Congratulations, your little one is home safe and sound! They’re feeding, sleeping (well, sorta) and have you wrapped around their teeny tiny finger already.
But beyond the basics of food, cot and cuddles your baby has additional requirements, like delicate skin that needs to be cared for and managed.
Nappy rash, cradle cap and milk spots are just some of the normal issues to look out for. Here’s how to spot and care for them:
1. Nappy rash
All babies get nappy rash at some point or another, so don’t fret or feel guilty if your little one has the tell-tale red rash or bumps on their bottom or inner thighs. Nappy rash can occur for a myriad of reasons: if baby’s skin is exposed to damp conditions for too long; because of the constant chafing of the nappy against their sensitive skin; or due to the ammonia from baby’s urine reacting with their delicate skin, causing it to ‘burn’. And as well as this, antibiotics or a sudden change in diet can bring about a dose of it, so don’t rule them out if your little one’s bum is more irritated than usual.
Nappy rash care plan
Cotton reusable nappies are a great choice – even to alternate with disposables – as the natural material allows skin to breathe. However, ensure they’re washed in a dermatologically-tested detergent for sensitive skin, like Fairy Non Bio. The range has been accredited by the Skin Health Alliance, while tests have shown clothes washed in Fairy are as kind next to skin as water.
Also, avoid harsh soaps when washing your baby’s bottom, as they’ll strip the natural oils away, making it sorer. We recommend smearing the affected area with coconut oil – it’s gentle, anti-fungal and will act as an effective moisturising barrier cream. It’s also important to air the area so lay your baby on the nappy a couple of times a day and let them kick about freely.
2. Cradle cap
Cradle cap is the name for the yellowish, scaly patches that appear on babies’ scalps, usually in their first three months. It is thought to stem from hormones left in the baby’s body from pregnancy which stimulate oil gland secretions. But don’t fret; it’s not a cause for worry – it’s very common, doesn’t normally cause any irritation or discomfort and usually clears up by itself.
Cradle cap care plan
There’s no specific treatment for cradle cap, but there are some ways to ensure it’s properly cared for. First things first – don’t pick it! Yes, it’s incredibly tempting, but picking can lead to infection on your baby’s delicate scalp. There are gentler ways to remove it. We suggest regularly washing the scalp with a gentle baby shampoo and afterwards applying a layer of olive oil. This will soften the flakes so you can gently loosen and remove them with a soft-bristled hair brush or comb.
3. Milk spots
Milk spots, or milia, are tiny pearly white spots that occur around the eyes, nose, cheeks and forehead. More specifically, they’re sealed, seed-like sacs under the skin filled with a protein called keratin. They’re common, harmless and should disappear after baby’s first few weeks. And while they might look sore, they actually shouldn’t cause baby any itching or discomfort.
Milk spots care plan
You might think milk spots are like white heads and can be squeezed, but as there’s no pore to release the keratin, squeezing will just break the skin – which could lead to scarring or infection. So NO squeezing! Simply keep the area clean with water, or a very mild baby wash, and it should soon clear up on its own.