Babies & Children
A baby’s skin is 6 times thinner than an adult's.
In the womb, your baby is covered with wax-like coating called vernix, which looks cheese-like. After birth, the vernix helps balance the skin's pH, protects newborns from becoming scaly or dehydrted, and is believed to have an antibacterial properties. Either way, it's a good thing! But because it looks funny, it is often removed immediately after birth with some vigorous scrubbing. It is a very healthy coating and should slough off naturally during the first couple of weeks of life. Let it be!
Don't let the nasties in!
Parents want to actively support the health of their babies and young children, but tend to overlook the role the skin plays in the immune system. Unfortunately, many don't understand the importance of finding products that are designed to address the critical issue of prevention of chemical exposure.
Baby skin is much more permeable than adult skin because it is so thin (6 times thinner than yours!). This heightened permeability at birth means incredible sensitivity to chemicals that can be passed transdermally into the bloodstream. Translation... what goes on the skin ends up in the body (and this applies to us adults as well). For the first 3 months of life, water is perfectly adequate for cleansing baby's skin. Bath products and cleansers are unnecessary and mostly harmful. Moisturisers are needed and should be completely natural.
Please also note, if you can stick to using water (with cottonwool or a cloth) for cleaning during nappy changes, you will notice that a natural moisturiser like Baby Stella's Butter is adequate as a nappy barrier.
Using commercial nappy wipes has a double-whammy on baby's skin - it means that you first load your baby's skin with damaging chemical residues that compromise the skin... and then you need to add more chemicals to 'neutralise' the original chemicals. It can make you dizzy just thinking about that vicious cylce!
Has your little one made it into rugby league?
Here's the thing... it's very unlikely that your baby is out all day getting muddy doing touch-downs on a rugby pitch! Frequent baths are not necessary and can actually damage the integrity of baby's skin. Spot-cleanse baby when needed and only give a full bath twice a week.
Babies do not sweat. Also, their urine is dilute compared to adults. So keeping the face/eyes clean using a clean cloth/cotton wool, and keeping the nappy area clean is sufficient as a daily routine. Plain water, as harmless as it is, does not need to be on your baby’s skin each day because new born skin should be left undisturbed for as long as possible. New born skin is so balanced, that if left undisturbed it needs nothing extra on it.
For nappy changes, using cotton wool and water will mean that a nourishing moistuiriser like Baby Stella’s Butter will be good enough even for the nappy area. You will very rarely need nappy cream.
Mama Stella’s top top tip
The best start you can give your baby’s skin is breastfeeding. It’s much more than just getting a certain amount of nutrients into your little one’s body.
The main thing about breastmilk is that it is ‘alive’… it has enzymes, and anti-bodies, and love!
Breastfeeding is the most rewarding, protective (and exhausting!) thing you can do for your child’s health. Mama Stella says… every sleep-deprived night was worth it! If you can, go for it!!!
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