Reality hits the first time parents bring their new little bundle of joy home from the hospital -- you're a parent now and responsible for the health and well-being of this little person. One of the many things you'll need to know is how to care for your African-American infant's skin.
Your African-American infant's skin has it's own characteristics, which requires special care, according to Baby Center. Sensitive skin is common in African-American babies, which means your baby may be at a higher risk for dark spots and dry skin.
Bathing Your Baby
When it comes to bath time, avoid leaving your baby in the tub for too long, since this can draw out the natural oils in her skin, causing her skin to dry out even more. Bathing your baby one to two times per week is usually plenty, notes Baby Center. You can give her the occasional sponge bath between bathing days to keep her clean and fresh.
Keep your infant's skin moisturized in the winter by applying a moisturizer, such as a rich cream lotion, shea butter or cocoa butter to your baby's skin after every bath, advises Families.com. You should also get into the habit of moisturizing your baby's skin on the days between bathing, to prevent skin dehydration. When his skin starts to get ashy looking, that means it's already lost a good deal of hydration and needs to be moisturized.
Summer Skin Care
In the summer, your baby's skin treatment should be done a bit differently. You should apply a moisturizer after each bath, but instead of using a thick lotion or cream, opt for a lighter moisturizer, such as baby lotion or baby oil, notes Families.com. Protect your baby's sensitive skin by limiting how much time she spends in the sun, advises Baby Center. When you do take her out in the sun, apply a sunblock that's approved for her age at least 20 minutes before going outside.
What to Avoid
Steer clear of things that can make dry skin worse. Avoid using bubble bath and don't put scratchy clothing on your baby. Acne medications should never be used on your baby's skin unless your pediatrician recommends it, according to Adoptive Families Circle. When you place shoes on your baby, make sure they fit properly, so they won't rub and irritate your baby's skin.
- Adoptive Families Circle: Transracial Hair and Skin Care - Expert Chat with Dr. Brooke Jackson
- Families.com: Care of African American Children in Transracial Adoptions, Summer Skin Care
- Baby Center: African American Babies: Skin Care
- Families.com: Care of African American Children in Transracial Adoptions, Winter Skin Care