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Baby skin – diapering, massages & sun protection

Baby skin – diapering, massages & sun protection

 

hebamme vivian hält lächelnd ein baby

This post was created in collaboration with midwife Vivian.
Click here to read further information about midwife Vivian.

 

In this article you will learn tips and tricks on the subject of baby care. This includes the basics of swaddling, soothing massages for your little treasure and the use of an ideal sunscreen.

 

Gentle protection for your Baby’s bottom

Mom changing diapers with babyWith every diaper change, this area must be cleaned and, if necessary, treated with ointment. The skin is particularly exposed to moisture and bacteria here – the result can be redness and skin irritation.

We recommend warm water and Care Oil for the day-to-day cleansing of this area. After cleansing, the baby’s bottom should be dried thoroughly. Should your baby’s skin show any signs of redness, you should apply an ointment which protects baby’s skin.

The basics of diapering

When and how should diapers be changed? What products do you need? Many questions asked by young parents that probably interest you, too.

Here are a few tips that can make diapering easy:

  • In the colder seasons, turn on a heat lamp above the changing table.
  • Remove the soiled diaper.
  • Gently clean the diaper area – either with a damp washcloth, an oily cloth or a special baby wipe. For girls, always wipe from front to back to prevent fecal bacteria from entering the vagina. When swaddling boys, do not pull back the foreskin, as it is stuck to the glans. Always cover the penis with a diaper or cloth. This will prevent you from being “peed on.”
  • Let the skin dry or dab it dry.
  • Apply a nourishing diaper cream if needed.
  • Put on a new diaper.

Never leave the baby on the changing table unattended. Therefore, it is recommended to store all the necessary products within reach and ready before diapering.

To protect baby’s skin from irritation and rash, note the following:

  • Change the diaper frequently, because dry diapers prevent skin irritation.
  • The diaper should not be too tight – it fits perfectly if there is still a finger of space between the belly and the diaper.
  • After cleaning the diaper area, let your baby’s skin dry well or gently pat it dry.
  • Let your baby kick and move around without a diaper as often as possible to get plenty of air to the bottom.
  • Zinc cream for babies can be applied to the diaper area to prevent rashes. The ointment protects the skin by forming a barrier against moisture and excretions.
  • If the redness doesn’t go disappear after three days at the latest, contact your midwife.

 

Baby massage to soothe the baby and the skin

You can give your baby extra love through intense physical contact, such as massages. This is especially nice in the first months of life, because you can give your baby full attention and body contact.

Babymassage am BauchWith the help of a massage you can soothe and relax your baby.

For the massage you will need a towel to lay your baby on, a nourishing baby oil, everything for diapering and fresh clothes. The optimal room temperature for a massage is 23-24°C – a heat lamp or a fan heater can be helpful.

Put your baby on a towel with a pad. Watches and jewelry can get in the way and hurt the baby’s delicate skin – so better take them off. Warm your hands and the oil for the massage so they are nice and warm. The oil will help your hands glide more gently over the baby’s skin.

  • Put some baby oil in your palms and warm it up by rubbing your hands together.
  • Gently massage the oil into your baby’s skin. Start with the feet.
  • Massage each toe with gentle circular motions, pressing your thumbs gently against the soles of your feet as you do so.
  • Move over to the legs and gently squeeze the calves and thighs.
  • To massage the chest and abdominal area, place both hands flat on the center of the body. Move your hands very gently to the side along the ribs, as if you were smoothing the pages of a book. Bring your hands to the center in a heart-shaped motion without taking them off the baby’s body.
  • The same sequence of movements helps to relax your baby.
  • Baby massage should not last longer than 5-10 minutes for infants.

Cleaning the hair and scalp of your baby

For newborns, hair care is not so much about the hair, but about gently cleaning and massaging the scalp. It is enough to gently clean the baby’s stringy hair with bath water or a damp cloth. Then you should carefully dry the hair with a hair dryer. Make sure there is a distance of 40cm between the hair dryer and the baby. The wind should not be too strong and the air should not be too hot. Also, do not blow dry your baby naked, as there is a risk that he will pee and the urine stream will come into contact with the hair dryer.

For older babies, you can use a shampoo instead of water. Massage the shampoo into damp hair and rinse thoroughly. Be careful not to get shampoo in the baby’s eyes. You can prevent this by protecting the eyes with a washcloth.

 

Sun protection for the skin of babies and toddlers

Mama küsst baby auf Bauch

Especially for babies and toddlers, sunlight is important for bone and muscle development and the immune system. But too much sun is dangerous and can lead to sunburn.

Since young skin cannot yet protect itself as well as adult skin, it must be especially protected from UV rays.

Babies up to one year old should never be exposed to direct sunlight. Let older children get used to the sun slowly and use a high sunscreen with a very high sun protection factor (SPF 50+). For babies, only mineral sunscreens are recommended. Chemical sunscreens should be avoided.

Tips for ideal sun protection of your baby

  • Avoid the intense midday sun.
  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen before you and your baby go out in the sun. The less cream used, the less effective the protection.
  • Reapply cream to your baby and yourself regularly to maintain protection, especially after going in the water, drying off or sweating.
  • Protect babies and young children from direct sunlight and use protective clothing and a sunscreen with a high SPF. Even sunscreens with a high SPF cannot provide complete protection from UV rays.
  • Even if a sunscreen is used, do not spend too much time in the sun with your baby. Any burning of the skin will cause long-term damage and must be avoided!
    Excessive sunbathing poses a serious health risk.
  • Avoid contact of sunscreen products with clothing – the products can stain.
  • Also avoid contact with the eyes.
  • Wash off all sunscreens thoroughly after sunbathing, otherwise pores may become clogged.

Even if caring for your baby doesn’t seem easy at first, you don’t have to worry about doing something wrong. The care, cleaning and massage of your baby will be fun for both of you and will create an even closer bond!

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