Who doesn’t smile and even laugh out loud at the sight of a baby in the tub with a halo of bubbles? Bathing is a treat many adults overlook for their own sense of peace and joy. Grooming provides the opportunity for both you and your baby to be delighted by the ample stimulation available for your awakened senses of touch and smell. The hours you spend changing diapers, combing hair, brushing gums, bathing, and massaging your baby’s delicate skin are not only fun, they are necessary for her health and well-being. From this very early age you can institute joyful rituals and happy memories to create good grooming habits that will last a lifetime.
Typically, a sponge bath over your baby’s body with a little extra cleansing under the chin, under the arms, and in the diaper area is plenty. If warm, pure water cleanses sufficiently, there is no need to add a cleanser to your routine. The diaper area might be an exception. A build up of bacteria and fungi that aren’t thoroughly removed can cause diaper rash.
Many different kinds of products are available to aid in the task of cleansing. When water isn’t enough, try to select products that work safely, without the use of potentially risky ingredients. There are too many products on the market that can create unnecessary risks to your baby’s health, and yours. Many ingredients used in conventional toiletry products can disrupt the hormone, immune, and nervous systems and even damage your baby’s DNA. Also keep in mind that some clothing, diapers, food and water can also pose risks.
Natural cleansers provide a better choice to wash away the dirt, without stripping away natural oils in the process. Some common cleanser ingredients can be damaging to the skin and even your baby’s developing organs. You should also avoid antibacterial cleansers whenever possible. Antibacterial cleansers are unnecessary for every-day use and lead to increasingly stronger strains of bacteria that put everyone at risk for reduced health. There really is such a thing as too clean!
It seems all babies love a good bubble bath. Some babies love them so much that parents indulge daily. Babies really only need to be bathed once or twice per week. If more frequent baths are too much fun to pass up, try to keep them short. Your baby is ready for a bath when she can sit up by herself. If you see pruny little fingers and toes, the bath has probably gone on long enough. Because of your baby’s increased skin permeability, her fingers will wrinkle with water much more quickly than yours. Of course babies must never be left alone in a tub, not even for a second, but bath time can provide a wonderful break for you to relax, play and enjoy the beauty of your baby.
Moisturizing ingredients include a host of delightful options from pure aloe or noni gel to delicious plant oils like avocado or apricot kernel oil. Moisturizing is wonderful for baby skin, which is prone to dryness and it’s especially important for little ones who like to have frequent baths. Moisturizing also becomes more necessary when living in air-conditioned or heated homes or in windy, cold environments. A naturally humid environment is great for the skin. It may be less essential to moisturize regularly in a humid environment.
Also, be sure to take care of yourself! Maintain clean, soft hands when you cuddle and care for your baby. Hands should be free of dry or abrasive patches that might scratch your baby’s delicate skin. Because you wash, dry, and disinfect your hands before and after diaper changes and eating, your hands are at great risk of developing painful cracks and rough patches from extreme dehydration. Moisturizing hand cream may be your new best friend. Try to avoid any products containing alcohol in the base composition. Alcohol is very dehydrating and may be passed onto your baby’s skin. An excellent disinfectant is Thyme Oil. When your hands caress and love your baby, they should be worthy of her perfect little being.
Mineral Oil and Other Petroleum byproducts:
Though mineral oil is completely inert, it is a petroleum byproduct that can coat the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. It can interfere with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Mineral oil can slow down skin function and cellular development. Like petroleum based PEG compounds, mineral oil can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH’s (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) due to manufacturing impurities. Since September 2004 the European Union has banned the use of petroleum jelly due to the carcinogenic contamination found in products containing petrolatum. The ingredients for which these impurities are of concern include mineral oil, liquidum paraffinum, paraffin oil, paraffin wax and petrolatum
Good lubricating oils including sunflower oil, avocado oil, sesame seed oil, plant sourced squalane, olive fruit oil, neem and jojoba oils, and other oils with a high polyphenol content. Many of these oils are powerful antioxidants. Historically oils have been used to promote soothing and healing, to soften skin and to prevent dryness and cracking. They lubricate without clogging pores, unlike petroleum based lubricants, and they help even skin texture, and soothe rashes. Therapeutic skin lubricants sooth and heal providing nourishment by increasing the oxygen and nutrient capacity of the skin.