Come November and it seems like everyone is talking about the approaching cold season. Malls and shops are putting up long sleeved clothes for sale, “Autumn-winter” reads every banner. On the TV, ads are talking about how the skin needs more intense moisturizing and how the cold weather makes skin dry & scaly. Ugh, you almost shudder when the model runs a finger across her dry skin and a line of cracked skin appears.
I personally start feeling that my skin is taut & itchy especially after a bath. It is then that I realise that it is time to switch bath and body products and add some heavily moisturizing body washes and body creams to my collection. But this year I stopped to think about my #babyT. Does his skin need any special winter skin care now that he is a toddler and running all over the place? Why, when we start changing our own products with the season, don’t we pay enough attention to the products we use for our kids?
Ok, I admit Bombay doesn’t really have a winter with single digit temperatures. But that doesn’t stop the mercury from dropping even if slightly. The air does get dry and usually, evenings and early morning are chilly enough to warrant a fully covered baby. And babies, especially my babyT has super dry and sensitive skin as it is. The cold, dry months ahead are not the kindest on his skin. It is just the beginning of November and I am already seeing the need to moisturise him more often.
But apart from that here are some of the winter skin care ideas I am planning on using in order to make sure he sails through the cold season without much trouble:
- Bathe less
Contrary to what it seems like, water can have a drying effect on the skin. This is because water washes off the natural oils of the skin. And this is more the case when you use warm or hot water for bathing. Lukewarm water is best. For babies and young children who don’t really get messy and muddy, you can actually bathe them on alternate days.
They will anyway not get very sweaty and sticky due to winter. So bathing frequency can be reduced. When you do bathe them, choose water which is less hot and avoid bathing them at times when it is chilly (early morning or night) so that you can avoid the need for hot water.Do remember to keep baby’s diaper area clean even if you are not bathing them every day. Using wet wipes or a cotton ball and fresh water is best. I recently consulted with a firm on their bathing solutions. After spending some time investigating the bathing solutions by AHM installations on installing a baby-specific bath in our bathroom for this reason alone, since our “adult bath” is just too big and poses a danger risk.
MommyT’s tip: Add a few drops of baby oil to the bathing water so that the skin gets moisturized as you wash.
- Moisturise immediately after bath
I’ve learned from experience that rather than letting the skin dry completely, it is best to use a moisturizer on slightly moist skin. This helps lock the moisture in, leaving skin supple and soft. This is probably the reason why washrooms in hotels and restaurants usually have a bottle of moisturizer right next to the bottle of hand wash near the basin. It’s a really handy idea and most moisturizer bottles come with a dispenser now, making it quick and easy to use.For babies, your wash and clean routine should mandatorily include an all body moisturizing step.
MommyT’s tip: If your baby is wriggly and oil massages have become a fight rather than fun, use the moisturizing time to give them a gentle massage all over. Babies are growing and a firm but gentle massage over knees, legs and the back can ease growing pains too.
- Choose the right products
Winters are the right time to ditch your light and summery body washes & moisturisers because honestly they are just not meant to hold up to the harsh, cold climates. But having said that it is also important to choose the right products to ensure winter skin care is done right. Choose a body wash which hydrates as it cleanses and a moisturiser which is emollient, i.e. one which is capable of softening and soothing skin. A non-greasy formula is best because despite it being winters, oily, greasy creams like petroleum jelly or even oils can clog pores and lead to irritation and itching, especially in places where the skin folds.
We have truly found love in Aveeno moisturizing bath and lotions. After having tried possibly every baby cream and lotion in the market, we have found that nothing works so great on babyT’s dry, dermatitis prone skin like Aveeno does. What I love about the Aveeno moisturizing lotion is that it contains natural colloidal oatmeal which is a well-known solution for eczema-prone dry skin. Aveeno moisturizes for a full 24 hours and has no alcohols which can dry skin. It is also hypoallergenic and fragrance-free which is good news for babies with sensitive skin. And Aveeno and Johnson’s are after all #BestforBaby
MommyT’s tip: Don’t forget to moisturise the face. Baby cheeks are one of the first places on their body to go dry.
- Take cover
You can’t go wrong with this age-old tradition of bundling little babies up. While it is important to cover them up with long-sleeved T-shirts and full-length pants, don’t overdo the sweater, caps and mittens unless you are actually stepping out into the biting cold. Babies also tend to heat up pretty fast and their tiny bodies lose a lot of energy in preserving and protecting body temperature.Don’t forget to snuggle up though.MommyT’s tip: It is also a good idea to let babies and children wear socks around the house, especially if you don’t have carpets. And you can easily get baby socks with slip-proof padding under the soles to make sure they don’t fall with their socks on.
- Hydrate the air
Yes, there’s nothing wrong with the statement, you can actually do that. You can actually use a humidifier to put the moisture back in the air. This is much needed especially in places where one uses a heater to heat up the room. Heat can dry up the air and make it extremely dry which is a bane in the cold weather. Consider installing a humidifier if you know you’re going to have the heater on.MommyT’s tip: Don’t want to invest in a humidifier for the matter of a month or two? Fret not! Use the steamer (used for facial or nasal steam) to add some quick moisture to the room.
- Hydrate from the inside
It’s not just summers that warrant having an extra glass of water. Winters too can be a pleasant affair if you up baby’s water intake. Hydration can also come from coconut water, juices, warm soups and winter fruit like oranges and lemons. BabyT loves joining his mummy and daddy for tea time and we indulge him by giving him a green tea made with tulsi and ajwain leaves. Grandma’s home remedies never hurt.
- Don’t forget the chapped lips
Runny noses, dry cool air all can make babies lips dry and chapped. And severe chapping can lead to cracks and bleeding lips in extreme cases. Keep lips soft and moisturised with a swipe of coconut oil.
Just listing these here makes me feel good. I feel ready for the winter months and this time I will not let babyT fall victim to his dry skin issues. Do you have any other winter skin care routine that you follow?