This post was created in collaboration with Eucerin Baby. The content and opinions expressed are my own.
My children inherited a lot of nice things from me. My son has my oversized smile, which makes me happy, and my daughter has my…oh, let’s just call it my “passion” (for many things, but mostly for getting my way). One not-so-nice thing they both appear to have inherited: my alligator skin, which I’ve been moaning about on RG for years and years.
My son’s dryness always seemed tied to the weather – during the dry winter months, his cheeks developed bright-red, flaky patches that only seemed to finally disappear for good once we moved to California – but my daughter is more like me, in that the dryness is all over her body, and while it’s worse during the winter, it’s really there all the time. I’ve even started to notice signs of eczema on her calves and the backs of her arms.
I very much want her to learn from her mother’s mistakes, rather than repeat them, because for real: skin like ours is no joke. It cracks; it bleeds; it hurts. I don’t want it for her, and I want her to start introducing habits that help to prevent it now.
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The catch: moisturizing very young children isn’t as easy as it might seem. They wiggle. They yell. They are, in a word, difficult. Keeping these facts in mind, here are some hard-won tips for making the moisture happen.
- Make moisturizing a part of your nighttime routine. My daughter isn’t a huge fan of standing still while I do much of anything, so every night we combine lotion-application time with storytime (pop-up books obviously preferred).
- Explain what you’re doing. My daughter always wants to know *why* any given thing is happening, so I’ve talked to her about how your skin gets thirsty the same way that you do, and how moisturizer is your skin’s way of drinking water.
- Install a humidifier. They not only help prevent colds, they actually help put moisture back into your baby’s skin.
- Choose a line created specifically for babies’ delicate skin. Eucerin Baby is the number one brand recommended by pediatricians, and all of their products (including Eczema Relief Body Crème, shown here, Eczema Relief Flare-Up Treatment Crème, and Baby Shampoo and Body Wash) are paraben- and fragrance-free.
- Add a gentle massage. It really is never too early to start teaching children to tune into their body’s needs and take a minute to practice self-care. Some kids won’t be into it – my son, like his dad, is confused by the concept of a massage (which, in turn, confuses me) – but my daughter loves it. (And, as a major, major bonus, she’s recently started asking if I’d like her to return the favor. Why yes. I would. …Could you please focus on my upper thoracic region?)
Photography by Kim Ebbets.