The infant skin is fragile, soft and thin. Over the many weeks of gestation, it develops and hardens, like cream over milk, inheriting an overwhelming maternal disposition. This makes it supple and delicate and extremely sensitive to the surroundings. While in the womb, the foetal skin gradually develops as the primary protective barrier. A transformation that continues well into the first year after birth. It becomes the single largest organ of the baby in terms of surface area.
Apart from helping the baby quickly adapt to its extra-uterine surroundings with the help of highly tactile sensory nerve endings, the skin of the baby is protective in nature. It helps regulate the body temperature, prevents the loss of precious body fluids, acts as a mechanical barrier and prevents entry of microbes thriving around it. It assumes a crucial place in the baby’s immune system.
However, the infant skin has not developed completely. It is in the slow process of maturing. A period in which it is highly susceptible to rough external stimulants, such as the chemicals in soaps, detergents on its clothes, the hardness of the water used to bathe the baby, the hidden toxins in the cosmetic products used, etc. This makes the baby’s skin vulnerable to damage.