When it comes to baby hair care, you don’t need to do much. Newborn’s have ultra-sensitive skin so we must take great care with the products we come in contact with.
When they are just born, they don’t need very much to ensure their cap of curlies remain healthy, in fact it is best to introduce even mild products gradually and in moderation.
For at least the first 2 weeks of a newborn’s life you will notice a waxy covering from head to toe. This is called the vernix caseosa.
Here are the benefits of the vernix caseosa?
The benefits of the vernix caseosa aren’t limited to pregnancy: This coating also benefits your baby during and after the delivery. Regardless of how little or how much of the substance remains on your baby’s skin after birth, consider keeping the vernix caseosa on your newborn’s skin for as long as possible. This means delaying the first bath.
It has antimicrobial properties
Newborns have a fragile immune system, which means they’re more susceptible to illnesses. Breast-feeding helps boost a baby’s immune system, but this isn’t the only option. The vernix caseosa can also protect a newborn from infections after birth. This is because the coating contains antioxidants, as well as anti-infection and anti-inflammatory properties.
Lubrication through the birth canal
The vernix caseosa doesn’t only provide a protective barrier for fluids in the womb. It can also reduce friction as your baby passes through the birth canal during delivery.
Helps regulate a baby’s body temperature
During pregnancy, your body plays a vital role in regulating your baby’s body temperature. It takes time for a baby to regulate its own body temperature after birth.
This is why it’s important to wrap a baby in blankets and maintain comfortable room temperature. Keeping the vernix caseosa on the baby’s skin for as long as possible may naturally stabilize their body temperature.
Moisturizes your baby’s skin
The vernix caseosa also contributes to softer, smoother skin at birth and after delivery. This cheese-like substance is a natural moisturizer for babies, protecting their skin from dryness and cracking.
Some of the things it protects your baby from include, E. coli, Pneumonia, and streptococcus, all of which are known to be common pathogens that hang around the environment of your baby even in the hospital.
In other words, it helps baby to have a level of immunity to fight harmful diseases that can compromise their vulnerable systems. It also functions as a moisturizer, wound healer, temperature regulator and water-proofer.
Hospitals usually push for baby to have their first bath within hours of being born. The World Health Association has a protocol that specifically says: “Do not wipe off vernix.” You should also know that the protocol also says “Do not bathe the newborn.” If you live in a jurisdiction where you have some control over what is done to your baby in the hospital, you can prepare for this by asking to bathe your baby yourself or bring your own products for bath time. This way you will have control over how your baby’s hair is handled.
Usually the vernix gets absorbed into the skin so do not try to pick or scrub it off your baby’s scalp. Doing so can cause abrasion on the scalp and lead to the formation of sores. Overtime, as baby’s skin gets acclimated to the outside environment, you will be able to use a gentle cleanser to clarify baby’s scalp.
If you are a new mom or you want more information about caring for your child’s hair, check out our latest ebook below!
reference – Healthline