Everybody loves the new baby smell. They breathe it in deeply and sigh with delight. Most people don't realize that part of the new baby smell is manufactured. The baby care products you use to wash and moisturize your baby are most likely contributing to that new baby smell on your baby's skin. The smell is addictive, and as long as your soap, shampoo, and lotion are mild and non-irritating, you can breathe in that heavenly smell for months to come.
Baby toiletries do smell nice, but you don't need to use soaps, shampoos, or oils on your newborn. A wash cloth and warm water is all you need for the first 6 weeks or even the first three months. Once your baby is closer to three months, you can begin to use a gentle, mild-as-water baby shampoo and baby soap.
There are plenty of mild baby shampoos and baby soaps which are formulated for your older baby's sensitive skin, so you have many choices. Avoid strongly perfumed baby body wash, bubble bath, shampoos, and oils as they may irritate your baby's skin.
There are also many options when choosing a baby lotion. Baby lotion should be gentle and unscented. Scented lotions include perfumes that may irritate or sting your baby's skin causing extreme discomfort.
Baby powder can be sprinkled onto your hands and rubbed over your baby's skin. Baby powder creates a dry friction-free barrier on your baby's skin to reduce the effects of rubbing and chafing in all those creases and folds. Choose a baby powder made of cornstarch rather than talc and keep airborne powder away from your baby's mouth and nose.
Baby oil moisturizes your baby's delicate skin by creating a barrier to keep moisture in the skin and prevent drying. Most baby oils are made of mineral, which can suffocate your baby if the oil is ingested. Using small amounts fractionated coconut oil or avocado oil moisturizes and protects the skin from moisture loss, absorbs easily, and can be ingested. If there are nut or tree allergies in your family, always take care when selecting an oil to use on your baby. Talk to your doctor or forgo the use of oil altogether and stick with a gentle baby lotion.
Most baby care products are formulated to be gentle on your baby's skin, but babies differ just like adults. Your baby may have skin so sensitive it reacts to everything or it may not react to anything.
Always do a patch test of any toiletry before using it on your baby. Rub a little bit of the soap, oil, or lotion on the underside of your baby's arm or wrist and leave it for 24 hours. If it irritates your baby's skin you will know! If your baby seems fine, start small and slowly increase the amount of each baby care product you use, just to be safe.