Caring for your babyâ€™s skin
Protect your babyâ€™s perfectly pure skin from the day of birth.
- Resist the urge to bathe your baby frequently!Â WHY, do you ask?
- Your baby is born with a fatty layer and an â€˜acidâ€™ mantle designed to protect the delicate immature skin. At this new stage of your babyâ€™s life it is so important not to interfere with this layer.
- Baby is born with a skin pH about >6.0, dropping to about 4.95 after birth.
- In this first week of their life, bathing and using harsh soaps causes babyâ€™s skin to become vulnerable to potential allergens. As the skin is thin, irritants, harmful chemicals and harsh soaps are rapidly absorbed through the babyâ€™s skin. Because of this the skin can dehydrate due to transepidermal water loss.
- After babyâ€™s birth, blood, cellular debris and meconium can be gently wiped off with a soft clean towel, after which the baby can be placed on the motherâ€™s chest until his/her temperature is stabilised. The baby will also be comforted by her body warmth and beating heart.
Researcher’s advice on cleaning neonatal skin:
A premature baby should definitely not be bathed until the umbilical cord has fallen off. Never use skincare products on premature babies. It takes a week for the natural fatty layer to be absorbed by the skin, IF IT IS NOT WASHED OFF.
A full term baby only has to be bathed every 3-4 days using water alone in the first 2-4 weeks of life. Thereafter a 100% natural pH neutral cleanser, such as Eli & You Baby Bath and Body Oil alternating with water only every 3-4 days can be used.
- When bathing your baby create a warm, draft free environment. Ensure that everything you need is ready for use. The muslin cloths, towels, oil wash and barrier balm (when you start using these) should be within reach while bathing your baby. Always have a clean nappy and clothing at hand for when you take your baby out of the bath.
- It is important to ensure the correct temperature of the bath water before bathing your baby. The temperature should be between 34 and 36oC and should not exceed 37oC.Â You can place your wrist in the water as a natural heat gauge. Alternatively, use a bath thermometer to monitor the temperature.
- The bath water should only be deep enough to cover the babyâ€™s chest. Wrap your baby securely in a muslin cloth and gently place the baby into the bath. As your babyâ€™s skin is still fragile do not bathe him/her for more than 5 minutes. Ensure the baby stays warm from the bath by wrapping him/her in a warm towel.
- Always pat rather than rub your babyâ€™s skin dry after bathing.
- If the water in your area is â€˜hardâ€™ use an oil based wash to protect your babyâ€™s skin.
- Do wash all new clothing before your baby wears it, and always wash all your baby clothes separately from the family wash with mild chemical free laundry soap.
- Avoid lotions and emollients for the first 2-4 weeks of babyâ€™s life.
- Eli and You have specially formulated 100% natural and safe products that you can use with confidence on your babyâ€™s fragile skin.
- Start using Eli & You Baby Barrier Balm when his/her natural barrier is depleted in order to protect the babyâ€™s nappy area.Â You can also make use of Eli & You Baby Bath and Body Oil for additional moisture and protection.
- Never use products designed for adult use on your baby. Be diligent and read through the precise ingredients listed on the product label. Eli & You recommend that you scan the list of ingredients on any product BEFORE purchasing or using it on your own or your baby’s skin. Â Take note it is the productâ€™s label with the actual ingredient list that reveals what’s truly inside, NOT the words ‘natural’, ‘organic’, or ‘pure’ on the front of the product!
A baby first forms a connection through the touch of the skin and then the bonding process begins. The skin is known to be the first sensory organ to develop, and is also the largest.
You can encourage the bonding process through massaging your baby even if you are not experienced with massage techniques.
The benefits of baby massage:
- Research shows that massaging your baby encourages both psychological and physiological growth.
- Massage deepens the bonds of love and creates an environment where your baby feels loved and secure.
- There are also benefits for the parent as bonding with their baby brings a sense of fulfilment and has also been known to heal parents suffering from postnatal depression.
- Massage stimulates your baby’s awareness, brain development, motor skills, circulation and digestion. It also helps to release winds.
- Massaging with a 100% natural oil blend will protect your baby’s fragile skin and prevent it from drying out. Try our Eli and You Baby Bath and Body Oil.
- Massaging can improve sleep due to the relaxing effect on your baby.
- The therapeutic effect of massaging aids the strengthening of your baby’s immune system.
- Baby massage is useful for the overall development of premature babies.
Before you begin:
- Ensure that the ‘massage’ room is peaceful and warm (between 25 – 28oC)
- Remove any jewellery that may hurt your baby during massage.
- It is better to have short nails when massaging your baby as this will be softer on their skin.
- Be prepared with Eli & You Baby Bath and Body Oil, towels or muslin cloths as well as a set of clothes and your nappy changing kit.
Create a relaxing atmosphere:
Create a soothing atmosphere by turning off harsh lighting and playing nature sounds.
Make sure there are no distractions in the room like lively pets, mobiles or telephones.
When is the best time to massage baby?
