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How baby skin differs and develops


All first time mums marvel at the softness of their newborn’s skin and, as they inhale that gorgeously distinctive smell, it’s an instant attraction to help mother bond with baby. Over time you’ll notice your little one responding to your touch, and skin-stroking and gentle massage is a wonderful way to connect and promote relaxation for you both.

How baby skin differs and develops

As the largest organ in the body, skin is actually pretty amazing. Accounting for around 16% of your total body weight, it’s an essential barrier offering protection from the outside world, defending your internal organs from harmful toxins and disease, as well as regulating temperature and is a tool for exploring the world through touch. 

A baby’s skin is up to 30% thinner than an adult’s, with a greater tendency to dryness.

Infant skin is more "active" than adult skin; it's constantly developing at a rapid pace. It’s more vulnerable to irritants and to changes in temperature and humidity. So it’s vital to only use mild and gentle products, which have been specially formulated and rigorously tested for use on babies. Some of the ingredients used in adult products can be too harsh for babies' delicate skin. Newborns sometimes suffer with certain skin-related complaints, which need to be treated carefully. As the vernix (the substance coating newborn skin) rubs off and your baby’s fresh skin adjusts to the surrounding environment, you may find it starts peeling. This is perfectly normal and won’t last long, but in the meantime you can help to keep it moisturised by using a gentle moisturiser such as JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion or Oil.

Cradle cap, also known as seborrhoeic dermatitis, is very common and typically occurs during the first few months of life. Its severity can range from dry flakes on the scalp, similar to dandruff, to thick yellow ‘crusty’ scales. The symptoms and appearance of cradle cap can be alleviated by massaging baby oil into the scalp to soften it (taking extra care with baby’s fontanels or ‘soft spots’), then after a few minutes, gently combing away the flakes and cleansing with a baby-friendly body wash or shampoo. If symptoms persist or worsen seek advice from your healthcare professional. 

As babies grow, discover their feet and start to feed themselves, they get increasingly messy! Take care to continue to use bath products that are both soothing and moisturising to help keep skin healthy and clean. Always use a moisturiser after washing your baby, as it’s an excellent way to prevent dryness. Until the age of three, a baby’s skin is still developing and more vulnerable than adult skin. It’s the first line of defence against germs and other harmful irritants, so treat it with the utmost care to keep it healthy, soft and smooth.

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Nurturing and growing together

Nurturing and growing together

Having your first baby is a rewarding yet daunting experience. The JOHNSON’S® Baby brand is there to help you along the way with their "Baby & You" YouTube channel.