5 key things to keep in mind before buying products for your newborn

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With so many products beautifying the shelves at stores, it becomes an ordeal for parents to decide what they need to buy, especially when it comes to baby skincare.

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The arrival of a baby and an immediate role change to parenting are profound emotional experiences. Among other responsibilities, preparing to shop for the new-born’s basic necessities appears at the top of the priority list.

With so many products beautifying the shelves at stores, it becomes an ordeal for parents to decide what they need to buy, especially when it comes to baby skincare. As you know, your baby’s skin is very delicate and prone to irritation, dryness, soreness, and rashes due to chemicals and several other product ingredients. So new mums should be very careful and use mild, gentle products1,2.

Here are the 5 things that will help you choose the best for your baby.

1. Quality/ingredients

For skincare of new-borns and babies, the adage is “less is more”3. So look for products that have been especially formulated for baby care. There is nothing sweeter than soft and smooth skin of your newborn.

Thus skin care products should be gentle and effective, nourishing the skin4. Moreover it should also kill germs and bacteria and help maintain your baby’s body temperature. The products should contain mild cleansers in order to maintain the natural balance of the baby’s skin. As long as your baby's skin is healthy and not dry, a pH neutral product works fine.

  • Baby shampoos should be tear-free. For massage oils, look for natural and nourishing oils with vitamin E to massage into your baby’s skin.
  • When you buy powders it is advisable to avoid talc as it is known to irritate the lungs.6
  • Sunscreens with SPF of minimum 15, with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide should be used that might be gentler on skin.
  • Diapered skin of babies is often wet and is exposed to a lot of friction, due to urine and stool. All this can irritate the little one’s skin. So while buying nappies or diapers, prefer those made from soft absorbent cotton materials that are easy on the skin.
  • Mothers should also be careful while buying washing detergents for your baby’s clothes. They should be very mild and free of corrosive chemicals.
  • Buy clothes that are made of soft fabric, easy to wash and low on maintenance. They must be easy to put on and off and must not have elastics on them.
  • Irrespective of what you buy, all the products for your little one should be hypoallergenic, alcohol and paraben-free, should only have hypoallergenic fragrance. This will help you prevent irritation, redness, itching4,5,6 .

Make sure to contact your paediatrician immediately in case of any allergies observed.

2. Effectiveness

Effectiveness of a product has to be checked before buying it. So choose products that are dermatologically tested. Babies who have a dry skin require moisturisers. Baby hair oil containing vitamin E is beneficial.

Buy a good and a mild massage oil and this is essential when it comes to skin care. Vitamin E acts as an excellent moisturiser, wound healer that can be used to get rid of dry, chapped, irritated skin. Lastly, glycerin or paraffin based soaps help reduce water loss and moisturises the skin. It makes the skin softer and smoother.

 3. Ease of use/ Contamination-proof packaging

As a parent would you not desire to buy products that are user friendly for your baby? When you plan to buy a tooth brush, make sure that you buy a good one. It should have broad handle and thumb grooves for easy handling to avoid hurting the baby3.

Continue reading on the next pages to know about other things that must keep in mind!

It must have soft bristles to suit the baby’s gums. It must be light in weight and easily manageable. The baby cups that you buy should be provided with perforated sippers must be leak proof and prevent spillage. When you buy cutlery for your child, make sure that they are not sharp and are light in weight.13

4. Aesthetic appeal

Every good product should give a ‘feel good’ effect to both the parent and the child. The baby lotions that you buy must provide 24- hour moisture, hydration, and a protective barrier to lock in the moisture and keep dryness out.

It is important that the product you buy does not have a strong fragrance that would put off the baby. When you buy baby clothes make sure you opt for pleasant and soothing colours.

5. Expiry dates

Last but not the least; parents would like to look out for products that are worth their money. Babies have a fast growth rate. It is sensible not to stock up on too many baby products. Make sure to check for the expiry date on all the products that you buy to avoid unnecessary wastage.

Also Read: All you wanted to know about your baby's skin rash

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References:
1. Telofski, LS et a The Infant Skin Barrier: Can We Preserve, Protect, and Enhance the Barrier? Dermatology Research and Practice. Vol. 2012: 1-19.
2. Health Direct. Summer skin rashe http://www.healthdirect.gov.au/summer-skin-rashes. Accessed July 08, 2016
3. Your healthy living. Skin care tips for kid http://www.yourhealthyliving.co.uk/kids-skincare. Accessed July 08, 2016.
5. Baby ca Choosing baby skin care products. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a25011409/choosing-baby-skincare-products. Accessed 8 July, 2016.
6. American Cancer Society. Talcum powder and cancer http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum- powder-and-cancer. Accessed 8 July, 2016.
7. How to buy baby clothe Baby centre website. http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-buy-baby-clothes_10370611.bc. Accessed 8 July, 2016.
11. Healthy child health world websit How to: make your own baby lotions and potions. http://www.healthychild.org/easy-steps/make-your-own-baby-lotions-and- potions/. 3 January, 2013. Accessed 8 July, 2016.
12. Green peopl Why is glycerine used in some personal care products? https://www.greenpeople.co.uk/beauty-hub/blog/faq-why-is-glycerin-used-in- some-personal-care-products. 5 March. Accessed 8 July, 2016.
13. Solids: what to buy. Baby centre websit
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a559795/solids-what-to-buy. Accessed 8 July, 2016.
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