Like all babies, Luisa was born pink and fuzzy, not dissimilar to an over ripe peach. Within a matter of weeks, she filled out, her soft creamy rolls the topic of many a conversation. After all, everyone loves a chubby baby.
During the first twelve weeks of Lu’s life, she had the usual baby skin complaints, a touch of cradle cap and some milk spots. It didn’t take long for these to clear up and she didn’t have any more issues. I think the fact that she was born during a mild May made it easier for us to look after her skin. She was able to get lots of fresh air but was never exposed to strong sun or wind.
If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I like to keep things simple as a parent. If something is working just fine, I leave it well alone. Whilst I was partial to the delicious smell of baby skin care products I really didn’t think they were the best choice for Luisa’s sensitive skin. A newborn baby’s skin is 40% thinner than ours and has a higher pH level. This makes it more sensitive to irritants so I just feel like keeping things as gentle and fuss free as possible is best.
Having said that, not being the sort to tempt fate I nearly always remembered to send her to bed with a silky layer of Bepanthen to protect her bottom from the causes of nappy rash. I say nearly because ‘baby brain’ is a real thing, trust me! The reason we’ve always chosen Bepanthen to protect her peachy behind is that it’s free from fragrance, preservatives, colours and antiseptics and clinically proven for babies’ delicate skin. I also just love the way it applies, the consistency is totally different than any other product I’ve use, gliding on with the lightest touch and making a lovely thin barrier on the skin. If it were my bum in question I know I’d choose it every time over a thick paste!
Once we started weaning Luisa, like all parents, we realised the game had changed again. Babies seem to have a total knack for rewriting the rule book right at the point where you think you have it sussed. The introduction of solids brings a lot of fun and mess but for us, it also brought some mild skin problems. Luisa was very prone to getting a ‘dribble rash’ when food would irritate her skin. I found the best way to keep her protected was to just keep wiping her little chin with a really soft cloth – we preferred bamboo muslins as opposed to baby wipes which can be drying.
As her aim improved this problem disappeared and we enjoyed a few months of happy, smooth baby skin. I stuck to the same philosophy of not overloading her with any fragranced baby skin care products or washing detergents and it stood me in good stead.
Remember before when I talked about babies catching you off guard? Well, it turns out toddlers do that too! Luisa developed eczema out of nowhere at around 14 months old. She’s been lucky in that it didn’t affect her whole body but the few bits she did have were very painful looking and unfortunately the worst part was on her face, right by her eye. I spoke to the GP and after a chat, they advised cutting down the amount of dairy she was having. We’d ruled out other causes like irritants in her skin care or washing powder as I was already using the most gentle options available, sparingly. Of course, if your little one is suffering from eczema or dry skin you should seek advice from your health visitor or GP if you’re concerned as I’m not a health professional.
We went through a few different creams from the doctors and whilst they had some positive effect the patch of eczema by her eye was really tough to shift and kept flaring up. I think part of the problem with babies and toddlers is that they always seem to be damp and sticky! Whether it’s food, sweat or tears it seems like there’s always something to clean up.
Thanks to a combination of diet changes, sheer persistence and a short course of steroid cream Lu’s eczema was finally under control.
So there you have it, by being cautious about introducing any harsh fragrances or chemicals, tweaking her diet under doctors’ advice and getting ahead of the problem with Bepanthen we’ve managed to find a no fuss way to care for Luisa’s sensitive skin. Despite having sensitive skin she’s been symptom-free for a good 6 months now and we’ll be remaining vigilant especially as winter approaches and the weather changes.
To find out more about Bepanthen visit the Bepanthen website where you can download their very humorous e-book ‘What the Parenting Manuals Don’t Tell You’