Saturday, March 1, 2014

7 common mistakes moms do in taking care of their baby's skin

This post is brought to you by Pampers.

Sometimes I still can't believe I'm the mother of two babies. There's another one coming in the middle of this year, too, and we can't wait for the little one's arrival. If someone from this time went back into the past and told the younger me that I was going to be a mom of three and that I'd actually like the whole idea of it—poop and all—the younger me would never have believed it.

Unlike a lot of girls, I never thought motherhood was in my cards. For one thing, I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 22. It's a disease of the uterine lining that makes the woman bleed too much and too often, causing blood cysts to form and attach all over the reproductive system (sometimes even on other systems). The cysts and scarring eventually make getting pregnant impossible. While the bleeding and pain definitely had to be addressed, the eventual infertility never bothered me. For one thing, I never liked kids (I kinda still don't actually, hehe, I just like mine!) so a future without kids looked fine and dandy to me.

Imagine how I felt when the pregnancy test said I'm positively pregnant with Vito! I freaked out. I was 33, I've had endometriosis for over a decade. Pregnancy wasn't supposed to happen! So I devoured all the pregnancy and new-mommy books. I gobbled up every baby-care article I found on the Internet. I asked my old yaya (the one who took care of me and my brothers) to come teach me how to be a mom.

I'm so glad Yaya Marita was there to help me. I didn't know how to take care of babies at all. There was a lot of stuff I would've done wrong, were it not for her guidance. So when my blog sponsor Pampers asked me to write about common mistakes moms do when caring for their baby's skin, these are what I would've done but didn't, thanks to my expert Yaya M!

Vito at 4 months.
Giving baby daily baths. Especially with newborns, baths aren't necessary at all. It's not like they roll around in the dirt in their first few days, even months! In fact, until their umbilical cord (or, in the case of circumcised boys, their penis) is healed, don't get baby wet at all. Just a sponge bath is all the wee one needs. When the umbilical cord has fallen off, baby still doesn't need a daily bath. Maybe twice or thrice a week will do.

Using regular soap. Baby's skin is a lot more tender than ours so don't use regular soaps on them. Some germaphobe parents will even use antibacterial soap! Don't do it! In fact, pediatricians say clean water is fine. Only use the mildest baby cleanser when baby is dirty, and they usually don't get into that state until they're walking and tumbling and feeding themselves. Even then, just soap the dirty, sweaty parts (hands, butt, feet, knees, neck) and just use water on the rest.

Soaking in a tub of soapy water. I used to do this to my boys! I figured that since I love soaking in a tub of warm suds, my kids would love it, too. But soapy water can irritate the urethra. For girls especially, this can be a cause of UTI. If baby enjoys her baths a lot, just let her sit in clean warm water.
Vito loved bubble baths. Oops!

Using wet wipes not meant for the delicate areas. Choose hypoallergenic, unscented and alcohol-free. It's really important to read the labels since there's a plethora of wet wipes in the market. Some are anti-bacterial, for example, or some are makeup removers.

Kissing! Because the mouth is teeming with all sorts of bacteria! Don't kiss baby on their lips! Daddies should also be extra gentle because they usually have stubble that can irritate baby's sensitive skin. It also goes without saying that other people shouldn't kiss baby on the mouth, too. Just kiss hands and feet if you can't resist (and who can resist a baby?).

Not using sun protection. Since babies are still so very delicate, don't expose them to the sun. If the pediatrician recommends a sun bath, do it in the gentle light of the early morning sun. It's also best to use sunscreen made for their skin. Sunscreen for babies are not like sunscreen for us grownups. Their sunscreen is made with zinc oxide (yes, like diaper rash cream!) so that it just sits on the skin as a barrier, it doesn't get absorbed.

Putting baby powder with every diaper change. I've never used baby powder on my baby's privates. I've used cornstarch (not talc) on their backs when the weather is really hot, but sprinkling generous amounts of baby powder is not a good idea since this can irritate baby's genitals, nasal passages and lungs, and trigger allergies like asthma. If you want to keep baby's diaper area dry and comfy, use a great diaper like Pampers!

Hope my list helped! For more on caring for your baby's sensitive skin, like the Facebook page of Pampers now!
  
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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!