The most common newborn skin irritants

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Irritation is easy to spot. It’s red, angry looking skin, and a baby that’s inconsolable. Familiarize yourself with the common causes so you can take action and keep your little one feeling happy.


Sometimes clothes just rub you the wrong way, and it’s particularly true for babies that can’t adjust their clothing on their own. Most clothing for newborns should have a snug fit to prevent them from bunching or moving around too much.

Baby size labeling tends to be vague. If you can, judge the fit by how it actually wears on your little one. Keep an eye out for brands that give weight and height guides for their sizing.


Your newborn won’t be great at regulating their temperature for a while, and that can mean heat rashes. Avoid bathing with water that is too hot, and when you’re exploring the outdoors together, keep them shaded as much as possible.


A form of naturally occurring yeast, Candida lives on and in the body. It’s a fungus, and it can cause irritation and an infection when it grows too rapidly.

When your baby’s skin is exposed to urine or feces for extended periods of time, it gets irritated, and that makes it easier for Candida to grow and spread. A Candida infection is the worst kind of diaper rash, and you’ll likely need an antifungal from your healthcare provider to treat it.


What might be a minor allergic reaction in an adult can appear as a serious irritation in a newborn. Trying to identify the cause? There are only so many things that come into contact with your newborn’s skin, here’s your cheat sheet:

  • Clothes
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Soap
  • Your hands, and any lotion or cream on them

When you’re trying to diagnose what might be causing skin irritation, start by looking closely at where on your baby’s body it appears.

If you see rashes or redness all over, it’s time to switch up your soap and lotions. If you see irritation outside the diaper area, it might be your newborn’s clothes. If they are only getting irritation on the diaper line, or their butt or genitals, the diaper is the clear cause.

Clothing can cause an allergic reaction in two ways: either what it’s made of (synthetic fibers or metal buttons), or what you’re washing your clothes in (detergents and softeners).

When it comes to irritation in the areas covered by a diaper, it can be hard to tell if the culprit is infection, diaper fit, or diaper ingredients they’re allergic to. The best way to solve all three issues is to try a new brand.

Doing something about it

You can choose products specifically designed to be gentle on newborn skin. Be ready to try a few brands before you find the best one for you and your family.

Our partners at Seventh Generation are committed to helping you take care of your newborn’s most sensitive areas.

Seventh Generation diapers are hypoallergenic and free of lotions and fragrances, which is better for your baby. They also feature an ultra-absorbent core that’s chlorine-free and made from sustainably sourced fluff, which is better for the environment.

It’s worth mentioning that Seventh Generation also makes baby-safe detergent that doesn’t contain optical brighteners, fragrances, or dyes. Learn more about Seventh Generation and all they do to take care of your baby’s sensitive skin by tapping below!

Learn more about Seventh Generation

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