Having a baby is never an easy task, and caring for one in the winter in Chicago is especially challenging! With sub-zero temperatures, snow and poor humidity, just getting out the door, with your infant in tow, can be a major accomplishment. A lot of questions that I get are regarding a newborn’s skin during the winter months. Below is a summary of some common topics that are often brought up in the office.
Moisturizing: A newborn’s skin is generally very dry (and this is true for babies born in the summer as well as in the winter!). Their skin is exfoliating and generally will improve on its own by about 1 month of life. There is no need for moisturizing during this initial period.
Bathing: Newborns don’t do too much to get dirty (there will be plenty of time for that later in life!) and only need baths 1-2 times per week. For newborns who still have the umbilical cord attached, sponge baths are all that are necessary.
Umbilical Cord Care: The goal is to keep the cord dry. Diapers can be turned down (so they don’t cover the cord), and no full bathing until the cord has fallen off. The cord usually falls off within 1-2 weeks after birth.
Fingernails: Baby’s can be born with long and often sharp fingernails. It is safe to use a nail clipper, but it’s often easier to use a nail file to get rid of any jagged edges (and to prevent any scratches to the face!).
Below is a link to healthychildren.org with more tips on caring for your newborn’s skin:
As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions. 312-202-0300
Laura Kauffman, M.D., F.A.A.P.