Your Baby & Toddler - - The Dossier -

To wash your baby, go as del­i­cate as pos­si­ble. “Of course, prod­ucts made specif­i­cally for ba­bies are great. Min­eral oil or jelly (a petroleum byprod­uct), such as com­mer­cially sold baby oil or petroleum jelly, is a good skin bar­rier. It is even used to treat atopic der­mati­tis, and it is non ir­ri­tat­ing, an em­molient (soft­ener), and does not block pores. It is chem­i­cally in­ert – so its un­likely to cause skin re­ac­tions – and it’s more sta­ble than most plant oils. Creams that are oc­clu­sive, con­tain­ing ce­ramides or aqua­por­ings, are ex­cel­lent. Even bar­rier creams con­tain­ing zinc can be very ef­fec­tive,” says der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Rakesh Ne­waj.

Lastly, do not keep baby in the bath for very long pe­ri­ods of time: “This causes the nat­u­ral mois­tur­is­ing fac­tors to dis­solve and the skin be­comes drier,” says Dr Ne­waj. “Mois­turise soon af­ter a bath, as this seals in the hu­mid­ity and keeps the skin mois­turised for longer. Also, do not bath your baby too of­ten (like, sev­eral times a day) as this causes loss in the nat­u­ral mois­tur­is­ing fac­tors.”

“Eczema of­ten de­vel­ops within the first year of life and can be eas­ily treated if iden­ti­fied,” notes Dr Ne­waj. “But do not start by re­strict­ing foods if you no­tice a skin rash. The best is to con­sult a skin spe­cial­ist, be­cause it is rare that foods are the causes of skin rashes.”

As your baby gets older and more ro­bust, you can let down your guard a lit­tle. Still main­tain a good clean­ing regime, “with no overzeal­ous clean­ing and no dry­ing with harsh tow­els,” says Dr Ne­waj.

This wash and sham­poo is soap free to en­sure that baby’s eyes don’t burn. Good Nights Head to Toe Wash (R64,99 for 500ml) and Spe­cial Baby Sham­poo (R64,99 for 500ml) from all big re­tail­ers and baby stores.

Try Pu­rity & El­iz­a­beth Anne’s Ev­ery­day Bum Cream en­riched with zinc ox­ide (R39,95 for 100ml and R32,95 for 50ml) to pre­vent nappy rash. Get it at Dis-chem, baby stores and phar­ma­cies.

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