Winter is drawing in, the days are getting shorter and the clocks will go back soon. Every time you venture outside the house you’ll have to layer up to protect yourself from the elements. The cold and the rain can really take a toll on your skin and if you don’t look after it properly, it’ll get dried out and sore. It’s hard enough keeping your skin in good condition over winter as an adult but a baby’s skin is far more sensitive than yours. If their skin dries out they’ll be in a lot of pain and it can lead to bigger issues if you don’t keep on top of it. It might be tempting to keep them inside for the whole of winter to protect them but that’s a little drastic. Winter is a wonderful time for kids and if you keep them locked away then you’re missing out on making some great memories together. It’s perfectly ok to take them out during winter as long as you take these precautions to protect their skin from the cold.
Layering up is the most obvious way of keeping your baby warm in the winter. Babies tend to need more layers than adults in general so during the winter they’ll need two or three at least. It’s tempting to just put as many items of clothing as you can physically fit on them, but that’s likely doing them more harm than good. If you go too overboard then they could end up overheating which can be very uncomfortable for them, and even dangerous in extreme circumstances. You wouldn’t think it but babies can still get heat rash in winter if you layer up too much so if you notice any popping up then take some layers off. Before you take them out, put a hand inside their clothing and see how hot it is, if it feels too warm then take some layers off.
As well as layering up your baby, you should protect their crib as well. Get yourself a good crib cover to stop them from getting wind chills when you take them out for walks. The most important layers to consider are on the head, hands, and feet because this is where the baby is going to lose a lot of their heat.
Your baby probably doesn’t have a skin routine in the mornings like an adult but in winter you need to be using baby skin care products to repair and replenish their skin. Baby’s skin is so much more delicate than yours so it’s best to use specific baby products on them to be on the safe side. It’s designed to be more effective on their skin and cater for the changes that it goes through in the first few months and years. The cold winds and temperature fluctuations between the outside and the inside of the house will dry out their skin very quickly so you need to counteract that by moisturizer them regularly. If you notice any particularly dry patches then you should swap out the normal moisturizer for a more powerful hydrating cream instead. Each time they have a bath, pat them dry with a towel so they retain a little moisture and then apply cream liberally. When you’re choosing products to use, look out for ones that are mostly oil based as these are the most effective for keeping skin hydrated.
Petroleum jelly is another popular treatment that is soft on your baby’s skin and it’s often cheaper than other skin care products. The area around your baby’s mouth and nose can often get dry and chapped because of all of the snot and drool. Using petroleum jelly to form a barrier over their skin is a simple way to combat this problem.
Any soaps or lotions that are perfumed can cause serious irritation to your baby’s sensitive skin. If it gets dry and cracked because of the cold and then you’re using perfumed products on them, it’ll cause them a lot of discomfort and dry them out further. There are all sorts of perfume free products out there so make sure that you’re only using those during the winter months. It’s probably a good idea to use them all year round if you’re particularly worried about their skin health.
Don’t Overheat The Bath
Bathing your baby every night is always recommended but a lot of parents make the mistake of ramping up the heat of the bath water during the winter. The logic is clear; when they’re cold outside, a nice hot bath will warm them up and stave off any cold related illnesses. However, heating up the bath is going to cause them more problems. Hot baths will strip more moisture from the skin and dry it out just as much as the cold weather will. Always use lukewarm water and limit the bath time to shorter periods. For young babies, you don’t want to keep them in the bath for more than five minutes.
Use A Humidifier
The cold weather outside will take the moisture out of your baby’s skin and the central heating in the house will do them just as much damage. Moisturizing goes some way to replenishing the moisture in their skin but you want to attack the problem from all sides. A humidifier will put a lot more moisture into the air and prevent your baby’s skin from drying out.
When the nights are freezing cold it’s tempting to crank the heat up but remember that this is doing no favors for your baby’s skin. Parenting is about making sacrifices and being a little chilly is a small price to pay to make sure that your baby’s skin stays healthy over winter.
Eczema is a common problem among a lot of children and often it’s unavoidable. Most kids will usually grow out of it when they get older and you can use medicated creams to treat it. However, it might occur in babies as a result of the cold weather. There is no way of completely curing eczema most of the time so the key is to prevent it before it gets too bad. All of the other things we’ve talked about will help to do that but you also need to attack it head on as soon as the first signs start to show. Carry on with your normal moisturizer regime after bath time but add some medicated creams as well. If you speak with your doctor, they’ll be able to sort you out with some creams that should soothe the itching and alleviate any pain that your baby might be feeling.
Go To The Doctors
A bit of dry skin and redness is natural during the winter and it’s fairly easy to keep on top of but in some cases, it can get more serious. If you find that the dry areas are spreading and getting larger, regardless of what treatments you’re trying, it might be time to go to the doctors. Your baby could have developed a more serious skin condition and if it goes untreated it will cause them some serious discomfort. Don’t wait too long before seeing a doctor.
It’s only natural as a parent to worry about your baby during the winter and keep them locked up inside but there’s no need. As long as you take all of the right precautions, you can keep their skin in tip-top shape and enjoy all of those great winter activities together.