Winter weather can be tough on tender skin. The following tips will help you keep your baby’s skin soft and protected even in difficult weather conditions.
Before you leave the house
It’s good to get out of the house for fresh air and to visit friends, but babies are especially sensitive to temperature changes, so make sure your child isn’t too hot or too cold.
Top tip: Dress your baby in breathable layers, so you can easily add and remove layers as needed.
Weatherproof your buggy
It’s important that wind, rain and snow don’t find their way inside your pram or buggy. The last thing you want is for your baby to be lying in wet clothes for any period of time. Plenty of products are available online to keep out draughts and moisture, so make sure your baby is snug while you are out and about.
Top tip: A hands-free umbrella that attaches to the buggy will help keep you dry while allowing you full range of movement.
At bath time
Bath time provides an excellent opportunity to moisturise and nourish your baby’s skin. Choose sensitive bath products to ensure your baby’s skin doesn’t experience any adverse reactions, and bathe in lukewarm water. Make sure you dry him or her off carefully with a soft towel and have warm clothes close at hand.
Top tip: Apply baby lotion or cream after the bath to lock moisture in.
Protect your baby’s skin against:
- Heat rash. It might seem counterintuitive to protect against heat rash during cooler weather, but if your baby is constantly bundled up overheating can occur. Look out for itchy red bumps that appear when the sweat glands become clogged. While the rash will normally clear up by itself after just a few days, it may be worth asking your pharmacist if you need to apply 1% hydrocortisone cream to help with itchiness.
- Chapped lips. Runny noses and drooling can cause chapped lips, which occurs when the top layer of skin is broken down. It may be worth applying a thin layer of Vaseline or lip balm to protect your baby’s lip.
- Frostbite. Exposed hands and feet can be susceptible to frostbite, albeit usually in a mild form. This can make skin red and tender. Make sure your baby wears socks and mittens while you are out to avoid frostbite and contact your GP if symptoms persist.
- Chapped skin. The skin can crack if it becomes chapped, particularly on the face, bottom, backs of knees and folds in the elbows. If your baby’s skin is inflamed, use a thick moisturiser such as Vaseline or Eucerin to add an additional protective barrier.
- Eczema. Dry, itchy skin tends to run in the family. Babies with eczema have an insufficient barrier on their skin to keep moisture in and irritants out, and the condition tends to flare up more during the winter. Exposing your baby’s skin to water twice a day will help keep it hydrated. When you are bathing, use a non-soap-based cleanser on the underarms, backside, groin and feet, and use only water for the rest of the body. Within minutes of getting your baby out of the tub, apply a moisturising cream or ointment. If the eczema doesn’t improve, talk to your GP as your baby may require an anti-inflammatory cream.
- Flaky scalp. This is a common condition that occurs when the oil glands on the scalp go into overdrive. Greasy yellowish scales can cling to the scalp, hairline and the skin behind the ears. This condition is harmless and will clear up on its own by the time your baby is between six and eight months old, but there are steps you can take to help remove the scales. You could apply baby oil or olive oil to the scalp to loosen the flakes and carefully brush them out before shampooing. You can also buy dedicated cradle cap treatments over the counter.
- Nappy rash. The skin on your baby’s bottom is particularly vulnerable to moisture, heat and irritants. Check nappies regularly, and make sure they aren’t too tight or constricting. You may notice your baby’s bottom is red and tender once he or she starts on solid foods, which can initially cause irritation. Let your baby go naked every now and then to get some air to the area, and use Vaseline or Sudocrem to protect your baby’s skin from friction and moisture build-up.
- Yeast infection. Yeast grows in damp, warm spots such as the nappy area, but it can also thrive in skin folds, like those around the neck. Look out for a bright red rash with a sharp border of red bumps or blisters. If the irritation doesn’t clear up using ordinary creams and ointments, consult your GP, who may prescribe an anti-yeast cream.
Treats for your baby’s skin
Mustela provides a broad range of skin products for babies, as well as for new and expectant mothers. From general skincare, nappy change and bath time products to specific treatments for conditions such as eczema and cradle cap, the company has it all covered. We particularly recommend its Stelatopia range, which is perfect for dry skin with atopic tendencies.
The Little Butterfly London Nappy Balm offers excellent protection for your baby’s skin during winter. This chemical-free balm contains 18 organic, certified, pure essential oils that nourish deep into the epidermis. Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, it provides an excellent barrier for nappy rash and eczema, as well as for parents’ hands and faces.