We have all envied the soft and supple skin of babies. But taking care of your baby’s skin can turn out to be a bit challenging because of their delicate nature. Since their skin is a lot more sensitive than ours, extra care should be taken while picking out products for their skin. Certain skin conditions such as diaper rash, eczema, cradle cap, baby acne, and heat rash are fairly common in little ones (1). And using artificial skincare products can be harmful because of the synthetic fragrances and chemicals they may contain. So make sure to consult with your pediatrician on what products to use on their skin.
Summers can be extremely tough on baby skin and cause itching, irritation, and rashes. Here we break down 5 natural remedies that you can rely on to keep your baby’s skin trouble-free this summer.
Heat rashes are common in babies during the summer months. They can appear on different parts of the body such as the stomach, neck, chest, and buttocks (2). Besides dressing your baby in loose, light, and comfortable clothing, you can also try an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties as it contains the compound avenanthramides. It also has antioxidant properties. Hence oatmeal can be soothing to the skin (3).
How to prepare the bath:
- Finely ground the oatmeal and add it to your baby’s bath.
- Make sure you mix it well until the water turns to a milky white color.
- Bathe your baby in the water as you would normally do.
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of sandalwood can help soothe the skin from heat rash (4). Try doing a patch test first to ensure that your baby doesn’t have an allergic reaction to it.
How to do it:
- Mix the sandalwood powder with some water to form a thick paste.
- Gently apply it on the affected areas on your baby’s skin.
Neem has long been considered as an effective natural remedy for a variety of skin conditions. The antiseptic properties of neem leaves are what made it widely popular in India. Neem can have a soothing effect on mosquito bites as well. Neem has also been known for treating eczema (5).
Eczema appears as patches of dry, scaly skin. It can also be characterized by tiny red bumps on the skin. They can get itchy and crust over or ooze if scratched. Other than neem paste, effective measures to treat eczema include dressing the baby in loose cotton clothing, avoiding frequent baths, and adding a few drops of non-allergenic oil to the baby’s bath (6). We recommended doing a small patch test first to ensure that your baby doesn’t have an allergic reaction to it.
How to use neem for eczema:
- Grind the leaves with adequate water until it forms a fine paste.
- Apply this paste to the affected part of the baby’s skin.
4. Breast Milk
Loaded with antibodies, breast milk is not just beneficial to your baby’s health and immune system but works great for their skin as well. Breast milk is also probably one of the convenient and readily available natural home remedies for treating a variety of skin infections and conditions such as diaper rashes and eczema (7).
It also contains several fatty acids such as linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid that can help lock in moisture and prevent dryness (8).
There are 2 ways to use breast milk:
- Take a few drops of breast milk and directly apply it to the baby’s skin.
- You can also prepare a breast milk bath by adding about 300ml of breast milk in your baby’s bath. For this, you can use both frozen or thawed breast milk. Let your baby soak in this mixture for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has long been used as a natural moisturizer with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (9). Studies have found the topical application of virgin coconut oil to be effective in treating eczema (10). Though coconut oil has several benefits, it is best to avoid using it during summer or for treating heat rash as it can clog the pores and worsen the rashes.
How to use it:
- Take a small quantity of coconut oil and rub it between your fingers. Now apply it to the affected area on your baby’s skin.
- You can also mix a few drops of coconut oil in your baby’s bath.
Instead of choosing skincare products with chemicals in them, try our list of home remedies to tackle your little munchkin’s skin woes this summer. However if the problem continues to persist or seem to be getting worse, we recommend consulting with your doctor soon.