Protecting My Babies Skin With AVEENO

This post was sponsored on behalf of AVEENO®. 

From the earliest stages of parenting, I’ve dealt with babies who have sensitive skin. At two months, Ryder started showing signs of eczema. At the time, my “mom friends” were my go to guide for help; sometimes their suggestions yielded relief, and other times the outbreaks worsened.  Also, back then, I was unaware that one of the biggest triggers for skin irritation were all my fancy, scented soaps received as shower gifts. I was a new mom with no idea what I was doing wrong, so I eventually ended up at the dermatologist. Something that the doctor said has stuck with me ever since: “don’t use any soaps on your baby that actually make suds.” After that, I threw out all the scented sudsy soaps, and I strictly used the brand that he recommended: AVEENO® Baby. Soon after, Ryder’s eczema cleared up, and he’s been outbreak free ever since. Unfortunately, I have experienced the same skin sensitivities with my other two children, and in fact, I am currently going through it with Gemma.

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I’ve found that once you discover a product that works successfully, you have to use it religiously, and that’s what I have done with AVEENO®. It’s safe, trusted, and perfect for babies. With Gemma’s sensitive skin, I take precaution in all topical applications, from soaps to moisturizers, to sunscreens. I moisturize her at least twice a day, and avoid excess soaps, and with the summer months in full swing, it is important that I protect my babies’ skin from the sun’s harmful rays. I had a chance to speak with dermatologist, Jeanine Downie M.D., and had her share some info that I am sure all of you mamas out there can use. When choosing products for your little ones the endless stream of information can be a bit overwhelming, so I hope this advice can help inform your decisions.

Dr. Jeanine Downie is a mom, board certified dermatologist and director of her own practice, Image Dermatology P.C. in Montclair, N.J. She specializes in both adult and pediatric dermatology and completed two years of Pediatric residency at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. I found this q&a so helpful to me and I hope you do as well.

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Why is baby skin so sensitive?

Babies have ultra-sensitive skin for two reasons: first, it is very thin and second, they have not yet built up a tolerance to many products that are typically used in everyday life.

What are the ingredients in AVEENO® Baby that sets it apart from other brands?

AVEENO® Baby products are specially formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® oat to help nourish, soothe and protect baby’s delicate skin, which is why its trusted by dermatologists, pediatricians and parents for use on baby’s sensitive skin.

Can you give us tips on protecting our babies skin from the sun, especially now that the summer months are here?

It’s important to select sunscreen with UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum protection of SPF 30 or higher, that are also hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free. Look for brands that are both pediatrician and dermatologist recommended. There are many different companies that offer spf 30 or above right in the clothing. These companies include Columbia, UVSkinz, Solumebra and San Diego Hats. There are also spf 50 umbrellas that we can place babies under and my all time favorite is Llumar UV Shields for car windows. Babies sweat glands are not yet developed, which makes them more susceptible to heat rash. To prevent this, dress little ones in loose breathable clothing and a hat to shield the sun.

At what age can I safely start using SPF on my baby?

The American Academy of Dermatology and The American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend that you can safely use sunscreen after 6 months of age. I recommend complete sun avoidance for the first six months, including the use of UPF hats, umbrellas and protective clothing.

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If we are spending a day at the beach, how often should we apply sunscreen to our babies? And what about older kids?

Even once babies are six months of age and can safely wear sunscreen, time spent in the sun should still be limited – especially during peak sun hours of 10 am to 2 pm. Parents should apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen should then be reapplied after 80 minutes of outdoor activity/sun exposure – at least every 1-2 hours. 

Do I need to use different bath products on my baby during the summer?

If you’re already using a gentle, hydrating cleanser year-round, then you can continue using it throughout the summer. It’s important to remember that infant skin is more delicate and sensitive than adult skin, and thus it’s more vulnerable to dehydration, even during humid summer months. Make sure to moisturize baby’s skin with a soothing and hydrating bath product, such as AVEENO® Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash, which is formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Oat.

