When a baby is born, the new mom, dad and the close circle of relatives’ worlds shrink down to the baby’s movements, his goos and gaws, his appearance and inevitably the colour of his skin. Babies grow every second and rapid changes keep occurring in their bodies at cellular levels. Hence the change in the colour of the baby’s skin.
However, the baby’s skin colour is predetermined by his genes at the time of his birth and there is pretty much nothing a parent can do to change their baby’s skin colour. There are, however, temporary factors like health and environmental factors that can cause a change in the baby’s skin colour.
The baby’s complexion also depends on how many weeks old the baby is during birth. A premature baby will have a thinner skin rendering him a reddish complexion (read blood), some babies turn bluish when crying, some are born with hair that may or may not eventually fall off. A newborn’s skin colour may also change because he wasn’t born with sufficient pigments and may subsequently grow darker with increasing exposure to sun light.
New mom Kalyani came to us with a query about how her little one’s skin grew darker after a few days of birth and our SOS moms have their suggestions (and opinions) on the same.
Prerna Sharma and Shwetha Bhardwaj reccommend a coconut oil massage before the baby’s bath time. Nirupama Joseph recommends the same but with olive oil.
Chetana Suvarna Ganatra says, “We do not have the concept of slapping sunscreen on newborns which is such a shame. Considering the country’s geographical positioning, the climate is usually sunny and very warm. The tender skin of the baby needs to be protected with sunscreens all the time, even when indoors. Hope it helps.”
Anjana Saravanan and Nirupine Shetty all recommend besan (gram flour) during the baby’s bath time. Deea D Kshatriya adds a twist, “Mix besan with milk or malai, make a smooth paste and gently massage your baby before giving bath. It helps.” Jyoti Kapil Chawla suggests mixing milk to the bathing water as besan could get stuck to the baby’s skin if not washed off properly.
Namrata Lad Sharma has a whole new take on the subject, “Babies keep changing their colour due to more of RBC in their blood. Also due to exposure to the environment and decrease in birth weight as water goes off from the body. Complexion totally depends on the genes, there’s nothing you can do to change the complexion before or after birth. You can apply coconut oil for massage, it will smoothen the skin, do not worry about the complexion and enjoy the motherhood!”
Noopur Agarwal also adds, “ Babies often tend to change skin colour after birth and again go back to original colour after few months so there is nothing to worry about, but if you can still massage her with malai daily before bath, it could bring about a little change.”
With all the solid advice we hope Kalyani has found her solution. But, we also cannot but agree with moms like Brittany Zachariah who think doesn’t matter what colour your child’s skin is.
We thank all the SOS moms who came to Kalyani’s rescue:
Brittany Zachariah, Noopur Aggarwal, Namrata Lad Sharma, Anjana Saravanan, Nirupine Shetty, Chetana Suvarna, Prerna Sharama and Shwetha Bharadwaj.