Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with DiMe Media and Dreft about how to protect baby this spring. All opinions are 100% mine.
This has been one of the craziest years of my life, everything’s been out of whack including the weather. Spring is finally here and as the weather is getting warmer, my family has been spending a lot more time outdoors. We live in the Midwest and it’s been cold and grey for far too long this winter so at the first sight of sunshine, we’re outside trying to get as much fresh air as our lungs can possibly hold. We’ve all got a perpetual case of cabin fever and the only cure is the great outdoors; riding bikes,hiking, roller skating, reading in the teepee in the back yard, jumping on the trampoline, zip-lining, slack lining; you name it these girls are outdoors doing it.
While all this warm sunshine on our faces is magnificent and the blossoming flowers and trees make the scenery that much more magical, the allergens in the air and rising temperatures can trigger some adverse reactions in many of us, especially in the little people. There’s nothing worse than to feel completely terrible when it’s so beautiful outside. It steals some of the joy of the occasion.
Unfortunately, both of my daughters have had sensitive skin since birth and as they’ve grown older have developed allergies. From before I even brought them home from the hospital, my first official act as a mom-to-be was to wash all of their tiny new clothes and linens in Dreft because it’s hypoallergenic and gentle on baby’s skin plus, it’s was the first recommendation I got on how to protect baby skin when interviewing pediatricians. Obviously, that made it bible in my book. For years, Dreft has been the only thing I’ve washed my children’s laundry with.
Laundry is probably my least favorite chore of motherhood. Honestly, with all the minutia of separating colors, washing, forgetting to put into the dryer and then throwing in a pile in the big chair in the living room, though it still is very much all of that, I find it to be quite frustrating and never ending. But in a weird way, it is also a way that I get to relish each milestone and amazing moment of my daughters’ childhood.
It’s one of those things where you might not appreciate it so much while you’re up to your eyeballs in unfolded laundry and crying babies but one day, in the not too far future, you will open up a storage tub of your “baby’s” clothes and the smell of the Dreft and nostalgia will come over you like a whisper from the past and a giant hug and almost knock you over with the realization that those babies are somewhere inside those 4 and 5-foot tall, walking, talking, amazing people that live with you currently.
As they grew older, I thought my girls might outgrow some of their sensitivities, as I did, but that day has not come, and may never come so I still wash their clothes with Dreft. It’s what works for us, so why should I change it? Obviously, I still love that new baby smell plus, bonus, it’s safe and hypoallergenic for my girls and allows them to play outside without worrying about their clothes being one more irritant. They are kids, their only job is to play and enjoy childhood; mine is to protect them and keep them safe. Their only limitations on a sunshiny day should be their imagination, not their skin sensitivities.
Shade the sun: When heading outside, don’t forget to practice appropriate baby skin safety by dressing your baby in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses. If your baby is 6 months or older, liberally use sunscreen and if they under 6 months, keep them out of direct sunlight.
Make bath-time beneficial: Over exposure to water can rob skin of natural moisture. Scaling back on tub time will help avoid itching — about 10 minutes in warm water with a mild cleanser is plenty of time for water play and a quick scrub. Gently pat skin dry and end with an after-bath moisturizer to seal in moisture and protect baby’s soft skin.
Load up on liquids: Staying hydrated is especially important as children get more active outdoor time and sun exposure. To ensure that children get enough to drink throughout the day; infants should nurse or take a bottle often; older kids should tote a sippy cup or reusable water bottle.
Choose the right fabrics and care for them properly: We find that natural breathable fabrics like cotton that are loose fitting are the best. It’s also important to seek out gentle and hypoallergenic cleansers like Dreft to care for the items that will touch baby’s sensitive skin.
Protect Problem Skin: Heat is a common trigger for eczema flare ups as the weather warms up, the sun is strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. so try to shield baby from direct sun exposure during those times. There are also apps available that can inform you of the hottest part of the day – which can be helpful for parents as they plan any outings with their little ones.
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