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Many new parents make the mistake of assuming that their baby’s skin is hydrated enough because it’s so soft. But without proper skin care, babies are susceptible to a myriad of different skin problems, like dry, flaky, sensitive skin.
Baby skin loses moisture faster than adult skin because the epidermis (the top layer) isn’t as attached to the dermis (the layer below) (1). Babies’ skin is also thinner, which makes it more sensitive, often reacting to the slightest environmental stressors(2).
That’s why experts recommend moisturizing baby skin every single day. If your baby’s skin is extra dry, moisturize twice a day, especially after a diaper change. Try a baby lotion for sensitive skin like Cetaphil Baby Ultra Soothing Lotion with Shea Butter. Don’t just target the dry spots; make sure you cover as much surface area as you can because babies tend to move around a lot(3).
Moisturize your baby’s skin through a regular massage session. Infant massage, which incorporates physical touch, eye contact and vocal communication, has been proven to strengthen the emotional bond between parent and child. Here are a few simple steps for a soothing massage time:
• Start by applying baby lotion or baby massage oil to your baby’s palm
• Massage the lotion or oil into your baby’s palms in a circular motion
• Repeat the same movement on the back of your baby’s hands, and then slowly move up the arms
• Gently tug on each of your baby’s fingers, and then move on to the legs
• Spend the rest of the time using the same motions to rub the rest of your baby’s body
Watch your baby closely to see how he or she responds to your touch. If the baby seems restless or agitated, stop and try again another time.
1. Stamatas GN, et al. Int J Cosmet Sci 2011; 33:17–24
2. Telofski LS, et al. Dermatol Res Pract 2012;2012:198789; Walters RM, et al. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2016; 29:111–118