Being Dad

Skin Care for Your Newborn

skin care
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

The sheer volume of information available on newborn skin care can be intimidating.

As a dad, you can sometimes experience lack of confidence particularly in areas such as skin care where you’re not exactly sure what’s best for your baby. Minor skin problems are very common in newborns, in a recent study by Johnson’s Baby, they found 62% of babies studied had experienced dry or sensitive skin, over half experienced redness or a rash and almost a quarter suffered cradle cap or dandruff.

Despite these problems being common, it can be hard knowing exactly how to deal with them when they inevitably arise. The same study noted that in an average week, babies have their nappy changed 20 times, their faces washed 10 times, hands 14 times, as well as having a full bath on average almost 5 times. With this amount of contact, it is important to clean your baby with products that will be gentle on the skin and follow the best advice to avoid skin irritation or care baby

Johnson’s Baby have considered the high sensitivity of newborns’ skin and have just released a new ‘First Touch’ range which is specially developed so parents can look after their baby’s skin. The range follows their findings in their recent study and has been developed to be fragrance, alcohol and soap free whilst being pH balanced, so it is perfect to use alongside the advice below.


It has been said before that you should only wipe a newborn using cotton wool and water, but this can be difficult when out of the house. It is perfectly fine to use baby wipes which are fragrance, alcohol and soap free, as once these skin drying components have been removed there will be no irritation. Suitable baby wipes can effectively remove fat soluble and invisible impurities from milk that may be present in your baby’s nappy.

Although modern nappies are super absorbent, babies do have different levels of skin sensitivity so although you don’t need to rush to change them the second they’ve had a wee, do change them as soon as possible after a fully soiled nappy. Avoidance is the best way to approach nappy rash and Johnson’s advocate using a barrier cream to protect the skin. If nappy rash does develop, have some nappy-free time so the air can reach the skin.


Providing your newborn is healthy, they can be bathed as soon as you’d like. Newborns don’t get dirty enough to need a daily bath, but two to three times a week can be a fantastic bonding experience. They also don’t need harsh products, though a soap, fragrance and alcohol free cleanser especially for babies can help remove invisible impurities which could leave skin prone to irritation. The cleanser should also be mild and pH balanced.

Cradle cap

Cradle cap is very common in newborn babies up to six months. It is simply yellowish, scaly, greasy patches appearing on the scalp. It doesn’t cause discomfort to your baby and is usually harmless. It can be helped by massaging the area with oil and rinsing away with a gentle pH balanced shampoo so the flakes shed away.

Flaky skin

Flaky skin is another common complaint in newborn babies; it is simply the skin adapting to the radical change in environment and sudden exposure to the air. It will gradually clear up naturally but can be helped along the way with a mild and gentle moisturiser.

Baby massage

Massaging your baby is a wonderful bonding experience as well as improving their circulation, accelerating weight gain and promoting better sleep. Touch triggers hormones, boosts immunity and helps fight disease. Using a little baby oil while you massage can also really help the skin by locking in moisture and allowing your fingertips to glide smoothly over your baby.

As you apply this advice to your baby’s skincare, you’ll find you begin to grow in confidence. The ‘First Touch’ range gives you a single range to go to that you know is perfect to use with your new baby, so you don’t have the difficulty of trying to track down and choose products that might be unsuitable. As with many aspects of fatherhood, caring for your baby’s skin is really all about getting hands-on experience. Now you know what to do if your baby experiences any of these common skin problems, you’ll find you have a happy and healthy baby with glowing skin in no time.