Winter weather can be tough on the skin – that goes double for infants and toddlers. Moisture from sweat, drool, and diaper waste can further increase the odds of a baby experiencing dry, flaky, red, itchy, irritated skin. Protect your baby’s sensitive and tender skin with help from these winter weather infant skin-care tips.
1. Avoid Extreme Conditions Whenever Possible
Outings can be fun for you and baby, but spending too much time in the cold can quickly lead to dry or chapped skin. As such, parents are encouraged to limit their baby’s exposure to extreme conditions. Avoid outings if it is simply too cold to go out, and if you do have to go out, limit the amount of time you spend outdoors.
2. Bundle Baby in Layers
When you do have to venture out, it’s important that you keep baby nice and warm. Bundle them up with a hat, gloves, shoes, and a coat or snowsuit. Just be sure to remove their outerwear before you place them in their car seat, as bulky clothing can prevent the straps from working correctly in a crash. To protect baby’s skin from moisture-related issues (chapping from wet skin, yeast infections, heat rash, etc.), be sure to dress them in breathable layers that can be easily removed if they get overheated from all the layers.
3. Moisturize Often
A good moisturizer can treat dry or irritated skin, so you should definitely use one if your baby’s skin is dry, scaly, red, cracked, or inflamed, but it also offers an ounce of protection from the elements. Apply everywhere after a bath, but also to areas that are vulnerable (cheeks, lips, hands, etc.) before venturing out into the cold. The best kinds to use are those that do not simply seep into the skin, such as those with a petroleum or shea butter base. Experts also recommend avoiding any products that contain perfumes or dyes, as they can actually irritate skin.
4. Use Water to Add More Moisture
Water is nature’s perfect moisturizer, and you can use it to help your baby’s skin. Apply it at least once a day (twice if your baby suffers from eczema) to vulnerable areas and then apply moisturizer (within a minute of drying). Be sure to use lukewarm water though, as hot water can irritate and dry out your baby’s skin.
5. Change Your Thinking on Soap
Soap is meant to cleanse away germs and bacteria, but it can dry out the skin further if used in sensitive areas – especially if used too frequently. With infants and toddlers, only use soap on their armpits, hands, feet, and diaper area. Use plain water to cleanse everywhere else. Also be sure to check your soap for added dyes or perfumes, as these can irritate and dry the skin out.
6. Pay Special Attention to Baby’s Mouth Area
The mouth area is a breeding ground for moisture – drool, snot, you name it! Because of this, parents are encouraged to pay special attention to this area of the face. Wipe it clear of moisture when it gets to be excessive, use lip balm before you go out and at home, and consider using a car seat cover or stroller cover any time you are out and about.
7. Continue to Use Sunscreen
We often associate sunscreen with warm, summer days but it’s needed in the winter, too! The sun can reflect off snow and ice, and the lack of protection from shade trees means you and baby are constantly exposed to the sun’s rays when you’re outdoors. So, if you’re going to be outdoors for a while, make sure to apply a layer of sunscreen to baby’s exposed skin.