Educating Today... For a Better Tomorrow
Organic Mama: Caring for Baby’s Sensitive Skin By Tami Main
here is nothing better than the brandnew, sweet, soft skin of a baby. When my daughter was born over six years ago and the nurse at the hospital handed her to me for her first bath, I was a bit overwhelmed. Was the water temperature too hot? Was she going to slip from my hands? How was I going to wash her delicate little head? Which products should I be using on my precious new baby? A baby’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than adult skin, which makes babies more susceptible to dryness and less resistant to infections. Although the skin of a baby is soft and supple, rashes and irritations are quite common. A baby’s skin produces less oil; therefore, it is not necessary to bathe them as often as adults. Babies also produce less melanin than adults, which makes them more prone to sunburn. Adult sunscreen is much too harsh for a baby; it is better to be cautious and keep your baby covered and out of direct sunlight. After six months of age, a baby should be able to tolerate a sunscreen specifically formulated for babies. Always check to make sure the ingredients are safe for your baby. If in doubt, consult
with your family physician. Some skin sensitivities may be due to allergic reactions. It is important to pay close attention to skincare products, foods, medications and any drinks you give to your baby. Other factors such as environment, seasonal changes, air conditioning, central heating, too much bathing and drying baby improperly after bathing may also contribute to skin irritations. At the age of three years, my daughter developed an allergy to dairy that caused her to break out in hives on her arms and legs. Over the past few years, she seems to have outgrown her allergy with limitations put on her intake of dairy products. Diligently checking ingredient lists to ensure your baby’s products do not contain fragrances, dyes and unnecessary chemicals should become second nature to new parents. Many popular brand-name baby products do not necessarily contain ingredients as safe as you would expect. If your baby is prone to skin irritations there are some additional suggestions we can provide to help determine the cause. Laundry detergent is a common culprit of skin sensitivities, as well as cleaning products used in the home. Be aware of what you are using on your laundry and in your
home. Any products that contain fragrances may be a concoction of several chemicals, which can irritate sensitive skin. Synthetic baby clothing fibres can also have this effect. If your baby has conditions such as eczema or dermatitis, a filtered shower head can be helpful as it filters the chlorine and dirt from baby’s bath water, helping ease the dry, sensitive skin patches. Bath water should always be warm and not hot. Cute temperature gauges to assess the temperature of the water before slipping baby into the bath are now available at many baby stores. As tempting as it may be to lather and slather your little one with products, less is always more when using skincare items on your baby. Tami Main is the director of Taslie Skin Care Ltd., based in Langley B.C. She specializes in producing natural and organic skincare products for babies and children. Special importance is placed on environmentally friendly packaging solutions. Contact her directly with any queries, questions or comments. She would love to hear from you and welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.taslie.com.
VISTA MAGAZINE ISSUE 78
Canada's favorite health magazine. Featuring interveiw with Canadian talk show host Marilyn Denis.