When my babies were still babies, the frigid winter air wreaked havoc on their skin.

Though my babies are older now (but let's face it, they'll always be my babies!), their skin still gets dried out. Even my own hands are always cracked and burning in the winter. The minute the temperatures drop outside and the thermostat inside goes up, my hands get chapped and it’s quite painful...and my skin is nothing like the soft, silky baby skin we all want to protect on our little ones.

If you're one of the many parents wondering about proper infant skin care during the cold, winter months, here are some steps you can take to help protect baby skin.

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Baby Skin Care Tips for Winter

Because your little one’s skin is thinner and less ‘weathered’ than your own, it’s especially important to make sure that you take the extra steps necessary to protect it. Be sure to dress your little one appropriately when you venture outside, including dressing them in layers with a hat and making sure their hands are covered. They are more vulnerable than we are to the cold temperatures and gusty winds, therefore they lose body heat much faster than adults do.

Strollers in the Winter

If you’re going to be outside for awhile (for example, if you live in an urban area and your main mode of transportation involves walking with a stroller), you may want to consider using both a stroller blanket or bunting. You can also use your rain cover as an extra protective layer against the cold and wind. Baby’s skin can get wind-burned and the cold can really irritate those cute little cheeks.

Caring for Baby's Skin While Inside with Dry Air

When you’re inside with your little one, combatting the dry air is a different challenge. It’s important not to have the heat set too high, especially overnight; the trick is to find the happy medium between keeping your home warm enough, but not so warm that everyone is parched from the dryness. Some people swear by humidifiers: keeping one in the room your baby sleeps in will help to counter the dry air from the heat. 

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I’ve always been a fan of humidified air because it helps skin and keeps nasal and oral mucosa less irritated. Just make sure you set it and clean it properly, as they can be breeding grounds for mold and bacteria if not handled properly. Many people advise using the cool mist humidifiers, but you can check with your pediatrician about their recommendations.

Staying Hydrated during Winter Months

Staying internally hydrated is not only important for overall health, but can also help with skin care. Hydrated bodies are essential for hydrated skin. The key word here is to moisturize! If your little one appears to have very sensitive skin, you may not want to bathe them every day. However, whenever you do bathe your little one, make sure to pat dry instead of rub dry. You will also want to use a hypoallergenic, gentle moisturizer on baby after the bath.

Slather those little bodies to help lock in some added moisture. You’ll also want to be sure that the cleanser you use on them in the bath is a gentle, moisturizing one. If you find that once a day isn’t sufficient, you may want to moisturize twice a day – once in the morning and then again before bedtime. It also can help relax them and prepare them for sleep.

Winter Skin Care Concerns

If none of these tips seem to help your baby’s dry skin, or if you’re noticing rashes, very red, chapped skin, or any other unusual skin irritations, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your pediatrician. Some babies suffer from eczema, and you may be able to identify potential triggers for flare ups. Your pediatrician may also recommend products that are help.

Making sure baby’s skin is properly cared for is important for their comfort and care. I have tried many different lotions and creams over the years due to our sensitive skin. It may just take some trial and error to find the right one for your baby.

Tell us: what skin care tips do you use on your baby that you can share?

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Disclosure: This post provides content and discussion related to health, wellness, and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog including links should not be considered medical advice and should not be construed as such. Any health/wellness information should not be considered an alternative or replacement for information given to you by a licensed physician. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with a licensed physician.

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Linda Scruggs

Linda Scruggs RN, BSN serves as a resource for parents in the digital space, creating helpful health and wellness content. She has specialized for over 12 years in reproductive medicine, and family and women's health as a nurse. A mom of two young children, her work can be seen on her own blog via her site, lindascruggs.com, as a contributor to The Huffington Post, and created the patient education program in one of the top fertility centers in the country. Linda is all about empowerment in motherhood and would love to connect.



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