Your Baby's Changing Skin and Hair

Excerpted from JOHNSON'S® Your Baby and Toddler, From Birth to 3 Years, DK Publishing Inc., 2004 and JOHNSON'S® Baby Skin Maturation Study.

As your baby gets older, his skin care needs change from those of a newborn. As he becomes more active, chances are you'll be right behind him with a washcloth, trying to keep him clean. Perhaps he's beginning to feed himself - yet another step on his road to independence, and the road to total messiness! As you wash him more often, you'll need to make sure his skin stays moisturized and healthy.

Recent studies have shed light on the vast differences between adult and baby skin. Baby skin is more "active" than adult skin - it's constantly developing at a rapid pace. It's more vulnerable to irritants, to changes in temperature and to changes in humidity. Therefore, you need to protect your baby's skin against environmental changes and harsh cleansers. You'll also need to make sure his skin is properly moisturized, to maintain a healthy barrier against bacteria and other infections.

As you find yourself washing his face and hands more frequently, now's a good time to transition to a cleanser that gently restores moisture while gently cleaning his skin. JOHNSON'S® Baby Moisture Care Baby Wash is specially formulated to clean and moisturize your baby's skin gently. And it has that wonderful, familiar "baby clean" smell of JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion. Keep an extra bottle in the diaper bag for whenever you're on the go..

Always use a moisturizer after washing your baby. In a clinical study, 10 percent of mothers surveyed believed that their baby's skin was dry, when in fact, more than 60 percent of these babies had clinical signs of dryness! Your baby's skin absorbs water rapidly, but it loses it just as rapidly. That's why regularly moisturizing your baby's skin is a good way to protect against dryness. JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion is clinically proven to be gentle and mild as it moisturizes, softens and protects your baby's skin from dryness.

A nice way to monitor the healthiness of your baby's skin is through massage. It gives you an opportunity to go over the entire surface and to check for dryness or chafing. But that's not the only benefit: as your baby grows and undergoes developmental changes, massage can help ease transitions. It provides many emotional and physical benefits for your growing baby, to:

  • Calm him when he's fretful - massage has been shown to reduce the circulation of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream.
  • Increase his sense of well-being - massage has been shown to stimulate endorphins, which can lift your baby's mood.
  • Ease gas and constipation - stroking his tummy can help disperse air.
  • Release tension caused by, for example, teething.
  • Relax his arm and leg muscles..
  • And of course, to help him develop a close and trusting relationship with you.

Baby massage can also be calming and relaxing for you, and knowing that your touch is comforting your baby can make you feel happy and confident as a parent. Just remember to follow your baby's cues to help you know if he is enjoying the massage. And be sure to use a moisturizing cream, lotion, or oil to help with the massage. Good choices include JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion and JOHNSON'S® Baby Oil. Whichever you decide to use, you will find that massaging your baby is a wonderful way to bond and to maintain his healthy skin.

NOTE: Don't massage your baby if he's sick or if he's just been immunized - the area of the injection may still be sore.

Your baby's skin will change rapidly throughout his growing years. It's very different from yours - it needs extra protection to keep it clean, moisturized and healthy. Remember, healthy skin is not just an aesthetic nicety. Healthy, properly moisturized skin forms a barrier against bacteria and other infections. So start now to safeguard your baby's healthy skin for a lifetime.