When Can You Put Lotion On A Newborn, Tips & Safety Measures

The baby’s skin is soft and sensitive. Appropriate moisturizing, protection from the sun, and regular cleaning can keep the baby’s skin free of germs, dryness, and rash.

Most parents consider moisturizing the baby’s skin to protect the skin. However, the baby lotion is essential during dry seasons to keep the skin soft and healthy (1). Some lotions can also make the skin too moist, sweaty, and irritable. Read about when you can use a baby lotion, the safety measures, and choosing the right product.

Do Newborns Need Lotion?

Baby’s have a protective layer on their skin when in the mother’s womb. This layer is called vernix caseosa, and it protects the baby’s skin from drying up too much or becoming too moist. Post-birth, the vernix begins to shed, which gives a flaky appearance to the baby’s skin. This process is quite normal. However, newborns might not need lotion or baby oil as their skin remains moist until the vernix leaves the skin (2).

When To Use Lotion On A Newborn?

The tender skin of your newborn requires attention as their routine feedings. To protect the baby’s skin from drying and maintaining a soft texture, you should apply a gentle product to moisturize the skin. Therefore, it is important to know when to use lotion and moderation to suit the baby’s sensitive skin.

Here’s when you should apply lotion on a newborn (3):

  • Apply lotion all over the body immediately after bath. This helps reduce the chances of the baby’s skin becoming dry and flaky. Also, use mild baby soap for bathing as it reduces the risk of excessive dryness.
  • Use lotion on areas that look dry. It helps heal the skin and keep it moist. If you think that your baby’s skin is drier than usual, you should apply lotion two to four times a day.

What Are The Safety Measures To Follow While Applying Lotion?

Here are some safety measures you should follow when applying lotion to your baby’s skin (3):

  • Make sure there is no contact with the eyes. Babies tend to put their hands in their mouth and eyes, and if you have applied a generous coat of cream, it may cause a reaction.
  • Apply lotion immediately after a bath to prevent dry, irritable skin.
  • Don’t use a moisturizer that contains food and plant products as they may disrupt the skin and cause irritation and allergic reactions.
  • Don’t dip your finger or a spoon to take out the cream from the bottle of lotion. This will contaminate the cream.
  • Use flip-top or twist-up lotion tubes. Here, direct contact from the tube to the baby’s skin will lower the risk of contamination.
  • Use a lotion for your baby’s skin more frequently if there is persistent dryness.

How To Choose The Right Lotion For Your Newborn?

Some tips you can follow in choosing safe baby products, such as lotion, include (4):

  • Professional help: Talk to your baby’s pediatrician and choose among the products they suggest to ensure the product is safe for the baby.
  • Read instructions: Read the instructions and ingredients on the product. Try to avoid anything that has many chemicals and toxins as it could lead to irritated skin.
  • Be well informed: Try to find information from other reputable sources regarding the lotion. You can check online or take direct advice from skin specialists.
  • Go for a mild lotion: Pick a specially designed lotion for babies as it will be mild. A strong cosmetic is not recommended for babies as it may contain high levels of chemicals.
  • Avoid fancy lotions: To ensure your baby’s skin stays soft and healthy, use an unscented baby moisturizer. Avoid using lotions with a strong odor as they can cause baby acne.
  • Check the ingredients: Consider a hypoallergenic lotion. Some babies could be allergic to creams and other products, so before applying anything on their skin, ensure you have read about its ingredients.

When To Consult A Doctor?

Dry skin is not an unusual condition, and regular moisturization could keep it healthy. But if your baby’s skin turns red accompanied by flakiness and itchiness, it could be a sign of eczema, for which you should visit your baby’s pediatrician. The pediatrician will prescribe you medication and suggest the right home remedies for baby skincare (5).

The right lotion and repeated application to the newborn skin could lead to healthy skin for your baby. It is always better to use lotions recommended by the pediatrician to protect the skin from dryness, rashes, and itchiness. Moisturizing the baby’s skin will result in a long-lasting smooth skin.


MomJunction’s articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Dr. Ritika Shah is a dental surgeon with more than seven years of clinical experience across various cities in India. During her clinical practice, pediatric dentistry was her particular area of interest, and she constantly thrived to inculcate the latest advancements in the field of dentistry into her practice. Dr. Shah’s deep interest in the well-being of babies and children… more

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