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What is a good bath time routine for babies?

I recommend that you bathe your baby every other day for no more than 10 minutes, and then consistently wipe their private parts and their neck once or twice a day. When my daughter was young, I used AVEENO® Baby Wash & Shampoo on her sensitive skin – it’s tear free, soap free and paraben free.

What ingredient(s) should you look for in baby bathtime products and after-bath lotions?

Bathtime products – Look for products that are pediatrician recommended, hypoallergenic and soap-free. After-bath products – Look for products that contain colloidal oatmeal, glycerin and dimethicone. Also look for products that are hypoallergenic and pediatrician recommended. I recommend AVEENO® Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream, which is formulated with colloidal oatmeal and clinically proven to moisturize for 24 hours and soothe dry, sensitive skin.

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It’s comforting as a parent to know I have a brand like AVEENO® I can trust for all three of my children. May the rest of your summer be filled with fun, laughs, and of course protecting your babies from the sun!

 

Thank you AVEENO® for sponsoring this post. 

Family Travel: Four Seasons Nevis {Part I}

Over six years ago when Jason and I were expecting our first child, we knew that vacations for just the two of us would become a distant memory, only to be replaced with diaper duty and sleepless nights. With that understanding, we decided to go away for one last hurrah; a baby moon in the Caribbean.  Having been to many different tropical islands, we were eager to try somewhere different, so we chose St. Kitts. While in St. Kitts, a number of locals and fellow resort guests encouraged us to take the ferry to their sister island, Nevis.  With some many rave reviews, we decided to take the 35 minute ferry ride.  Not long after our arrival, my swollen legs and 6 month preggers belly needed a break, and I longed for nothing more than a beach chair and a Pina Colada (virgin, of course).  It was then, while hobbling down the beach, that we stumbled upon the Four Seasons Nevis Resort.  Enamored by the views from the beach, beautiful grounds and courteous staff, what started as a “3 hour tour” to a neighboring island, resulted in our checking in with only a few change of clothes, for almost 3 full days.  We were so touched by the beauty of the island, and the experience at the Four Seasons, that we garnished our first born, Ryder, with the second middle name of Nevis!

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Only 6 months after our trip in 2008, Hurricane George ravaged Nevis.  When the news broke, we realized that the Four Seasons was one of the hardest hit properties on the island.  It didn’t seem like we would ever be able to bring Ryder back to the place of his namesake, but after a two year overhaul, the Four Seasons emerged more spectacular than before.  Knowing this, we were excited to plan our latest family getaway to Nevis. This trip, coined the Family Moon, as we were carrying three kids in tow, lasted 9 days, so we had the opportunity to enjoy all the amenities that the resort offers.  We had an added family member, my sister Amanda, who joined us for a few days at the beginning of the trip to help out, in Jason’s absence, as he was stuck in Los Angeles for work.  It had been years since my sister and I were away together, and the Four Seasons was beautiful way to make new memories.

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I will admit, I was a bit trepidatious about the flight to the islands and boat trip to Nevis with the kids, but I have to say they handled it very well, enjoying every part of the adventure, especially the boat ride!  And, the Four Seasons experience starts at the airport where you are greeted by a member of the staff, who directs you to your ground transportation to the ferry, while additional staff collect your bags. The ferry is a private boat run by the resort, and guests can enjoy their signature Rum Punch or local Carib beer, while soaking up the incredible views of the West Indies, before docking on the property.  The Four Seasons makes it super easy for families with small kids to move around. This whole process was something I was a bit skeptical about not having Jason to handle the bags or help wrangle the kids, but it went off without a hitch.

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We walked into our ocean view suite, and they kids were beyond stoked. Waiting for us inside was a huge blow up turtle raft, along with chocolate snacks and cookies, with Ryder and Siella’s names on them. With comfy beds, a big bathroom with hot tub, and beautiful views of the ocean and property, the room was beyond perfect for our family of 5. And can we discuss the mini plush terry robes for the littles…I am all about detail and this was the ultimate!

