What Should I Do for My Baby's Chapped Cheeks?

By Charong Chow
Winter is when your baby's cheeks are most sensitive to chapped skin.
Winter is when your baby's cheeks are most sensitive to chapped skin.

The harsh environment and sensitive skin can turn a baby's smooth cheeks red and chapped. According to pediatrician Dr. William Sears, low humidity and scratching are recipes for a cycle of itchy, dry baby skin. Break the cycle, by moisturizing properly and using some simple remedies to prevent and cure dry skin.

Moisturizer

Seal and hydrate your baby's cheeks with the right kind of moisturizer. First use a barrier agent, such as petroleum jelly, to stop your baby's skin from drying out. Apply this before going outside or inside heavily heated rooms. Also find a moisturizer with ingredients that hydrate, heal and lubricate the skin, such as calendula cream. Be sure to use something that is free of dyes, fragrances and other ingredients that may irritate sensitive baby skin.

Bathing

One of the best times to seal in the natural moisture of your baby's cheeks is after a bath. After a warm bath, gently blot her skin all over with a soft towel. Leave a thin layer of water over her cheeks and the rest of her body. Apply an ointment-style moisturizer with a barrier agent, such as petroleum jelly, over her slightly damp skin. It seals in the moisture and should leave her skin feeling smooth and less irritated.

Vaporizers

Low-humidity is often the culprit, when your baby has chapped cheeks; and one way to counteract this, is with a vaporizer. They add steam to dry air, causing warmer temperatures, higher humidity and less need for central heating. Place the vaporizer into your child's bedroom at night, and keep it in the same room as your baby during the day. Turning on the shower in the bathroom before a bath also increases the steam and humidity.

Hydrate Your Baby

Dry chapped cheeks need hydrating inside the skin, as well as on the outside. Well-watered skin is achieved by providing an ounce of water, or other fluids, per pound of your baby's weight each day. Older babies should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with bright colors, such as tomatoes and blueberries. Omega-3 fats from seafood also have anti-inflammatory properties for the skin. If your baby doesn't like fish, a supplement can be given.

About the Author

Charong Chow has been writing professionally since 1995. Her work has appeared in magazines such as "Zing" and "Ocean Drive." Chow graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.