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Healthy Baby Guide: 5 Natural Skincare Tips For Newborns

Newborns.. gotta love em, and yours might have just made it home. While you're settling into a daily routine, keeping your baby warm and nourished is top on our list, like it is on yours.

While there are several normal newborn rashes, chemicals, fragrances, and dyes in clothing, detergents, and baby products can cause newborn skin irritation, dryness, chafing and rashes, there's a lot you can do to protect your baby from these skin problems. With newborn skincare the adage is "less is more" and how you care for your baby during these first few weeks of your babies life, can really make a difference in helping protect them from developing allergies and rashes.

We've put together some important tips for caring for baby's skin that is oh so delicate.

Resist the urge to bathe your baby frequently.

Except for drools and diaper changes, newborns don't get very dirty. Too-frequent bathing -- more than three times per week during the first year of life -- removes the natural oils that protect baby's skin. That may leave baby's skin vulnerable and dry. It may also aggravate eczema. A sponge bath two or three times a week will keep your baby safely clean. In between, simply clean baby’s mouth and diaper area with a little water or cleanser.

Once-a-week sponge baths (or even less) are best for newborns with the cord still attached.

Don't use scented baby products in the early months.

This can irritate your baby's delicate skin.

Wash baby's clothing before it's worn.

Use only baby laundry detergents that are fragrance- and dye-free. Wash baby clothes, bedding, and blankets separately from the family's laundry. Or use the same detergent for the entire family.

Change Diaper Every 2 hours or When Soiled

Most often, diaper rash is caused by the irritating wetness of a soiled diaper. The rash can also develop when baby's skin is not properly dried after bath. Most forms of diaper rash don't require medical care. To treat diaper rash - and prevent further newborn skin problems, check and change diapers every 2 hours, wash the diaper area with mild fragrance-free cleanser or plain water. If the rash is severe, use a squirt bottle to cleanse without rubbing. See your pediatrician if the rash doesn't clear up in two to three days. If the rash is caused by eczema, a bacterial or yeast infection, or other condition, you may need a prescription treatment.

Give Newborn Massages

There is no special technique to massaging a baby. Giving your newborn a massage is important one-on-one time. Like cuddling, a massage is a way to convey your love and affection for your baby. In fact, research shows that a baby's very survival depends on being touched by others -- as touch triggers hormones, boosts immunity, and helps fight disease. Also, massaged babies are calmer, sleep better, and cry less -- a dream!

My favorite massage technique is to lay baby on a soft blanket or fabric on a carpeted floor in a warm room. Get a little baby oil or gentle lotion. Warm it in my hand, and gently massage baby's chest and tummy - using a gentle yet firm touch. I've found this also works magic in putting baby to sleep. The upside to baby's skin sensitivity, is that your touch on your newborn's skin has a soothing, nurturing effect -- and is critical to your baby's development.

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