There is no moment as magical as when a parent holds their little bundle of joy for the first time. For some new parents, experiencing just how delicate and soft their baby is first hand can overwhelm them in many ways.
Typically, a newborn's skin is very sensitive and wrinkly. Parents may find some areas to be flaky and dry in appearance around the skin folds, ankles and wrists. Whilst the peeling flaky skin may seem scary, it is in fact very common.
Knowing what causes your baby's flaky skin and how to care for it will help you establish a healthy baby skin care routine to keep bub feeling soft and pure.
Causes of Flaky Skin
When your little one is born, you may notice a waxy substance coating their skin. This substance, called vernix, serves as a protective barrier in utero during the last trimester. Most of the vernix washes away during the first few days after birth, leaving your baby's skin to look dry and flaky.
Another cause for your little one's flaky skin is the change in their surroundings. After living in a water environment for nine months, it's no wonder the element of air may dry out their skin a little bit!
Treatment of Flaky Skin
Whilst the appearance of flaky and dry skin signals the need for lotions and moisturisers in adults, it's not the same for bub. The patches of skin do not cause pain, irritation or itchiness – it will peel away on its own in a few weeks as your baby's skin develops.
To help with the appearance, you can:
- Add a few drops of edible natural oils – such as olive oil – in their bath water.
- Avoid using soaps or cleansers during bath time.
- Use a humidifier in their room to prevent their skin from drying out further.
- Keep them in a comfortably warm room as cold temperatures can chap their skin.
Skin care tips for flaky skin
Here's what you can do to care for your baby's flaky skin:
- Bath bub less frequently to prevent washing away the natural oils that protect their skin.
- Do not peel the skin with your hands.
- Avoid creams, lotions and soaps in the first few months to prevent skin irritation.
- Wash everything they comes into contact with gentle, hypoallergenic laundry detergent.
Read more on baby skin care tips.
Last Published* December, 2022
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.