If you've noticed your baby has dry, irritated skin, they might have eczema - a chronic itchy skin condition that starts within their first five years.
However, it usually shows itself in the first six months of life. Surprisingly common, eczema affects one in ten Irish children. Flare-ups a are usually triggered by irritating chemicals in ordinary household items like soaps, bubble baths or polyester clothing.
It can also be caused by bacterial infections, becoming too hot, stress, food triggers and other allergies.
So what can you do to help your baby? Read on.
1. Go easy on the bathing
Babies don't need bathing every day and this is particularly true if they have eczema. Avoid the soap and bubble bath, keep the water temperature lukewarm and don't leave them sitting in water for too long. This will help ensure their tender skin doesn't dry out.
2. Think hydration
Lather a good quality hypoallergenic baby lotion onto your baby's skin. This will keep their skin hydrated. You can do this a few times a day, especially after a bath.
3. Keep it clean
Most babies drool and if it's not cleaned up, a rash can develop. This can cause a flare-up amongst kids with eczema.
4. Use natural skin soothers
Add some baking soda or uncooked oatmeal into the bath with your baby. These are little-known but very effective natural ways to relieve the condition.
5. Watch their temperature
If your baby sweats or gets too hot, their skin can become irritated. Don't bathe them in overly-hot water, and keep an eye on the weather. If it starts to get warm, remove layers.
6. Use sensitive detergent
Wash those baby clothes and bedding in a laundry detergent made for sensitive skin. And set your washer for an extra rinse cycle to get rid of detergent residue that can irritate your cutie’s complexion.