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8 Newborn Baby Skin Care Tips

Your newborn baby’s skin plays an important role in maintaining overall health, regulating baby’s internal temperature and is an essential shield that offers protection from the outside world.

A newborn baby’s skin and immune system is delicate and more prone to allergies and irritation, it has a greater tendency to dryness and it absorbs more water but loses it fast.

Your touch on your newborn’s skin has a soothing, nurturing effect, and is critical to your baby’s development.

Here are some newborn baby skin care tips and precautions that you can take to avoid skin problems:

8 Newborn Baby Skin Care Tips

  1. Giving Your Baby A Sponge Bath

It is essential that newborns are not bathed within their first five days. The reason for this is that their skin needs time to adapt to the outside world and certain fabrics and perfumed creams can cause skin irritations. It also prevents weight loss, as newborn’s burn fat to produce heat when they are cold.

A newborn baby is born with wrinkly skin and a protective covering called vernix that naturally peels off during the first week. There’s no need to rush it, rub it, or treat it with lotions or creams.

Your baby will only need a sponge bath for the first few days until her umbilical stump falls off.

A daily sponge bath to clean the nappy area, neck and armpits are enough, as your baby does not come into contact with dirt.

Remember to keep your baby warmly wrapped and only expose the area that you are cleaning.

Start by wiping your baby’s eyes from the inside corner with a clean cotton wool.

Pay special attention to the creases under baby’s arms, around her neck and behind the ears.

If the umbilical stump becomes dirty or sticky, wash it with water and then gently dab it with a clean absorbent cloth.

  1. Bathing Your Baby

It is normal to feel anxious when bathing your baby for the first time. But remember she is familiar with the feel of water, being surrounded by amniotic fluid for the past nine months.

A newborn baby’s skin is different to an adult skin and it is important to use natural and gentle products to protect them from irritants, infections and toxins.

  • Water temperature: Temperature should be between 35 and 37◦C. Test the water with the back of your wrist or your elbow. The water should be warm, not hot.
  • Always support baby’s head and back as you wash her.
  • A new-born’s bath should take no longer than 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Pay special attention to the genital and nappy areas, between the fingers and toes, the folds at the back of the knees, necks and thighs, the ears and eyes.
  • The genital area should be wiped from front to back to prevent bacteria from spreading to baby’s bottom.
  • Make sure when you’re drying baby’s skin that you dry in between baby’s folds and in between toes to prevent rashes.

Sleeping newborn baby wearing diaper

  1. Frequency Of Baths

Body – A bath two or three times a week is sufficient, however you must keep her nappy area clean and wash the hands and eyes regularly.

Hair – A newborn’s scalp is delicate, so be mindful when cleaning it. There is no need to wash baby’s hair every day – twice a week should be enough.

  1. Using Natural and Gentle Cleaning Products

Never use scented soaps or bubble baths. These can be drying and irritating to a baby’s skin.

When it comes to caring for newborn baby’s delicate skin, the best baby care solutions are natural and gentle products which are safe and aren’t processed and contain harmful chemicals.

With the growing market for organic baby products which are made from essential oils and all-natural products, it has become easier to buy the best possible products to take care of your new-born baby’s skin while playing your part in protecting our planet.

All natural baby products

  1. Massage Your Baby’s Skin

As your baby grows, massage can help ease transitions. It provides emotional and physical benefits plus you can monitor the health of your baby’s skin by checking the entire surface by checking for any dryness or chafing.

Massage has been shown to reduce the circulation of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood stream, it stimulates endorphins which can lift your baby’s mood and it helps to develop a close and trusting relationship with you.

  1. Dressing Your Newborn In The Correct Attire

You can keep your baby’s skin protected by dressing her in loose-fitting clothing to prevent chafing. As your baby grows, the skin will adapt and grow with her.

  1. Changing Nappies Frequently

A newborn will poo several times a day and urinate every one to three hours. It is important to check baby’s nappy regularly to prevent uncomfortable nappy rash.

  1. Washing Newborn Baby Clothes

It is important to use a laundry detergent that is “free and clear” and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals or irritants.

Washing baby clothes before they’re worn is an absolute necessity.

Avoid using fabric softener, as it can reduce the effectiveness of the flame retardancy on baby pyjamas and can irritate your baby’s skin.

Washing your infant’s clothes with the rest of the family’s shouldn’t be a problem as long as you use a laundry detergent that is suitable for baby’s clothes. A liquid detergent may be preferable. If you’re concerned that regular detergent may be too harsh, first wash one or two baby items in the detergent.

Water temperature: You can wash in cold or lukewarm water with the temperature around 35-40◦C, if there are no special instructions.