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Our days ahead were filled lots of fun in the sun. I had forgotten from our last trip how the beach was completely surreal. With views on the plush and hilly St. Kitts in distance, it might be the prettiest beach that I’ve ever visited. Protected by rock barrier off shore, their beach is void of  waves crashing ashore, making it perfect for youngsters. My kids have become quite the aquatics, but this trip took them to the next level. Ryder snorkeled for what seemed like hours, encountering schools of fish, crabs and gorgeous sea shells. When we weren’t snorkeling or jumping on the huge ocean trampoline, we enjoyed glass bottom kayaking and paddle boarding, all offered complimentary by the resort.  Wind surfing, jet skis and other small water crafts were also available.

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When we weren’t conquering the beach or pools, we were eating! For breakfast each morning, we ordered room service, or went  to Neve, the lobby breakfast buffet restaurant; both offered beautiful views of the grounds and ocean. Lunch was usually spent at the beach or by the pool, where the kids chowed down on their fun bento box style lunches, which all included yogurt and fruit. And dinners were spent at the beautiful Mango, Coral Grill, or Cabana restaurants; each had their own style, while incorporating local cuisine and flare. Offering grilled mahi mahi and grilled chicken, it was refreshing to see a kids menu with healthy options as an alternative to the usual fried chicken fingers and hamburgers. I have to point out that meals for all children 5 years and younger are complimentary, which make it easier for larger families with kids like ours to have a luxury vacation. And none of these fine dining experiences would have been the same without the Four Seasons staff, who were so incredibly warm and sweet, it seemed like we had known them for years.

*Stay tuned for more about our Nevis expedition, including the Sea Turtle Conservancy, Camp Nevis, a chartered Catamaran Snorkeling trip, Monkey Tour, and our private beach cabana..

Hotel & accommodations for my family and I were provided by Four Seasons Nevis. All opinions are my own.

Sunday Swoon: Little Gloriana Elsa Dress

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The Frozen craze is still going strong in our house and Ryder and Siella’s obsession seem to have come in phases. First, it was all about watching the movie, then it was playing the soundtrack over and over again and watching them belt out word for word to every single song. And now, it’s imaginary… Read more »

Saturday Style || Endless Summer

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Summer is in full swing and I am adoring Vanessa from Dress Me Up & Down effortless mama style. From night out to playground, she is always styled perfectly. Here are some summer favs this week… Jumpsuit – Michael Stars from Piperlime // Shoes – Zara last year // Clutch – DDSLL Girls Pendant Necklace – Forever21 // Leaf Necklace… Read more »

Glimpses of NEVIS through Olloclip

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We just got back from an amazing vacation to Nevis and I wanted to share some glimpses from our trip. My passion for photography has grown through the years, and it amazes me that some of my favorite photos are usually taken with my iPhone. Life, well our life, just happens so quickly and it’s nice… Read more »

Sunday Swoon: Naartjiie Kids

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Greeting from Nevis! We are on a family moon for the next week, but I couldn’t miss out on a Sunday Swoon! Whenever we travel I am always sure to bring along as many swimsuits as possible. My kids seem to go in about two day because one usually becomes so sandy that it’s just easier… Read more »

Summers Start

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I have to say our summer is off to a pretty good start so far. I definitely think we had a late beginning with Ryder just ending school on the 26th, but we have hit the ground running. The weather has been absolutely beautiful in New York City with every weekend filled with sunshine and… Read more »

Sunday Swoon: AMIKI Children {& Giveaway}

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I’m at it again friends and found yet another adorable brand for children’s sleepwear. Amiki Designs are classic and simple, yet has the sweetest look from night until the morning. The high quality jammies are made to fit perfectly giving their unique silhouettes I promise you will not find anywhere else. The beautiful nightwear are for children ages… Read more »