ your baby, carefully wiping her face, neck, hands and bottom with cotton wool and a washcloth.
If having a bath is already an enjoyable part of your baby’s daily routine, there’s no need to stop as long as you are mindful of what you’re putting on baby’s skin.
When choosing a baby wash, first look for one that is specifically made for babies that doesn’t contain soap, and is fragrance and antibacterial free because they might irritate or dry out the skin.
If you’re worried about your baby’s skin drying out, adding bath oil can help replenish the skin’s natural oils. Additionally, Children’s Health Queensland recommends using a bath oil to help with eczema. The website says, “Mix it into the water to give a milky appearance. There is no need to rinse the oil off the skin.”
Need a baby shampoo too? Look for one that is soap and fragrance-free. Remember: only shampoo your baby’s hair when needed (once or twice a week).
To further care for your baby’s skin, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne says parents can apply moisturiser during or after a bath. Again, look for one that is fragrance-free and apply a thick layer. If your baby’s skin is unusually dry and red, this might be a sign of eczema. If you are concerned about your baby’s skin, see your GP or other health professional.
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