Most babies don't need much on their bodies - in fact too much cream and powder will only clog up their delicate skin. In addition, the typical commercial products contain numerous additives and substances that are potential allergens and should be avoided.
This is especially so for children with inherited skin conditions and allergies resulting in dryness, eczema and rashes.
Here are a few simple things that you can do to keep your baby's skin healthy and baby happy.
The best thing to do is to take the diapers off! Fresh air is often all that's needed to clear a case of simple diaper rash. Prolonged case of diaper rash could indicate a fungal or bacterial infection, or allergies, and should be checked by a doctor.
If your child is particularly prone to nappy rash, consider using 100% cotton diapers in conjunction with a natural herbal salve. There are now a wonderful selection of cute cloth diapers that, instead of using synthetic gel to soak up baby's urine, use natural hemp or wool soakers. Not only are they breathable and comfortable, they are also resuable, saving you a great deal of money.
Alternatively, you can consider doing without diapers all together and do what our grandparents used to do - learn baby's toilet cues and teach baby the appropriate cues to use the potty. Babies as young as three months can learn to associate certain sounds with peeing. Through careful observation, you can also learn your baby's body language and rhythm to know his or her needs.
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Go Talc-free Baby powders are used to absorb moisture, reduce chafing, and to keep baby smelling fresh. Most commercial baby powder are little more than talc and artificial fragrances. While harmless on the skin, talc is believed to be carcinogenic once it enters the body system, such as through accidental inhalation or use on the genital area. MUMS, please note that research has found a strong link between usage of talc powder in the genital area and incidence of ovarian cancers.
The most common natural replacements for talc powder are cornstarch and white clay. Slippery elm root powder can be added for its skin-calming properties and to add extra silkness to the powder. To fragrance, simply add a tiny bit of your preferred essential oil, bearing in mind that essential oils are very concentrated. (Note: cornstarch should not be used if a fungal infection is present as it will feed the infection.)
Natural balms and herbal salves of chamomile, calendula, comfrey and lavender will soothe, heal and protect baby's sensitive skin. Instead of mineral oils, the good ones are often made with expensive beeswax which protects the skin from moisture without clogging it up, and has a softening quality.
Use Quality Oils Touch is essential to a baby's development and well-being and a good quality oil is indispensable in caring for your baby.
Instead of mineral oil and artificial fragrances, (yes, most commercial baby oils are just that!) use natural oils on your little ones. Almond oil, sesame oil, and jojoba oil are some of the most common choices. A rarer find is macadamia oil. It is the least allergenic of all nut oils, is highly compatible with human skin and has a unique penetrative, and calming quality not found in other oils. Macadamia oil is especially good for babies with dry skin, and cranky babies. For those with nut allergy, cold-pressed olive oil can be used.
Before mastering walking, babies tend to get chafed and roughened knees and feet from crawling so much on the ground. Some mothers like to rub some oil into these chafed areas before baby's sleeping times to help to soften and protect the chafed skin.
When baby is learning to walk, you can try what the Filipinos and Indonesians have been doing for generations - massage baby's legs daily. It is believed to help strengthen the calf muscles as well as relax the tired muscles after a hard day of learning how to walk. Very thoughtful! You can do the same for your baby by squeezing gently along baby's legs and feet before nap-time and bed-time. Use a soothing natural oil to turn it into a lovely bedtime routine. Most babies (and adults) love it!
Bath-time Simplicity In our hot tropical weather, babies are usually bathed daily when young, and twice a day when they start crawling and are more active. However too much soap and washing can be very drying for baby's fine skin.
To keep prickly heat rash and sweat at bay, consider giving baby the occasional soap-free bath. You can turn this into a midday playtime activity. Make the water a little cooler than usual, provide some simple bath-time toys, and let baby splash away.
When using soap, choose an all-natural sulphate-free option which will not harm baby's skin. Use just enough to work up a lather in your hands and then apply on baby.
Bubble baths are fun, but many products out there are unnecessarily harsh, using industrial chemicals to produce the much desired bubbles. Fortunately, gentler alternatives are now available in Singapore. Shop around, look at the labels, choose wisely and save it for a special treat.