" What should be temperature of water? Should I use soap or liquid cleanser? Should I moisturise skin before or after bath?"
There are no set rules defined for bathing your kid, but I have created simple step regime to execute this herculean task especially for new parents. If you want to understand why your baby needs special care, I would strongly recommend you to read the article - Child skin care- why it is different from Adults?
STEP 1- Preparation for bath
Before you undress your baby, make sure you have all the stuffs you need within your arms reach especially if you are alone. Keep cloths, towel, cleanser, moisturiser etc. of your baby and make sure the temperature of water(not too hot or cold) is warm to touch.
STEP 2- Undressing your child
Please switch off all the fans and air conditioners. If you reside in cold climate make sure the room is warm but not hot.
STEP 3- Oil Massage
There is lot controversy regarding this step few people believe the baby should be massaged after bath but most of parents would agree that baby is so hungry after bath that she would barely give time for applying baby lotion. If you have less time, you can skip this step and massage baby in the evening; but I would suggest an infant deserve oil massage twice a day.
Use coconut or sunflower oil for the massage and avoid olive or mustard oil. Do not forget to warm your hands before you touch your baby. Gentle massage for 15-30 minutes would not only keeps the skin moisturised but helps in gaining weight, improves mental well being and relaxes your child.
STEP 4- Bathing
You should prefer liquid cleansers especially formulated for kids over the soap as the alkaline soap can be more drying and would raise pH of skin of your baby. Begin with wetting skin with tepid water followed by application of cleanser. Make sure you apply the cleanser on the folds of neck, arm and thighs by gently pulling the skin apart. Ideally the bath should be quick as over exposure to water would further dry your infants skin.
STEP 5- Toweling
Please pad dry the skin of your baby rather than rubbing. Please spend some time in pulling apart the folds of skin on the neck, arms and thigh followed by gentle pad drying. Cleaning and completely drying the folds is very important to avoid infections and diaper dermatitis.
STEP 6- Moisturising
Water and cleansers removes all the natural moisturising factors off skin of your baby, so you need to replenish it by applying the moisturising lotion immediately after pad drying. Choose a fragrance free and hypo-allergenic body lotion specially formulated for kids. Please note, sprinkling powder on the folds is no more recommended.
STEP 7- Dressing
Dressing your child should be without delay. Most of the parents over-dress their kids which can result in prickly heat. The general rule is your baby needs one extra-layer of clothes than you and keep the temperature of room not cold or hot but warm.
Disclaimer- The content of this page is meant for information purpose only and not not meant for medical use.As everybody skin behaves differently so the author is not responsible for any damage or losses or side effects arising from the use or following the information provided on this page. Also certain topics in this page are still controversial so the author is sharing her views based on her experience and knowledge. Any wrong content or discrepancies in thought are invited for discussions and if needed can be corrected based on the facts. The results expected with skin care products are not universally applicable as each individuals skin behaves differently. The author is not responsible for any adverse event that arises out of following my opinion, however such negative and positive feedback will help me improve. Kindly seek dermatologist advice for skin care, acne, redness, irritation, dark patches or any other skin problem. Kindly note for medico-legal reasons I have not listed prescribed skin care products which are specially formulated according to skin types and are cost effective too. Also, the author has no monetary association with above listed brands, there are thousands of skin care products in the market I have chosen few of them to start with. Please note all the image used in blog are downloaded from Google images.
Your invaluable comments, queries and Facebook likes will help me in my effort of Dermato-awareness- working towards healthy, radiant and flawless skin.
Dr Surbhi, MD (Skin)