How Do I Care for a Baby with Sensitive Skin?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Some laundry detergents can cause skin reactions in baby's with sensitive skin.
Some laundry detergents can cause skin reactions in baby's with sensitive skin.

It may seem like a good idea to bathe a baby with sensitive skin to rid them of germs, but this can actually be counterproductive. Bathing a baby frequently can rob the baby's skin of natural lipids and oils that moisturize the skin and keep the baby comfortable. When bathing the baby with sensitive skin, use only the mildest soap available, and do not bathe the baby as frequently. Every other day or longer should be sufficient for the baby, and this will ensure the skin stays healthy and moisturized.

Precautions must be taken when caring for a baby with sensitive skin.
Precautions must be taken when caring for a baby with sensitive skin.

Diaper rash is a common occurrence on babies with sensitive skin as the skin becomes irritated by the rubbing of the diaper. If possible, allow the baby plenty of time to be without a diaper. Allowing the rash to breathe will help reduce it and prevent discomfort for the child. If necessary, apply a small amount of baby moisturizer to the area and allow it to stay on the affected area for an extended period of time. Be sure to use moisturizers that are fragrance free and alcohol free, as these components can cause discomfort for the baby with sensitive skin.

Baby powder should be avoided for a few days to see if it helps a baby with sensitive skin.
Baby powder should be avoided for a few days to see if it helps a baby with sensitive skin.

If you are using baby powder on the baby with sensitive skin after a bath, try going without it for a few days and see if conditions improve. Most baby powders contain talc, which can be irritating for a baby with sensitive skin, and the powder can actually cause respiratory problems in the child if not used properly. The powder can also build up and clump, leading to even more discomfort for the child. Letting the baby air dry is the best option, as this allows for more moisture to be retained by the skin and it avoids the use of irritants that can cause more problems for the baby.

Wet or soiled diapers should be changed frequently, especially in babies who have sensitive skin.
Wet or soiled diapers should be changed frequently, especially in babies who have sensitive skin.

Pay special attention to how you are washing the baby's clothing. Detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets can all leave chemical traces behind in the clothes, which can lead to skin irritation for the baby. Wash the clothing with only the mildest detergents, and avoid any other chemicals. If possible, do not do laundry at a laundromat where other chemical residues might be present in the machines.

Moisturizers with fragrances or alcohol can cause discomfort for babies with sensitive skin.
Moisturizers with fragrances or alcohol can cause discomfort for babies with sensitive skin.

Avoid too much sun exposure for the baby as well. Sunburn can dry out skin, cause pain and irritation for the baby, and even raise the risk of skin cancer later on in life for the child. Babies should always be protected from the sun with hats, clothing, and other protective devices; some sun exposure is okay, but do not let the baby be exposed to sun for prolonged periods of time.

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    • Some laundry detergents can cause skin reactions in baby's with sensitive skin.
      Some laundry detergents can cause skin reactions in baby's with sensitive skin.
    • Precautions must be taken when caring for a baby with sensitive skin.
      Precautions must be taken when caring for a baby with sensitive skin.
    • Baby powder should be avoided for a few days to see if it helps a baby with sensitive skin.
      Baby powder should be avoided for a few days to see if it helps a baby with sensitive skin.
    • Wet or soiled diapers should be changed frequently, especially in babies who have sensitive skin.
      Wet or soiled diapers should be changed frequently, especially in babies who have sensitive skin.
    • Moisturizers with fragrances or alcohol can cause discomfort for babies with sensitive skin.
      Moisturizers with fragrances or alcohol can cause discomfort for babies with sensitive skin.
    • Certain fabric softeners and dryer sheets may lead to skin irritation.
      Certain fabric softeners and dryer sheets may lead to skin irritation.
    • Parents may allow their baby to go without a diaper for a short period of time to encourage tender skin to breathe.
      Parents may allow their baby to go without a diaper for a short period of time to encourage tender skin to breathe.
    • Many experts believe that it is not necessary to use baby skin care products on a newborn's skin.
      Many experts believe that it is not necessary to use baby skin care products on a newborn's skin.