Can You Put Lotion on a Newborn Baby?

Your newborn baby is so small and delicate that you're probably worried about how you hold her, where she sleeps and what comes into contact with her tiny body. Babies are more resilient than they appear, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take certain precautions to keep your little one safe and comfortable. Protecting her skin is one way to accomplish this goal, and in most cases it's perfectly safe to use lotion.

Newborn Baby Skin

Many newborn babies have peeling skin, and this is completely normal, according to KidsHealth. This peeling skin might look like dry skin, but it's actually just an adjustment from the womb to the outside world and generally falls off within the first few weeks of life. Your newborn's skin might also be red in some places, and this is commonplace, too. Babies don't have normal blood circulation immediately after birth, according to KidsHealth, and that can cause red patches of skin, often called mottling. Some babies have skin conditions, such as eczema, that can cause dry skin, rough patches and rashes, and they can affect the appearance of the skin, as well.


It's perfectly safe to use lotion on your newborn baby. The lotion can help with the appearance of the peeling skin, though it's unlikely to make the condition go away any faster. Keeping your newborn's skin moisturized can reduce the risk of dry skin, and that can cut down on the risk of itching and other discomfort. If your child appears to have a skin condition that's causing dry patches, a rash or anything else out of the ordinary, speak with his pediatrician about appropriate types of lotion so you don't make the condition worse. For example, certain kinds of lotion can help ease the symptoms of eczema.


If your newborn has normal skin, the type of lotion you use is ultimately up to you. There are numerous lotions on the market that are made with babies in mind, and many of these can be gentler on the skin than certain adult lotions. Consider the scent of the lotion. Strong scents might bother your baby or irritate her skin. You might look for lotions that are made mostly of natural ingredients. Though, don't use any lotion that contains essential oils without approval from her pediatrician, because these aren't always appropriate for use with newborns.


If you notice that your baby's skin is still dry once you start using lotion, talk to her pediatrician about different options that might treat the condition. Watch your newborn for signs of a reaction to lotion, which can include redness, rash and irritability because of itching. If this occurs, switch to another type of lotion. Many babies are sensitive to the fragrances in certain lotions, so opting for an unscented version is usually all it takes to reduce the symptoms and also treat her dry skin.

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