Whether it's the navel, skin or bottom, your baby's body needs special care. The navel is still a wound after birth. Your baby’s skin is very thin and is particularly stressed on their bottom due to frequent wetting. In general, however, the following still applies to body care: less is more. For daily cleaning, it is enough to wash your baby either in the morning or in the evening with a clean, soft cloth dipped in lukewarm water. While there are many products specifically for baby care, few of them are really necessary. If you don't buy them, it's not only easy on your baby's skin, it's easy on your wallet. In any case, do not use products with mineral oils, preservatives, added colours or fragrances, or so-called ‘softeners’. If you are under the care of a midwife, she can give you lots of helpful tips on baby care.
After the umbilical cord is cut at the end of the birth, the rest of the cord is attached to a clamp. Your midwife and the staff at the maternity hospital will advise you on how to care for your baby’s navel. The remnants of the umbilical cord will dry up and fall off over the next three to ten days. What remains is a wound that heals in the air. During this time, your midwife will check that the navel is healing well. The healing navel is also examined by a doctor as part of the U2 check-up. When diapering, make sure the diaper fits below the baby’s navel to keep it dry. The diaper should not cover the wound. If the wound is red, swollen or leaking fluid, ask your midwife for advice or consult your paediatrician.
Your baby's skin has a natural protective acid layer from birth. It is not yet as developed as in adults. Baby skin therefore reacts more sensitively to cold, heat and wetness and is dry more often. For particularly dry skin, you can massage your baby with either almond or jojoba oil. Baby lotions and creams with mallow or calendula are also suitable for this purpose. It's best to choose one of these products once and stick with it. If the baby's skin does not react well to it, you will then know which product is to blame and to stop using it. Some babies have dander. There are different types. Greasy yellowish-white flakes on the head are called cradle cap. You can usually apply one of the oils or creams mentioned above to this without hesitation. However, if the skin under the flakes is red, you should make an appointment with your paediatrician's office.
It is important and healthy for children to be outdoors on a regular basis. During their first summer, however, you should never expose your baby to direct sunlight. It should always find a shady spot outside. Where there are no trees, a parasol will help. Even after the first year of life, blazing sun is not good for children. The best protection, besides staying in the shade or using a sunshade, is appropriate clothing from head to toe. In the sun, your child should always wear a hat, cap or scarf with an umbrella and neck guard. For the rest of the body, long-sleeved shirts and loose-fitting long pants are ideal. Keep your baby’s feet in mind as well. They should be covered by socks or shoes. In addition, if your baby is in direct sunlight, you can apply baby or children's sunscreen to the areas that are not protected by clothing. You can also use a rich cream or lotion to protect your child’s face from wind and weather during the winter. It also protects against the cold.
For daily cleaning, it is enough to wash your baby either in the morning or in the evening with a clean, soft cloth dipped in lukewarm water. You should take extra care to wash your child under their arms, behind their ears and in the folds of their skin. Once you've cleaned baby's face and upper body, follow up with your baby's bottom and genital area. Twice a week you can also bathe your baby. Bath additives and bubble bath are not necessary. If your baby has dry skin, you can apply moisturising creams or lotions. Oiling with almond, calendula or jojoba oil also cares for dry children's skin and is a soothing massage for your baby at the same time.
It is also best to clean your child's bottom and genital area using only a soft washcloth and lukewarm water. When changing diapers, you should dab the entire diaper area with it. Always stroke with the cloth from the front to the back. Otherwise, there is a risk that germs from the anus will enter the urethra and cause a urinary tract infection. If the skin on the bottom is very irritated by your baby's urine, you can apply a wound protection ointment to it. It's also best to leave the diaper off for a while every now and then. This allows the skin to recover. Packaged wet wipes are not suitable for baby care because they are usually treated with fragrances. You should definitely not use baby powder. They contain substances that can harm the baby if he accidentally inhales the powder. It is also best to wash the vulva or penis only with a clean, soft washcloth and lukewarm water. With the penis, you must be careful not to retract the foreskin further than the natural resistance. In the first years of life, the foreskin still adheres to the penis.
Your baby's fingernails and toenails are still brittle and soft in the first few weeks after birth. That's why you usually don't have to cut them yet. Over time, however, there is a risk that the baby will scratch themself or you. Therefore, you should then trim their nails as needed. Sometimes it helps to do this when you're bathing your baby. Then the nails are especially soft and your baby is relaxed. Another option is to cut your baby’s nails while they’re sleeping. Fingernails should be rounded and toenails cut straight. Use clippers, files and scissors that are specially designed for babies. Cutting your baby's hair isn't really necessary. If you still want to do this, you should use scissors with a rounded tip.