Questions & Answers: Newborns and their Skin

How many days a week should I bathe my baby?

Bath times can vary depending on your newborn’s skin type. Ideally, you should bathe your child every other day with one of the recommended cleansers/shampoos referenced in Best Drugstore Baby Skin Care Products.

What are the best remedies for eczema or atopic skin? What are the warning signs to look out for?

First, bathe your child in luke warm water for 5-10 minutes once a day.  After soaking, if soiled areas remain, use a small amount of mild soap or soap substitute (as above) for the dirty areas only (e.g. the hands, feet, and diaper area/groin). Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing (within 3 minutes) to skin that is wet or damp.

There are two methods for applying moisturizer:

Lay an open towel on the table or floor.  Remove the child from the bath and place the wet child on the towel.  Apply the moisturizer to wet skin.

Remove the child from the bath and pat with a towel to remove excess water, but leave the skin very damp, then apply the moisturizer to damp skin. The moisturizer may be applied additional times if desired to relieve dryness.

If the skin is still dry or there is persistent itching, open wounds or excoriated areas and red rough areas you should consult with a dermatologist. Additional information on atopic dermatitis is available through the National Eczema Association or

What is cradle cap? How can you get rid of it?

Cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis, is a self-limiting scaling eruption that occurs in areas with the highest concentration of sebaceous glands. The scalp is the most common in newborns. It usually clears within 3-4 weeks, even without treatment and, in most cases, spontaneously by 8-12 months. Treatment is best managed by frequent shampooing. If the scales are thick or adherent, removal can be facilitated by the thin application of baby or mineral oil overnight followed by gentle scalp massage with a soft toothbrush and then shampooing.  If it persists or is itchy, consult with your dermatologist for further recommendations.