Newborn skin - What not to do

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

Your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid in-utero and will have a layer of vernix (a waxy substance) which helps protect their skin from this fluid. Once baby is born, their body will begin to absorb the vernix which has moisturising and antimicrobial properties and is incredibly important to the health of their skin.

Initially, when born, the pH of your baby's skin is neutral however this will quickly change into an acidic pH within the first 16 hours of life - this process is incredibly vital as it helps protect your baby from infections.

You may notice that the first few layers of skin will start peeling off during their early days of life and this can last for weeks. Please don't be alarmed - this is completely normal and is all part of your baby's skin adapting to a new environment.

It's recommended that you avoid bathing your baby until their umbilical cord falls off. Remember that your little one's skin is delicate so they do not need to be bathed frequently.

There are small studies that are beginning to link the use of commercial products on newborn skin to an increase in skin disorders such as eczema amongst the population. Use only plain warm water and a wash cloth to clean your newborn and ideally, avoid any soaps and creams at least for the first 8 weeks of life as they may do more harm than good.

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