Let’s face it, nothing’s worse than seeing your little baby feeling uncomfortable. Now that summer is finally here in Chicago, you can count on lots of sun and air conditioning, both of which are likely to dry out your baby’s sensitive skin. Here are some simple ways to take care of your baby’s dry skin this summer.
KEEP YOUR BABY SAFE IN THE SUN
Sunburns are no fun – Especially for a baby who doesn’t understand what’s happening. They begin as a red and painful burn and end with dry, flaky skin. It’s important to protect your baby from the sun to keep their skin healthy and moisturized. There are a few easy ways you can do this:
- Sunblock: To use or not to use? If your baby is younger than 6 months old, you should try to keep them out of the sun altogether rather than put sunscreen on their skin, according to the FDA. An infant’s skin is much more sensitive than an adult’s and the chemicals in sunscreen may negatively affect them. If your baby is a 6 months or older, you can start applying sunscreen, according to the Mayo Clinic. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends you use a broad-sunscreen sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on your baby. Check out this great guide to the best sunblock for babies and kids from Lucie’s List!
- Keep your baby out of the sun during its strongest hours. According to the FDA, the sun’s UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Try to have fun in the sun with your baby outside of this time frame, either early in the morning or in the evening.
- Cover our baby up! No matter how old your baby is, you should cover them up with lightweight and loose clothes to keep their skin out of the sun. UV protective clothing, large-brimmed hats and sunglasses are all great options. Just make sure they don’t overheat!
USE A HUMIDIFIER WHEN THE AC IS ON
If you’re planning on cooling down with air conditioning this summer, you may want to invest in a cool mist humidifier. The constant breeze from the AC can dry out your baby’s skin, especially if it’s left on all night. Turn on your humidifier periodically near the baby while the AC is on to retain some moisture in the air. This should keep your baby’s skin flake-free.
RINSE OFF AFTER THE POOL
If you’re anything like us, you’re planning to have some seriously fun pool days with your kids this summer. Remember to put a generous amount of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on your baby, as long as they are 6 months old or older. Reapply sunscreen more than the normal every two hours, since your baby will be in the water.
When your fun in the sun is over, it’s time to rinse your baby off with tap water, since chlorine is known to dry out skin. Once you rinse off all of the chlorine, apply moisturizer to your baby’s skin to help it retain moisture. Newborns shouldn’t be taken into the pool, and they also generally don’t need lotions or moisturizers because their dry skin typically goes away on its own. If your baby is older, Group Health suggests you choose lotions that don’t contain perfume or dyes, such as Aquaphor or Eucerin.
MAKE BATH TIME QUICKER AND COOLER
You would think that a long bath would be better for your baby, right? Actually, the opposite is true. Long, hot baths dry out your baby’s skin by getting rid of the skin’s natural oils. Try to cut down your baby’s bath time to 10 minutes or less, and keep the heat down to a warm temperature, rather than hot. Substitute your normal soap with a fragrance- and soap-free cleanser that will work much more gently on your baby’s skin.
CHECK YOUR BABY’S CLOTHES
If your baby’s dry skin continues to be irritated, the culprit may be their clothes. Some fabrics, such as wool, can be very rough on skin, especially sensitive baby skin that has not yet fully matured. Tight clothes can also make your baby’s dry skin worse by aggravating the skin.
Many newborn children have dry skin, which is completely normal. Typically, this dry skin goes away on its own. However, the tips above can help to speed up the process and keep older baby’s skin moisturized. If you notice that your child has itchy red patches on their skin or excessively dry skin, you may want to speak to your doctor. And make sure to keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page to stay updated with the most important skin care news and tips!