Our skin protects us and produces vital vitamin D. So it's important to take care of it. Small babies' skin isn't fully developed, so needs extra care.

Just like everything else about your baby, his or her skin is constantly changing and will carry on changing a lot over the coming years To help you understand how much, compare the thick skin underneath your feet with your baby's soft, tender soles

Our skin produces vitamin D
We seldom stop to think about how important our skin is Your baby’s skin helps maintain the right balance of heat and moisture and protects against bacteria and viruses The skin is also a sensory organ We use it to feel our way and form our perception of the surrounding world Our skin also produces nutrients including vitamin D
Skin is part of the immune system
A baby’s skin is not fully developed and quite different from the adult skin you're accustomed to For this reason, it can be useful to know some facts about your baby’s skin

1 A baby’s immune system is not fully developed If your newborn lies against your bare skin naked or wearing just a nappy, your protective bacterial flora will gradually be transferred to your baby
2 Your baby’s skin is about half as thick as yours, so it’s more sensitive
3 Babies’ skin has a higher fluid content than adults’ but it is harder for baby skin to maintain an optimal fluid balance
4 Babies are born with virtually inactive sweat glands Among other things, this makes their body temperature harder to control
5 As babies grow, their skin pH level becomes gradually lower To make sure you get it right, only use baby skin products

If you have any questions, talk to your Plunket nurse, midwife or GP

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