Be honest: Choosing the right initial equipment can be quite overwhelming - and the same applies to the right baby care equipment. The range of products feels endless, and yet it doesn't take much at the beginning. So before you buy everything there is in terms of oils, creams and powders just to have the products on the shelves for years to come, we have summarized some of the most important tips for the right baby care for you here.
In addition, there are our favorite care products for babies, which are simply part of the basic equipment. Thoroughly tested by us and our babies, because:
Baby skin has very special needs
Now to take notes! Your baby's skin has completely different properties and needs than yours. Because baby skin is about five times thinner than that of adults and has not yet developed its own protective function. This makes them extra sensitive and means more than ever that less is actually more here.
After birth, most babies are initially covered with so-called cheese smear (Vernix Caseosa). This is your baby's natural protection so that the skin in the amniotic fluid does not swell or wrinkle. At birth, the protective layer then serves as a natural anti-slip layer and should not be washed off after birth - after all, it is like your baby's first, really high-quality care cream! It not only protects the skin adequately after childbirth, but also has an antibacterial effect and is quickly absorbed throughout the body. You should only massage the cheese spread lightly into the skin folds (armpits, neck, groin), where the layer is usually a little thicker.
Water and washcloths: that's enough!
If the skin does not show any acute need after the birth, you can actually do without care products completely. A soft washcloth and lukewarm water – that’s all it takes! This allows you to gently cleanse the face, body, and associated skin folds so that the sensitive skin does not become inflamed or sore. However, if your baby does need more care, you should of course make sure that care products contain 100% natural and organic ingredients.
But other than that, babies don't sweat! Also, newborns and babies don't usually get nearly as dirty as they will later as toddlers. This is exactly why a small cat wash is sufficient from the second day of life!
Almond oil – the all-rounder
Almond oil consists only of skin-care vitamin E, which is why it can also be used on newborns without hesitation - as all-round care, for baby massage and also for cleaning. Because of sebum and dirt deposits in the skin folds on the neck, behind the ears or in the diaper area, easily inflamed areas can form due to friction. As a preventative measure, you can put some almond oil on a cotton pad or soft cloth and carefully clean and care for the affected areas. A few drops of almond oil are also great as a bath! Important: The water should always be around 37 degrees, not too warm and not too cold for the baby.
Proper umbilical care
In most babies, the remainder of the umbilical cord falls off around the third to seventh day of life. But there are always babies who keep the remainder of the umbilical cord for up to 20 days, which is also completely normal. The most important thing is to always keep the remainder of the umbilical cord dry. Diapers should therefore be closed below the navel - the easiest way to do this is to fold the upper edge of the diaper down once at the front. Many diaper companies also have a cut-out on the waistband for the navel for size 1 and 2 diapers to aid in the healing process.
You can also tie a sterile compress around the navel so that the remainder of the umbilical cord does not rub against your baby's skin and cause irritation. This is permeable to air and protects the skin. Your midwife will also be happy to advise you on individual navel care.
We have had good experiences with a mixture of calendula essence and water to heal wounds. Of course very important: Observe the mixing ratio of the package insert! The base of the navel can then be easily cleaned with the help of a Q-tip. In general, the first baby bath is delayed until the remainder of the navel has fallen off. Of course, it is also possible beforehand, it is only important that the remainder of the navel is dried well afterwards and does not remain damp - your midwife and pediatrician are always the right contacts for consultation!
Tip: If the navel comes loose, you may experience light spotting. We therefore recommend putting on a cotton bodysuit during this time, which can also be washed hot.
Proper care of diaper area
The warm, humid climate in the diaper puts a strain on the sensitive skin on the buttocks - skin-friendly cleaning is therefore particularly important here! It's also great to let your baby kick around freely (under the heat lamp) from time to time. Basically, the same applies here as to everything else: clear water and a soft washcloth are more than enough to gently clean the diaper area! If there is no bowel movement in the diaper, a cotton pad with a little almond oil can also be great for cleaning the intimate folds.
But that doesn’t always work everywhere – especially when you’re on the go. That's why we love the sensitive wet wipes from Lillydoo with 99.9% water as a good alternative.
Very important: Even in the diaper area, everything should be nice and dry before a new diaper is put on. This can help prevent sores from forming. However, if the diaper area does get sore, baby sitz baths are a great option to reduce redness and swelling. You may already know from your own perineum care after childbirth: the hip bath from the train station pharmacy. Alternatively, a mixture of Dead Sea salt and a few drops of calendula essence is beneficial. Either soak the baby's bottom in it for five minutes, or use the bathwater instead of plain water to clean the area. Then put some wound protection cream, for example comfrey ointment , on the sore spots!
Important information about nail care
When it comes to nail care, it's also worth being frugal! The transition from nail to nail bed is very difficult to see in a newborn's little fingers and toes.
In the first four to six weeks you should therefore avoid cutting your nails completely. If the fingernails are very long and your baby injures his face with them, you can easily "pull off" the protruding edges, because the nails are still very soft. Gloves are usually not the solution - because it is very important that babies touch and feel themselves and their surroundings. Of course, your midwife will always help you if you are unsure.
Long fingernails and toenails can then be trimmed later with baby nail scissors - ideally while sleeping or breastfeeding. Nail scissors are good for this, which are rounded at the front so that small fidgeting hands do not accidentally injure themselves.
Baby's first care at a glance
- Soft washcloths (about 6-10)
- High-quality, natural almond oil (e.g. from Voyanics)
- Wound protection cream (e.g. comfrey ointment)
- Calendula essence (e.g. Weleda or Wala)
- Sitz bath (e.g. station pharmacy)
- Wet wipes for on the go (e.g. Lillydoo)
- Nail scissors for babies
BABY BOX READY