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Why your newborn's skin is dry and what you can do about it

As smooth as a baby’s… hmm… Bit of a myth, isn’t it? At least at first, it’s actually perfectly normal for the top layer of your new baby’s skin to become dry and peel off over the first week or so.

The amount that your baby’s skin peels depends on a few factors but is significantly affected by when your baby was born. Premature babies will have more waxy vernix, so they tend to peel less. On the other hand, overdue babies will have already absorbed their vernix and so their skin might be more cracked.

What can you do about your baby’s dry skin?

1. Do nothing

A new baby’s skin will naturally dry out, so the best thing you can do is sit tight and wait for that silky skin to appear.

2. Keep baths short and avoid too many

Daily baths risk drying out your baby’s skin even more, so keep them as a special little occasion. And stick to around five to 15 minute baths, rather than half an hour. You might like a long soak, but your baby’s skin does not.

3. No adult soaps or lotions

Bubble baths and creams can be harmful to your baby’s skin. Make sure you use baby-specific products, look for as natural as possible, and do your research. If you’re worried and your baby is a little older, you can use a small amount of natural and organic oils such as coconut oil. But leaving baby’s skin is always the safest option.