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Your baby's skin is silky smooth. Here's how to keep it that way!


Behold the beauty of your baby's skin -- translucent, supple and as soft as down. Only baby soap will preserve its healthy pink glow, so be sure to use a gentle formula, and don't wash your infant too often. Your baby doesn't need more than three baths a week, and too much bathing can dry out his skin, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Also, female infants who sit for prolonged periods in a bubbly tub are at a higher risk for a urinary tract infection. "Use only very simple, mild products on your baby's skin," recommends Dr. Elaine Siegfried, a pediatric dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology.

"Human skin rapidly develops something called the acid mantle, which maintains the skin pH as acidic, and this acidic pH helps protect skin from infection," explains Dr. Nanette Silverberg, a dermatologist and a clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. "Soaps are basic in pH and therefore may strip the skin." Because babies have sensitive skin, look for a soap that's fragrance-free (added perfumes may irritate and dry her out). "Be sure to wash your baby in lukewarm water and moisturize after each bath," Dr. Silverberg adds.

Here's a list of recommended baby soaps that are gentle and effective and can be used during your baby's first year:


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Cetaphil
This established brand has branched out with a new baby line of mild, non-irritating soaps. In particular, the moisturizing wash contains baby lotion, so it cleans and moisturizes at the same time.
 
Seventh Generation
Phthalate- and paraben-free, this foaming baby wash has a delicious, fresh scent. This baby soap is also hypoallergenic and sports the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased product designation.
 
Aveeno
This brand's adherence to natural ingredients extends to its baby line and includes oatmeal, which helps to restore the skin's pH and lock in moisture. Aveeno's baby cleansing therapy is also free of fragrance, alcohol and dyes.
 
The Honest Company
There are no sulfates, parabens or formaldehyde in this line of very gentle baby products. The 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash has a subtle orange and vanilla scent that's naturally non-toxic, biodegradable and even vegan.
 
Johnson's
This classic 'no more tears' brand is as mild as ever, making it a popular choice in hospitals and for home use. "This still-famous 'no more tears' labeling refers to the formulation, which is less irritating than other detergents," explains Dr. Seigfried.
 
Burt's Bees
The shampoo and wash in the Baby Bee line from this popular company is made from a plant-based formula that contains soy proteins enriched with vitamin B. This baby soap is also free of phthalates, parabens and petroleum.
 

Bath time is the best time for your baby. She can splash about and play while you keep her clean and healthy. "Check with your baby's doctor if you notice any redness, dryness or itching that aren't controlled by gentle bathing and regular moisturizing," notes Dr. Silverberg. A dermatologist may be able to help by making modifications in your baby's skin care regimen.



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