Want to raise a happy & healthy Baby?
Updated on 3 November 2023
Even before parents welcome a baby into the world, they start preparing for its arrival. From stocking up on diapers and wipes and selecting the choicest of tiny clothes to navigating the baby aisle and choosing baby skin care products. But when it comes to your baby’s skincare, not just any random product would do. You need to be extra careful in avoiding ingredients that may do your newborn any harm and selecting those ingredients that will offer your baby the tender care it needs.
So, before you begin to feel overwhelmed with the extraordinary task of nurturing and safeguarding your little one in every way possible, we have prepared a comprehensive guide for you. In this guide, you will find which skincare essentials you need for your newborn, ingredients to avoid and look for in baby care products and buying tips to help you choose the best baby skin care products on the baby aisle.
There are certain essentials that you will need in the first few hours and days after the birth of your baby. Since you never know when your baby might decide it’s time to arrive in your life, it’s better to have these newborn must-haves on hand. So, to avoid last-minute panic and store runs, here are some essentials you might want to buy before you give birth:
While your baby’s first run-in with water will most likely occur shortly after birth at the hospital, you will be giving them their first bath once home. Some parents prefer to use baby soap for this purpose while others have switched to baby body wash. A body wash may prove to be gentler on your newborn’s skin compared to a soap, which may dry their skin if overused.
Nowadays, several baby body washes function as head-to-toe cleansers or 2-in-1 body wash & shampoo. So, if you usually run low on time, then these multipurpose body washes might just be your savior.
Once you have bathed your little one, don’t forget to moisturize their delicate skin. Whether you give a sponge bath or draw them a proper bath, it’s important to nourish their skin with a gentle baby lotion. But remember, not to lather them up in the body lotion, just a tiny bit for your tiny tot.
A newborn’s skin is super gentle but their face even more so. As a result, it’s wiser to not use baby lotion or oil on their face but a face cream. So, no matter how many hands pull their cheeks or how many cool breezes nip their nose, a face cream will help safeguard their smile.
Once your baby’s umbilical cord stump has fallen off, it’s time to start those baby massage sessions. But with countless massage oils to choose from, how to know which is the best for your little one? It’s best to have a few options at your disposal such as extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil or Lakshadi oil. Remember to massage your baby once every day, before or after a bath.
Just as you need a lotion to moisturize your baby’s skin after a bath, you need a hair oil to nourish their hair. Whether your baby has scanty hair or a head full of luscious locks, you need a hair oil to keep that hair growing and glowing. Applying a hair oil can help support hair growth and promote scalp health as well.
For all those summer babies out there battling heat, humidity, sweat and rashes, a baby powder can come to their rescue. But make sure to use a talc-free baby powder for your little one and keep it away from their face and intimate body parts.
Babies demand diapers and diapers draw rashes. So, as you start stocking up on diapers, don’t forget to buy a diaper rash cream that can help prevent and treat diaper rashes. Make it a part of your baby’s diaper-changing routine to ensure moisture stays out and a wet diaper doesn’t irritate your baby’s bum.
Last but not the least, you will be needing a gentle laundry detergent to wash your baby’s clothes. And if rumours are to be believed, then newborns tend to dirty their clothes much too often. So, invest in a mild laundry detergent that’s easy on your baby’s skin but tough on stains.
Now that you know which essentials you need in your newborn’s skincare arsenal, it’s time to find out which ingredients you need to steer clear of while buying these products. Here are some ingredients to watch out for:
Fragrances, even those labeled as "natural" or "gentle," can contain a mix of undisclosed chemicals that may irritate your baby's sensitive skin. So, try choosing fragrance-free products.
Parabens, such as methylparaben and propylparaben, are preservatives used in many skincare products. But they may disrupt your baby’s skin’s pH balance and irritate their gentle skin.
Phthalates are chemicals often used to make fragrances stick to the skin. But these can be absorbed through your baby’s skin and may cause developmental and reproductive issues.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are foaming agents found in many soaps and shampoos. However, they can be harsh on your newborn’s skin, leading to dryness and irritation.
Artificial colorants can be harsh and irritating to your baby's skin. Look for products without added colors.
These occlusive agents can create a barrier on the skin, preventing it from breathing and potentially trapping in moisture or impurities. So, it's best to avoid them for your baby.
Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, like DMDM hydantoin and imidazolidinyl urea, can release small amounts of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. These must be avoided in baby products.
High concentrations of alcohol can be drying and irritating to a baby's sensitive skin. Look for products with gentle, moisturizing ingredients instead.
Talcum powder can pose a risk when inhaled and has been associated with respiratory issues. It's best to avoid products containing talc, particularly for baby powders.
Avoid products with strong detergents and surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate, which can strip natural oils from your baby's skin.
While it’s important to avoid certain harmful ingredients from baby care products, it’s also good to know certain ingredients that are beneficial for your newborn. Here are some ingredients to look for in newborn baby skin care products:
Glycerin is a natural humectant that helps to maintain the skin's moisture balance, keeping it hydrated without clogging pores.
Aloe vera is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for calming any redness or irritation on your baby's skin.
Shea butter is a rich, nourishing emollient that provides deep hydration and helps to protect the skin's natural barrier.
Colloidal oatmeal is finely ground oats that help to relieve itching and soothe dry or irritated skin. It's especially beneficial for babies with eczema.
Jojoba oil is a gentle, natural moisturizer that mimics the skin's own sebum, making it suitable for sensitive skin.
Coconut oil has moisturizing and antibacterial properties, which can help prevent skin infections and maintain skin hydration.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help protect the skin from damage and support overall skin health.
Zinc oxide or Yashad Bhasma is a gentle ingredient that provides protection against rashes and irritation, making it ideal for diaper rash creams.
Now that you are fully equipped with the knowledge of which products to buy for your newborn, here are some tips to help you prepare a skincare bundle for your little bundle of joy:
Safety should be the foremost consideration. Look for products specifically formulated for newborns and labeled as gentle, hypoallergenic, and pediatrician-approved.
Examine the ingredient list carefully. Look for products with natural and soothing ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, and calendula. Avoid products with harsh chemicals, fragrances, and dyes.
Products with easy-to-use, one-handed dispensers can be convenient during diaper changes and bath time. You will find that pump and bottle dispensers are much easier and safer to use than jars or tubs.
Read online reviews and ask for recommendations from pediatricians, friends, or family members who have experience with baby skin care.
As you begin this extraordinary journey of parenthood, remember that every baby is unique, and you are your child's foremost guardian. Trust your instincts, stay vigilant, and seek the advice of healthcare professionals whenever needed. Stay informed, always check the ingredients and seek guidance from fellow parents as you buy baby skin care products. Welcome to the incredible world of parenthood!
1. Skin care for your baby. (2007). Paediatr Child Health.
2. Coret CD, Suero MB, Tierney NK. (2014). Tolerance of natural baby skin-care products on healthy, full-term infants and toddlers. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol.
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