image001 Your baby’s skin care is just as important as all the late night feedings and diaper changes. You may be asking yourself, “When can you put lotion on a newborn baby?” Your new baby’s skin needs attention, but it is also very sensitive in the beginning.

You will want to use caution with products on newborns. They can be very sensitive to fragrance, dyes, soaps, certain chemicals and even things designed for babies. You may notice a rash or flaking skin after using something on your baby. This is why many parents wonder when they can start using baby lotion.

Can I Put Lotion On My Newborn?

When your baby is newborn, you may notice his or her skin is very flaky and peeling. Since it looks very dry, you may want to try and moisturize it with lotion. Then when can you put lotion on a newborn? According to, newborn babies do not need lotion because their skin is actually very moist beneath the top layer of skin.

Newborn baby’s skin contains a special covering that protected the skin while they were in the uterus. This covering is known as “vernix” and keeps your baby’s skin from getting too much moisture. After birth, this covering starts to shed and that gives the appearance of flaking. This is a normal process and not actually the result of dry skin.

The risk of using lotion on your baby at this time can cause your baby’s body to absorb chemicals that could harm their system. Research done in 2008 by scientists show that “phthalates” in lotion can actually lower the testosterone levels in male babies. They don’t really know if lotions contain these chemicals, so it is safer to refrain from using them in newborns.

How to Care for My Newborn’s Skin

Dry skin in newborn babies can be caused by their new skin being exposed to dry room air. Newborn dry skin is actually quite normal and not uncomfortable to the baby. If you feel the need to use a lotion on your baby, try to pick a very mild lotion that is free of fragrance or dyes. Some pediatricians even advise using plain petroleum jelly on your baby.

When you notice that your newborn baby has cracked skin, you may need to consider using some type of moisturizer at this point. Most often, pediatricians will suggest something natural such as olive oil. It is also recommended to limit soap use. Soap is very drying to baby’s skin.

Follow these tips using the “less is more” theory to help keep baby’s skin healthy and prevent skin allergies or development of a rash:

1. Do Not Bathe Your Newborn Frequently

If you bathe your baby too often (more than 3 times weekly in the first year), it can take off baby’s natural skin moisturizers that are there to keep your baby’s skin healthy and supple. Taking these oils off can open up your baby to skin reactions such as eczema.

Newborn babies don’t get dirty with the exception of dirty diapers and saliva. They don’t get sweaty or play in the dirt yet. Just give your baby a light sponge bath at first and wash the diaper area. Babies with dark skin should only be bathed once weekly because they have a bigger tendency to have dry skin.

2. Avoid Baby Products in the First Few Months

Using baby products that contain chemicals in the early months can trigger the immune system to fight off the unknown substance and cause allergies, asthma or eczema.

3. Wash Any New Clothing Before Baby Wears It

Wash any new clothing you get for your baby before you put them on. Also, wash any new blankets or bedding items before using on your baby. Use a mild baby soap and wash clothes apart from other family clothing.

Want to learn more about how to care for your newborn’ skin? Check out the video below:

When to Consult a Pediatrician

You may notice that your baby has red skin with flaking and is itchy, it may be eczema and need to be seen by your pediatrician. The symptoms of eczema include red bumps, redness and peeling skin that itches. You may notice these areas on the arms, face and back of the knees. The doctor may suggest a medical treatment and offer some home remedies such as moist compresses to alleviate any discomfort.