  • Baby’s undergarments and cloth diapers must be washed in warm water to remove foul odor and infection.
  • Regular clothes can be washed in cold or room temperature water.


With newborn skin care, the adage is “less is more.”

When taking care of a newborn’s skin, there are only a few factors that need to be taken into consideration: 

  • Using natural and gentle cleaning products that are free from chemicals, parabens & fragrances that can irritate new-born skin.
  • Keeping baby warm, dry and clean.
  • Ensuring regular nappy changes to prevent chafing and rashes.

Cherish Beauty by Nature Baby range products

Win A Cherish Beauty By Nature Baby Range Hamper

Handcrafted with passion and care, we create nourishing and effective skincare solutions using high performing specialist oils, botanical extracts & pure essential oils that are 100% natural, organic wherever possible, and free from additives and chemicals. 

Stand a chance to win a Cherish By Nature baby hamper to the value of R537 by entering your details into the form below.

The hamper includes:

  • 1 x Baby Body Wash
  • 1 x Baby Massage oil
  • 1 x Baby Balm

Increase your chances of winning by gaining extra entries:

  • Leave a comment below this blog post sharing your favourite baby care tips
  • Share this post on social networks, tag @Kaboutjie and include the hashtag #winwithkaboutjie 

The winner will be notified via email on Thursday 30 August 2018.

This competition is open to residents of South Africa only.

Please be sure to check our competition terms.

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  1. stephanie videira

    Great tips for first time moms, a must read, My favorite tip is if you are planning to breastfeed your baby and she wont latch like my first born get your self a pair of breast shields to help the process. Thanks goodness for my midwife for suggesting it as my baby just would not latch and took to the breast shields ( also it saved my nipples from the pain of the first 2/3 weeks of breastfeeding )

    • I agree with you @stefeg. I also made use of them and they really made a difference. It also eliminate a lot of the “wear and tear” on your nipples. 🙂

      • stephanie videira

        They are a life saver 1st daughter i breastfeed i used them no issues with my nipples and with my 2nd i didn’t and wow 1st 2 weeks my nipples where so painful

  2. stephanie videira

    Also sometimes the washing powder we use to wash baby’s clothes can be to harsh for baby skin so someone once gave me the tip to do a double rinse when washing the clothes if you plan on using regular washing powder

  3. Nthabiseng motlhala

    If you are bottle feeding make sure you sterilize baby bottle thoroughly.
    And use natural skin products to protect baby skin.

  4. My son was born premature so I was very finicky in the beginning. I only used pampers newborn because he was so tiny and fragile and I wanted to protect his bottom from any rash. After the first few days in hospital, I was advised by a friend to try a cheaper brand, since baby poo’s several times a day and because it is more cost effective than having to buy packs of pampers and since I wasn’t really prepared for baby’s arrival, I did not have much. I was a bit sceptical, but eventually took her advice and I was not disappointed at all. I bought the Baby Panda diapers. Absolutely no rash, made sure to change baby’s diaper several times so his bottom remains dry and I was actually impressed.

    • I love the Baby Panda nappies @f-leeannyahoo-com and have bought them on many occasions. Even the Baby Panda Premium nappies are great and more cost effective than some of the other brands. The Baby Panda wipes are also great.

  5. Cleaning babies mouth with a warm clean cloth twice a day and looking after your nipples. I had terrible thrush on my nipples and my baby had it in his mouth. He had an allergic reaction to the nipple cream I was using.

  6. After having my son, I have become much more into organic and all natural products. I stumbled upon a new line of organic baby products called MADE OF that I absolutely LOVE. They are certified organic, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, etc… and actually work better than many of the “mainstream”, “normal” brands. I highly suggest you become more aware what you put on or in your little ones system. And if no one has told you today, you’re a great Mommy and deserve praise! Moms ROCK!

    • It really is scary what they put in some diapers @hollyjohollyjo thanks for sharing about Made Of diapers. I’ll be sure to check them out.

      • You’re welcome. Lynne Huysamen. I agree products and baby products have a scary amount of chemicals and toxins in them. The MADE OF products are affordable unlike many other popular brands and they are very transparent about the ingredients in each product as well as how they are made. LOVE our MADE OF products!

  7. Great tips for firs moms
    Please If you use bottles sterilize it first and after use
    Enjoy your bundle of joy as they grow up very fast

  8. Those are really great tips. I suffered with both my babies when it came to skin range. The problem became worse after using one of these popular brands and the moment I switched from that brand, everything stopped and it was a relief.

  9. My favorite tip was the sponge bath. I did not know that. I have always seen people bath babies with face towels. I will definitely buy a sponge when I give bath

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