Cleaning, care and massage of baby skin
This post was created in collaboration with midwife Vivian.
Click here to read further information about midwife Vivian.
Baby skin – a sensitive cloak
Babies are born perfect little humans, but unlike adults, their baby skin lacks important protective functions.
Baby skin is different from adult skin because its top layer is about 20% thinner. In the first months of life, your baby’s skin lets through more moisture and dries out faster, making it more susceptible to irritation. These irritations can lead to inflammation due to pathogens, bacteria and dirt. Therefore, you should protect your baby’s skin from drying out with special care during this time.
Sensitive baby skin needs special care and protection in the first year of life. That is why it is so important to use baby care products that are tailored to the special needs of sensitive skin.
Care – soft skin, gentle protection
The ideal care products for sensitive baby skin contain a mixture of carefully selected ingredients. However, to ensure the best possible results, the products must be used correctly.
- Creams and lotions should not be applied too thickly to avoid blocking the pores and causing skin impurities.
- The diaper area requires special protection. A protective ointment prevents skin irritation, but should not be applied too thickly. Let your baby crawl without a diaper as often as possible, so that plenty of air gets to the bottom.
- Bathing is better than washing. Moisturizing bath supplements prevent the skin from drying out.
Gentle protection for your Baby’s bottom
With 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.
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Product tips for changing diapers
How to clean baby’s skin – washing, drying, applying cream and oil
Most babies love the experience of a warm bath as it is reminiscent of the time spent in the womb. The bath supplements from sanosan are the ideal choice for enhancing this experience. They protect delicate baby skin from drying out and dissolve liposoluble substances such as cream residue from the skin.
Here are a few more tips:
- Bathing is gentler than washing and promotes baby’s well-being
- Optimal duration: 5-10 minutes
- Optimal water temperature: 36-37°C
- Until baby starts crawling, max. two baths a week are enough
- Never leave a baby or toddler alone in the bath!
- Your baby’s head should rest securely on your forearm
- There are also baby tubs – in which babies feel particularly safe and secure
After the bath, you should dry your baby gently and apply some cream, lotion or baby oil. They contain substances that calm and protect the skin. Combined with a gentle massage, this helps to foster the emotional connection between you and your baby.
Product tips for cleansing and care
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Mild soap for gently cleaning baby's skin. With soft, creamy foam. 99 % ingredients of natural origin.
Ideal for gently and easily cleaning baby's face and nappy zone between baths. 93 % ingredients of natural origin.
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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.
With 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 (e.g. sanosan Baby Care 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.
- Place a little oil into your palms and warm it up by rubbing your hands together.
- Gently massage the oil into your baby’s skin, starting with the feet.
- Massage each toe with gentle circular movements, press your thumb gently against the soles of the feet.
- Move up to the legs, pressing the calves and thighs gently.
- To massage the chest and stomach area, place both hands flat on the middle of the body. Move your hands gently to the side along the ribs, as if smoothing down the pages of a book. Guide your hands to the middle in a heart-shaped motion without taking them off your baby’s body.
- Using the same sequence of motions each time helps to relax your baby.
- The baby massage should not last more than 5-10 minutes for infants.
Cleaning your baby’s hair
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, you should not blow dry your baby naked, because 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 shampoo. Massage the shampoo into the damp hair and rinse it out thoroughly. Try to make sure that no shampoo gets into your baby’s eyes. You can prevent this by protecting the eyes with a wash cloth.
Product tips for cleaning your baby’s hair
Sun protection for babies and toddlers
For babies and young children in particular, sunlight is important for bone and muscular development and the immune system. Yet too much sunshine is dangerous and can cause sunburn.
Since young skin is not as effective at protecting itself 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 gradually and use a sunscreen with a high SPF factor (e.g. sanosan Baby Sun Cream SPF 50+). For babies, only mineral sunscreens are recommended. Chemical sunscreens should be avoided.
Tips for ideal sun protection
- Avoid the intense midday sun.
- Apply a generous amount of sun cream before going out into the sun. The less cream used, the less effective the protection offered.
- Reapply cream on a regular basis to maintain protection, especially after going in the water, after drying off or after sweating.
- Protect babies and infants from direct sunlight and use protective clothing and a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor. Even sunscreens with a high SPF cannot offer complete protection from UV rays.
- Even when using a sunscreen, you should not spend too long in the sun with your baby. Each time the skin is burnt, this causes long-term damage and must therefore be avoided!
- Excessive sunbathing presents a serious risk to health.
- Avoid contact with clothing – this product may cause stains.
- Avoid contact with eyes.
- Wash off all sunscreens thoroughly after sunbathing, otherwise pores can 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!