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The skin after birth: natural protection & heat balance

When you think of a newborn baby, you think of a rosy bundle of joy. But those of you who have ever welcomed a little angel to earth know that the reality is different.

The skin of the mature newborn is more or less covered with cheese gunk, which is a natural skin protector. This is usually absent in very immature or transferred children.
This unique invention consists mainly of water and fat and is a real all-rounder.
In the womb, it not only protects the skin from softening in the amniotic fluid, but also ensures that no pressure marks develop.

On the way through the birth canal, it facilitates gliding and offers protection against infection from any germs that may be present.

And when your little one has finally finished his 37-degree all-inclusive stay and arrived in the exciting world, it helps regulate body heat and prevents dehydration. Because of all these great properties, the cheese goo should not be removed after birth. Within a few days, the fat-water mixture is absorbed into the skin and provides lasting care.

What is the difference between baby skin and my own?

In the womb, the sensitive skin is not exposed to any environmental influences and is therefore little adapted to life outside. It is much thinner and its moisture-binding properties are not yet fully developed. The glands responsible for sweat and sebum production are also not yet very active.

Therefore, the baby's delicate skin is correspondingly sensitive and should be treated with care: When bathing, only mild pH-neutral washing lotions should be used. Many midwives advise using only clear water with a little almond or olive oil or even breast milk for the first few weeks.

When it comes to clothing, it is important to pay attention to the material. Synthetic fibres can cause irritation, especially in the first days and weeks.

Cotton, on the other hand, combines many positive characteristics: it is low in harmful substances, soft and adaptable, absorbs moisture very well, is comparatively flame-resistant and easy to clean. But above all, it has temperature-regulating properties and keeps your little angel nice and warm in the approaching autumn/winter.

In the first months of life, babies are not able to regulate their body temperature through goose bumps or muscle tremors. But since the surface of the skin is very large in relation to the rest of the body, hypothermia can quickly set in.

Therefore, it is important to keep the little ones warm with appropriate clothing.

The new season also brings new challenges. You can learn which children's emergencies are more common in autumn/winter and how to keep a cool head during our KinderHelden emergency courses. Further information and dates can be found at www.heldenfuerkinder.de.

We look forward to taking away your worries and giving you peace of mind.

Your Sharon