Every pregnant mother dreams of giving birth to a healthy baby. Secretly, we also worry about whether our baby will be colicky, gassy, a crier, a spitter-upper, fussy–the list is long. Personally, besides all these worries, I was also hoping for a CUTE baby and couldn’t wait to take a gazillion photos and share them with everyone I knew.
When Baby M was born, lo and behold, he was absolutely perfect. Of course, as new parents, we are wired to think our infant is a stunning masterpiece of beauty and perfection but I knew I was being totally objective (I’m not kidding, I was! Wink-wink). And so it went…
For about a week.
Imagine my surprise when after a blissful first week of cuddles and countless photographs, I started noticing bumps on my infant’s face. They started out looking like a rash on his forehead but, within days, exploded into the most horrifying case of baby acne I’ve ever seen.
I’d look at him as he nursed and cry, wishing those ugly whiteheads would go away. Alas, they stayed for several weeks and some of them even turned into blackheads :(
And every time I looked at Baby M, I would get upset, wondering
What in the world can I do about this horrendous and stubborn baby acne?
Of course, I turned to google. The short truth? Because baby acne is caused by a mother’s hormones crossing through the placenta and into the baby, there isn’t much you can (or should) do about it. I was surprised to see on some forum threads that some new mothers were turning to topical treatments like creams and ointments.
I did point out the acne to our pediatrician. She advised me to do NOTHING and that the baby acne would disappear on it’s own within a couple of months. If it persisted beyond six months of age, then we would revisit and talk about potential treatment.
Fingers crossed, I hoped the stuff would vanish on its own. In the meantime, I kept Baby M’s face as clean as I could, wiping it with a super soft moist wash cloth. I didn’t use any soap, fearing it could exacerbate the problem.
I watched as the baby acne gradually traveled from his forehead to his cheeks and then on to his chin and started clearing out. It was pretty much gone by the time Baby M was 7 weeks old.
Follow these baby acne care recommendations from the Mayo Clinic:
- Keep your baby’s face clean. Wash your baby’s face with warm water daily. For babies with acne, use a mild moisturizing facial soap several times a week and rinse with warm water.
- Dry your baby’s face gently. Simply pat your baby’s skin dry.
- Don’t pinch or scrub the acne. You may cause more irritation or an infection.
- Avoid using lotions or oils on your baby’s skin.