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Baby Cosmetics - What is wise?

Children of today have not only infections to deal with but also allergies, rashes and problems with the respiratory system. A wide variety of chemical irritants are to be blamed for this.

Your baby does not need to be bathed daily; providing a full range of shampoos, lotions and creams is not necessary.

A word about Baby Products

Baby skin specialists have expressed concerns in the rise in asthma, eczema and other skin allergies and have linked them to baby soaps, shampoos and lotions. Findings suggest that baby products are not necessarily less irritating than products formulated for adults. It helps if parents keep in mind that healthy baby skin produces its own oils and hence do not need to rely on external oils or lotions. But yes, you will need to use these lubricants if the skin has been dried out by bath additives or too much soap. The point here is to resist depending too much on sweet-smelling baby cosmetics and restrict your purchases to the essentials, especially in the early days.

Your baby's skin is thinner and more sensitive than yours and will scald very, very easily. The water should be roughly your body temperature - test this by putting your elbow in.

As your baby gets older and bigger and smellier you will need mild shampoo or baby wash (the hypo-allergenic varieties) to keep your baby's skin and hair clean and lotions to keep the skin moist, and that usually doesn't happen until your baby is about 8 weeks old. Till then all you really need is warm water. Daily wash of hands, face and bottom (topping and tailing) is a good idea since a new baby doesn't get very dirty except for the face and neck from dribbled milk and the nappy area. Daily full bath is not necessary; cleaning the face and bottom once or twice a day takes care of baby's hygiene. Bathing your baby a few times a week is sufficient.

Drowning is a common cause of death in babies and young children, who can drown in an inch of water. Never ever leave your baby alone in a bath even for a second.

Some points to help you decide on what to use and what to avoid:

• A newborn skin appears dry and peeling in the initial days after birth. Since this will go away on its own it is not necessary to apply lotion to baby's skin.

• Few infants need shampoo on their hair, regardless of a full head of hair or not. You can use a wet washcloth on the scalp unless your doctor orders differently. Once or twice a week a non-irritating shampoo or soap can be used.

• For the body use baby bath products sparingly, if at all. Start washing the face with a plain wet washcloth, then you may use a mild soap for washing the rest of the body.

• Strong soaps or bubble baths can cause nappy rash as can wipes containing alcohol. Instead of wipes it is better to use cotton balls and water to clean the nappy area.

• Avoid using powder on your baby; he could breathe in a cloud of powder which could be irritating to his respiratory tract or form clumps in the creases and irritate his skin.

• A barrier cream is not usually necessary unless your baby has very sensitive skin or a nappy rash, in which case it works to soothe and protect the skin. Once your baby's bottom has healed it is better to allow the skin to breathe.

• Most newborns have not yet acquired the love of water and nakedness that an older baby loves - they don't like getting wet and being naked for too long. Concentrating on the parts that need cleaning will help keep crying to a minimum; bathing 2 to 3 times a week is fine.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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