Your little person may have been born bald, or he or she may have more hair than Rapunzel. Either way, it’s important to educate yourself on how to choose a baby shampoo. A baby’s skin is very, very delicate but a baby’s scalp is prone to baby specific conditions that you will want to address.
Most babies are born with or soon develop a condition known as cradle cap. This does not reflect poor hygiene or a disease condition but is a frequently occurring phenomenon that bothers mom and dad more than the baby.
Cradle cap does not itch, burn or in any other way bother your baby but it can be seen as unattractive in most cultures. Cradle cap is the common name of infantile or neonatal seborrhoeic dermatitis and is identified by its yellowish, patchy, greasy, crusty and scaly appearance. You may think you need prescription strength shampoo for this condition, but because of the delicacy of baby skin, it is not recommended. Medicated shampoos can cause irritation and burning to the little one’s scalp and has the potential for infection and severe pain should a chemical burn occur. A mild, low sudsing baby shampoo is what pediatricians recommend.
Lots of bubbles in a baby shampoo will not defeat treatment for cradle cap, but there’s another concern with bubble and babies. Bubbles run and can get into your baby’s eyes and cause burning and irritation. A mild shampoo will not cause any permanent eye damage but the cries of your baby may just break your heart if they could have been prevented.
A note of interest is that most new babies’ tear ducts are not completely developed at birth and therefore, it takes a bit before babies can make actual tears. Tears are a protective mechanism for the eye, used to flood, dilute and wash contaminates away. Be very cautious about what may get into your baby’s eyes until you see consistent tear formation. When you research how to choose a baby shampoo, you will find there are several gentle, non-irritating baby shampoos on the market that promise not to irritate the eyes or skin.
Fragrance is another no-no when searching for how to choose a baby shampoo. Babies surely can be little stinkers and everyone adores a sweet smelling baby. We all love to wash our babies in sweet smelling products, but fragrances are made of chemicals and for babies, are another potential irritant. In addition to the established delicacy and sensitivity of baby skin, exposing babies to chemical components early in life may set them up for allergic responses in early childhood. It’s best to play it safe and avoid any unnecessary exposures, especially if allergic reactions run in your family. This is called having a genetic predisposition.
Bath time is a bonding time for parents and baby. Follow these guidelines and you will determine how to choose a baby shampoo that meets the needs of your little bundle of joy and diminishes risks as well.