A family history of allergies and/or asthma puts a baby at greater risk of having especially sensitive skin. But whatever her genes, talk to your pediatrician if your baby develops red, bumpy, or itchy patches after a bath or exposure to certain products or new clothes. She may refer you to a pediatric dermatologist for evaulation. In the meantime, use only mild cleansers, lotions, and creams that are free of fragrance and color. Stick with cotton clothing and wash it in fragrance- and dye-free detergent.
No, you're not a bad mom if your little beach bum gets a sunburn. It can be easy to miss a spot when you're on SPF duty, and kids do burn more easily than others. So, hey, now you know. In the meantime, if her skin is reddened but not blistered, soothe it by holding a damp, cool washcloth against it (or giving her a lukewarm bath) and applying a moisturizer with aloe. Administer ibuprofen as necessary for pain (if she's 6 months or older), and don't expose the burn to more sun until it's completely healed. If blisters form on the burned area or your child seems to be in great pain, call your pediatrician. What about tans? While any bit of color indicates damage to your child's skin, a slight farmer's tan over the summer can be hard to avoid. "I'd rather see a family outdoors getting exercise -- and wearing sunscreen -- than staying indoors because they're afraid of the sun," says Dr. Witman.