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Cold Weather Skincare: Protecting Baby’s Sensitive Skin

December 3, 2012

IMG_5504Whether it’s the cool, crisp air outside, or the dry, recirculated heat indoors, you and your family have probably been reaching for the lip balm and hand lotion a bit more frequently than usual. If you’re feeling the effects of cold, dry weather on your skin, imagine the stress it can put on a newborn’s delicate skin and lips.

The first signs of cold weather’s effect on your baby’s skin may appear on her cheeks, her bottom, or in the folds of her skin on her arms, wrists, legs, and ankles. Red, dry, cracked skin needs moisture as soon as possible, so make sure to have a product with petroleum jelly on hand. A product like Aquaphor or Vaseline will allow chapped areas to heal, and, when applied continuously, will prevent chapped skin from recurring, by creating a moisture barrier. And when going out into cold, dry, and especially windy weather, bundle up your baby to protect her from the elements, remembering that cheeks, ears, and fingers need protection, too!

Your baby’s lips may be much more susceptible to chapping than your own. Drooling, lip-licking, and moisture from a runny nose can cause baby’s lips to dry out easily and render them prone to painful redness and cracking. You can use Aquaphor or other petroleum-based products on lips to protect them. If you’re hesitant to use petroleum products on her lips due to the fact that she may ingest them, you can find natural, baby-friendly balms at your local health food store.

On the flip side of these risks is the risk of heat rash during winter months. If a baby is bundled tightly for a long period of time and begins to overheat, a bumpy, itchy heat rash can occur. Hydrocortisone products can help to treat it, and wrapping your baby in breathable layers is a great way to prevent this rash in the first place.

And remember, while it may not worry you at other times of the year when your baby pulls off her socks and mittens, keep a close watch on those items when you’re out about in the cold. Attaching socks, mittens, and even hats with ties or clips can keep your baby covered at all times.

With a vigilant eye and the right products in tow, you should be able to keep baby’s skin issues under control this winter. Watch out for redness, peeling, and cracking, and act fast when you see skin irritation forming!

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