Your Baby and You - page 50

Baby skin and cord care
Babies are born with very delicate skin and are less able to withstand the
sensitising effects of modern detergents. Maintenance of the skin’s natural
protective barrier is paramount. In order to do this you should use water only
for baby skincare for at least the first month of life. When carrying out any
baby care you should wash your hands before and after. It is currently advised
not to overload your washing machine as this will help to avoid a build up
of chemical residues on clothing from washing powders. You should use
non-biological washing powder and make sure that your baby’s clothes are
thoroughly rinsed. If you use a fabric conditioner, try to use products that are
free from colours and perfumes. You may be considering using cloth nappies
for your baby. They are just as efficient as disposables and do not present a
higher risk of nappy rash. They are also kinder to the environment. You may
also be concerned about your baby having dry skin. This can be resolved by
using vegetable based oils - (olive oil is recommended) - not nut - which are
free from minerals, perfume and colours.
Your baby’s cord will dry and fall off between five and ten days after birth.
There are some basic rules about cord care to follow to reduce the risk
of problems:
Hand washing before and after all baby care
Leave cord open to air or cover with clean, loose clothing
Fold nappy down below the cord until it falls off
Leave alone unless contaminated by faeces or urine
Clean, if necessary with plain water and keep dry
Observe for signs of infection – redness, offensive smell
Contact your healthcare professional if you have any concerns about the cord area.
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