Before the baby is born, many mothers learn how to take care of it and take care of it when we get home. One of the activities that gives us the most excitement, although also some anguish, is the moment of bathing our baby for the first time. Although it is not necessary to do it daily, some mothers do it very frequently, bringing health problems for the little one, and there are manythe health problems of babies from frequent bathing.
When I do the pediatric prenatal or postnatal consultation, he warned parents that bathing in newborns should not be done at least after the first five days of birth, since it is convenient to maintain the layer of cheesy vermix with which they are born.
Its function is none other than to protect the baby's skin from external contaminating factors, germs from the environment that can attack it and regulate and maintain its body temperature. Therefore, the ideal is not to bathe him during those days (there are pediatricians who even indicate the bath after the first 10 to 15 days, but to me, particularly, it seems exaggerated).
Cheesy vermix is a greasy, whitish-yellowish material, with a texture similar to cheese, that covers the skin of the newborn from the time it is in the uterus and consists of a mixture of fatty secretions from their sebaceous glands and dead epidermal cells.
Also the skin of babies is thin and very delicate, with a pH at birth of 6.5 and as the weeks go by it acidifies to a pH 5.5 which gives it a greater defense capacity; but if the skin receives frequent baths, that pH is altered and the baby will become susceptible to acquiring skin diseases or other pathologies, especially of infectious origin such as mycosis, pyodermatitis, impetigo.
When we constantly prevent our child from being in contact with the environment, with the ground, toys, dirt so that he does not get dirty or contaminate and, in addition, we bathe him several times a day, what we are doing is that his immune system is weaken and, therefore, more vulnerable to infections or other allergic-type pathologies, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema.
Babies with dry, dehydrated and scaly skin come to my office many times and, when questioning the parents, they tell me that the baby is bathed more than once a day, because they see him sweaty due to the high temperatures, which generates a cleansing of the normal fat from the skin and, therefore, its natural hydration.
With all this, it is important that we take care of our baby, but know how to do it correctly, especially when it comes to bathing. Here are some tips that I give to parents who come to my office:
- The newborn should be bathed at least 5 days after birth, to preserve the layer of cheesy vermix.
- The first 28 days (newborn period) it is not necessary to give daily baths. They can be every day or every two or three days.
- Up to 6 months lBaths can also be occasional and grooming your genitals whenever necessary.
- Too the neck area and the folds of the arms and legs should be cleaned, where sweat accumulates. Even at the neck level there may be remains of breast milk or formula, which must be removed daily to prevent the growth of fungi in that area.
- LBaths should be quick with clean water (filtered), at body temperature (36 or 37 degrees) and preferably use neutral pH soap.
- It is not necessary to use products such as shampoo, perfumes or moisturizers, unless they are indicated by a doctor to treat dry skin.
- And before 6 months, bathing in the beach or pool is not recommended.
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