As a new mom I had an image in my head of a sweet newborn with flawless skin who was perfect in every way. When my first child was born, he was perfect in every way to ME. He was born with a swollen head and face and wasn't going to win any awards for cutest baby on the block those first few days! 🙂 I am sure many mothers can relate that the reality of a newborn is much different then what we may imagine! The same is true with a newborn's skin….it isn't always pretty!
As a registered nurse who spent several years working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and did some time in labor and delivery…I have seen a LOT of baby skin! I think prepared parents end up being happier and less stressed parents!
Here is some basic information about a NEWBORN'S SKIN and some easy tips on how to care for it!
Table of Contents
What to Expect With Your Newborn's Skin After Birth
Reddish Purple Complexion is Normal
The first few days your baby will probably have a reddish-purple complexion and that is typical. Their little circulatory systems are just getting up to speed and this reddish-purple look will go away. This coloring has nothing to do with ethnicity either….just a normal part of life for a new baby.
A Yellow Skin Color is NOT Normal
All four of my children had jaundice and when they started to develop a yellow cast to their skin…we knew that was a sign that something wasn't quite right. Be sure to watch your new baby for signs of jaundice when they are 2-3 days old. Contact your doctor right away if you notice a yellow coloring to their skin or if the whites of their eyes look yellow.
Baby Skin is Prone to Rashes
I was amazed at how often my babies had bumps, rashes and pimples during those first few months. It was like giving birth to a teenager! Lots of babies are born with milia (looks like tiny white heads on their face) and some babies even get baby acne. As much as you may want to DO SOMETHING for this…just don't! No squeezing, no picking….usually they just go away on their own. If any of the areas get infected be sure to consult your doctor!! A lot of these skin issues are due to the hormones in your body prior to delivery. Eventually your baby will flush all of those hormones out of their system!
Baby Skin is Very Thin
No matter how chunky your newborn baby is….a newborn's skin is still very thin. My first-born weighed in at over 10 pounds and his skin didn't seem thin, but it was! So when baby is crying you may see blood vessels really clearly under the skin…it is because the skin is thin. This is also part of the reason babies can get cold easier. There is not as much protection from the cold due to their thin skin.
Some “Birthmarks” Disappear
My youngest child was born with what are called “stork bites or angel kisses”. These are a pink or red area that are typically seen on the face or back of the neck. My little one had one on the tip of her nose and a large one at the base of her neck. It was something that threw me off a little at first….when she would cry the reddened area on her little nose would get even redder….the good news is that the one on her nose has faded basically away. (you can see her little red nose in the photo below) The one on the back of her neck is still visible, but has hair covering it up! Many of these birthmarks fade away over time….but some don't. If you realize that your child could be born with some unusual skin markings…you will be better prepared for it!
Baby Skin Can be Easily Irritated
A newborn's skin can be easily irritated and can get chafed. As a nurse and mother of four…my best advice is to be PROACTIVE in this area. It is much easier for me to work to prevent my baby's skin from getting irritated….then to deal with a fussy baby who has irritated and painful skin issues.
The diaper area is an area that is really prone to getting irritated and chaffed. It is closed up in a diaper basically 24/7 and this is a breeding ground for problems…diaper rashes, yeast infections and more!
I tried to change my baby's diaper OFTEN. I liked to use Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers to keep their little bottoms protected…..plus I saved a ton of money by getting my diapers at Sam's Club! Huggies Little Snugglers are such good quality diapers! I love the GentleAbsorb* Liner (in sizes N-2), the Wetness Indicator and the Softer Outer Cover so baby's skin can breath. They also have an Improved Pocketed Waistband! This all makes baby comfy and mommy happy! This is also my favorite item to give new moms!!
While you are at Sam's Club be sure to grab some Huggies Natural Care® Wipes. These our their simplest formula ever…hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, alcohol-free with just a touch of aloe and Vitamin E! I love how these wipes give a gentle clean for babies little bottom!!
Fresh Air Helps Little Bottoms
When I did notice any kind of diaper rash starting up I would try to give them some diaper-free time each day! Sometimes after bath time I would just let my baby roll around on a big fluffy towel. This would give that little bottom some freedom and air!
What kind of skin issues have you noticed with your baby? Was there anything that really surprised you as a new parent when it came to your newborn's skin?*
*I am a blogger, not a doctor and I do not provide medical advice. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. Information on Life is Sweeter by Design is intended to be helpful and informative, but nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine your healthcare decisions. FDA Disclaimer: The advice & statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Any information on this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.