Massage can become part of your night time routine that develops into cherish moments over time.
How should I massage my baby?
- Begin with baby massage once you are confident in handling your new baby.
- Start gradually with short sessions. You can lengthen these sessions once you and your baby become familiar with this special ‘meeting’ time.
- Make sure the skin is thoroughly dried after his/her bath. You can find detailed information about bathing your baby on the Baby Skincare page. (link)
- Lay your baby on the area where you normally do a nappy change, provided it is safe and comfortable for your baby, or on the floor with a thick, soft towel.
- Give your baby time to discover this bonding time with you, as you both become comfortable. If your baby shows a dislike, try again when you’re both calm and ready.
- Begin by warming a little oil by rubbing it between the palms of your hands.
- Use smooth and firm but gentle upward strokes, starting with baby’s legs as they are accustomed to touch on their legs during nappy changes.
- Gently place both hands upon baby’s chest and tummy area, spreading your fingers to the sides. Repeat a few times.
- Keep your hands on baby’s chest and make firm but gentle outward circles with your fingertips.
- Movements that are too soft and light will cause tickling, which will unsettle your baby and possibly end the massage moment.
- Do a gentle circular massage over your baby’s tummy, in a clockwise direction, to help with digestion and to expel winds.
- Use your thumbs in a circular motion on baby’s palms and foot arches, ending with lightly rubbing up to the ends of each finger and toe tip.
- If your baby is still enjoying the massage and you are comfortable to massage their back, you can do continuous up and down strokes along your baby’s spine and back. Be extremely careful to not apply too much pressure on the fragile neck and spine area.
- Complete the massage with slow movements, keeping baby as peaceful as possible.
- Remember to maintain eye contact and talk or sing to your baby during this special massage routine, ensuring your baby is kept calm.
- Massaging your baby can become a part of your daily routine. As you massage the various parts of their body in sequence, your baby will become familiar with your touch and will be comforted by the experience.
- Please note: It would be advisable to wash your baby’s hands when you are finished, to ensure that no oil agitates their eyes.
During the time your baby wears nappies, there is always a possibility that a nappy rash will occur.
- Your young babyâ€™s skin is thin and delicate.Â Lengthy exposure of the developing epidermal layer to the ammonia produced by the urine and stools is compounded by the nappy which aggravates the situation.
- Most products on the market like washing powders, soaps, bath creams and even certain nappy brands contain chemicals and undesirable preservatives. (do check all labels)
- Baby wipes can contain perfumes, unnatural ingredients etc.
- A breastfeeding mother eating or drinking foods that are high in acidity will cause acidic residue in her breast milk.
- When baby is teething, has diarrhoea or is unwell, his motions can become more acidic.
- Babyâ€™s bottom will become very inflamed, with possible spots/pimples and will be hot to the touch.
- The skin may even become raw and in bad cases the skin will be damaged by blisters.
- Eczema & dry patches will require very urgent treatment.Â Skin sensitive and effective ingredients which are found in Eli and You Baby Product Range will quickly soothe and restore babyâ€™s bottom.
Measures to prevent a nappy rash:
- Wet and soiled nappies should be removed immediately. Very young babies require changing 9 to 12 times a day, while older babies should be changed up to 7-9 times.
- The entire nappy area should be gently and thoroughly cleaned using slightly warm water, ensuring the wiping is from the front to the back. If baby wipes are used make sure they are free of any chemicals, perfume or preservatives.
- Lay your baby on a soft towel leaving the nappy off for as long as possible. The fresh air will dry babyâ€™s skin. Do this as often as you are able to.
- Once the nappy area has been cleaned and aired, apply a pure natural barrier balm which covers the entire area such as Eli & You Baby Barrier Balm, which will protect the skin from infection. When using towelling or cloth nappies, always ensure they have been washed and rinsed very well.
Treatment for nappy rash:
- Mild nappy rash will become infected by bacteria or fungus if you do not treat it immediately.
- If the rash becomes bright red with white or red pimples spreading to the folds of skin, bottom and tummy, it may be a thrush infection known as Candida. In this case it would be best to seek professional advice.
- Clean damaged skin very gently by dabbing the area with soft cotton balls moistened with pure salt water or a saline solution. Rather run warm water over the affected skin area, and do not wipe in cases of severe nappy rash.
- Your baby will be experiencing severe pain, so reducing his stress will help greatly and alleviate some discomfort.
- Lay baby on a towel after cleansing and let the sunlight fall on the affected area for a few minutes several times a day before 10a.m. or after 3p.m.
- Cover the affected area with a layer of nappy rash salve and a layer of Eli & You Baby Barrier Balm over this for added protection. Now put a clean, dry nappy on your baby.
- If using cloth or towelling nappies, it is imperative that you change baby as soon as he/she is wet so that the nappy area is always kept dry.
- If disposables are used make sure a quality product is used that has optimum effectiveness in absorbing all moisture ensuring that the nappy area is dry. Continue to be diligent in monitoring the condition of the nappy so that the dry state is maintained.