3. Remember the Tush
Diapered skin is often wet, exposed to a lot of friction from rubbing, and then there’s the poop. All can irritate baby’s skin. To take care of this sensitive area, change baby’s diaper frequently. Cleanse the area gently with disposable wipes that are alcohol- and fragrance-free, or a damp washcloth.
Let baby “air out” when possible, and use a barrier cream before strapping a diaper back on.
“A barrier ointment containing either zinc oxide or petroleum jelly should be applied liberally to the skin after every diaper change,” Dr. Theos says. It helps keep his skin from getting too wet and raw.
4. Be Careful With Baby’s Laundry
When washing baby clothes, use a detergent that is free from perfumes and dyes.
“Many brands carry a ‘free and clear’ product,” Dr. Theos says. “Fabric softener, in any form, should be avoided.”
And don’t save the “free and clear” product just for baby’s laundry -- use it for the entire family.
“A rash could appear anywhere on the body that is covered by clothing or on the face, due to contact with bedding or parents' clothing,” Dr. Theos says.
5. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Does that brand-new, soft baby skin need to be moisturized just like mom’s and dad’s? Yes. Dr. Theos says to use a fragrance-free emollient cream or ointment immediately after the bath to prevent dry skin.
Moisturize his skin more frequently if it’s dry, during winter months, or if he has eczema.
“Creams and ointments are preferred over lotions, which are more likely to irritate a newborn's skin,” Dr. Theos says.
In cool, dry, winter climates, Dr. Badreshia-Bansal advises parents to use heavy moisturizing cream on their babies at least twice a day. “The greasier, the better,” she says.