Studies have shed light on the vast differences between adult and infant skin. Infant 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 moisturised.
Always use a moisturiser after washing your baby. Your baby's skin absorbs water rapidly, but it loses it just as rapidly. That's why regularly moisturising your baby's skin is a good way to protect against dryness.
A nice way to monitor the health 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 agitated – 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 moisturising cream or lotion to help with the massage. Good choices include JOHNSON'S® Baby Moisturising 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 help maintain his healthy skin.