How to Care for Your Baby's Skin in the Winter

Sleeping baby with cozy hat

Photo by Adrian Chung / Getty Images.

The cold, dry winter air can be brutal on your baby's delicate skin, but it doesn't have to be. With just a little extra attention, your baby's skin will remain as soft and supple as the day she was born. Here are a few tips for caring for your baby's skin in the winter. 

Baby Moisturizers

Making sure your baby's skin is properly moisturized will help to prevent chapping. While it's always important to apply moisturizers before heading out in the cold, it's even more beneficial to moisturize immediately after her bath.

After having some delightful splash time in the tub, gently pat dry her skin with a clean towel. Be mindful not to rub the towel over the skin as you're more likely to irritate it. Then massage your baby lotion over slightly damp skin to help lock in the moisture. If you're out of baby lotion, consider making your own with coconut oil -- it's all-natural and a great moisturizer for baby's delicate skin. 

Preventing Chapped Lips

Don't forget to care for those beautiful rosebud lips. Simply coat with a thin layer of petroleum jelly or gentle lip balm. This will create a barrier of protection from the cold and help to decrease the chances of chapped, cracked lips. Using a layer of petroleum jelly or thickened baby lotion, like Eucerin or Aquaphor, a few times a day under the nose also works wonders for preventing raw skin from drippy little noses. Let's keep those lips kissably soft!

Heat Rash Occurs in the Winter, Too

Strange as it may sound, your baby can get heat rash in the winter as well. This can happen when your baby is dressed too warmly or when she's sitting in an area (such as a car seat) with poor air circulation.

To prevent this annoying, itchy rash from plaguing your baby's skin, be sure to dress her in breathable layers. As her temperature heats up, removing a layer and place her in an area that is comfortable and well ventilated.

Babies still need sunblock in the winter. Just because the temperature is much lower doesn't mean that your baby's skin can't be damaged by the sun's damaging rays. Select a broad-spectrum sunscreen between 15 and 30 SPF.

Avoiding Frostnip With Warm Accessories

Frostnip is a milder version of what is known as frostbite. During the winter, exposed areas of skin are prone to drop in temperature - particularly so your little one's piggy toes and tiny fingers. Always be sure to cover your baby's feet, hands, and head with warm socks and shoes, mittens, and hat. For little ones still in infant car seats, you may want to consider using warm blankets or car seat covers to add an extra layer against the cold.

Managing Diaper Rash

Though there are many causes of diaper rash, luckily there are several types of diaper rash creams to help keep rashes in check. Change your baby's diaper often and clean the diaper area thoroughly. Apply a layer of cream to ease the rash. For particularly problematic rashes, consider some diaper-free time to allow the bum to air out.

By Jennifer White
Jennifer White has authored parenting books and has worked in childcare and education fields for over 15 years.