A newborn baby’s skin is very tender. Imagine the transition from being surrounded by warm fluid in utero to the feel of air and clothing on fresh skin. Wouldn’t you want to put the softest clothing on your against your newborn’s skin?
A baby’s skin is sensitive. Rashes, eczema, and even acne are common. It is sensitive to lotions, laundry detergent and fabrics. Choosing natural products that are safe and gentle is common sense for most parents when it comes to washing baby’s skin, but what about the material of their clothing?
Infant skin is not fully mature at birth. It has a thinner epidermis and stratum corneum, and is “more prone to develop certain pathological conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis”, according to International Journal of Cosmetic Science.
..it is evident that the skin maturation process continues after birth and that the adaptation from life inside the womb to the terrestrial environment outside appears to extend over at least the first year of life, significantly longer than previously indicated.1)http://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/40287983/Infant_skin_physiology_and_development_d20151123-2558-1rcla7x.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ56TQJRTWSMTNPEA&Expires=1479327650&Signature=omg%2BgqTmcVoaZod41eVRBNw7328%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DInfant_skin_physiology_and_development_d.pdf
My midwives encouraged a slow transition to clothing my babies. Skin to skin contact is important in those early days. Once we did adorn our children in cute baby clothes, only natural fibers like cotton were used.
We were sent the cutest layette from Feltman Brothers that is constructed of the softest cotton I have ever felt.
100% all natural pima cotton from Peru is the most durable, highest quality cotton grown. Feltman Brothers has stayed true to their standards for heirloom quality pieces to ensure that each item will last and last, through multiple wearings and washings.
The vintage styling and hand embroidery is delightful.
Since 1916, Feltman Brothers has been providing the world with authentic and timeless clothing for babies. This reputation is the result of a strong commitment to quality, incomparable fabrics, exclusive designs, and attention to detail. Feltman Brothers designs reflect the elegance of vintage styling for children from newborn through toddler, for all needs and occasions. Feltman Brothers’ use of embroidery is a skilled craft and trade, with workmanship that has no equal. Feltman Brothers is, and always has been, a family business, now three generations deep and continuing strong, celebrating their 100 year anniversary this year!
These pieces of infant clothing are timeless. They are made of high quality materials and construction. Super soft pima cotton makes them gentle on baby’s skin and lovely to touch.
Skin barrier function is important in maintaining baby’s health. Dermatology Research and Practice explains:
Skin barrier function resides primarily within the stratum corneum (SC), the top layer of the epidermis. Although the SC is only 7–35 μm thick [1, 2], it plays a vital role in forming a protective barrier and helps to prevent percutaneous entry of harmful pathogens into the body [3, 4]. In addition to serving as a physical barrier, the SC has other important functions, including engaging in thermoregulation, gas exchange, and maintenance of proper hydration. The SC also serves important functions in innate immunity  and its slightly acidic pH  provides additional protection against pathogens.
Maintenance of the skin barrier is essential for survival . This is especially true for neonates and infants because their skin differs from mature adult skin in structure, function, and composition [1, 2, 7] and is particularly susceptible to infection . During the late fetal period (20 weeks to birth), skin becomes functional and develops a protective barrier . Although full-term infants are born with a competent skin barrier [9, 10], their skin is still developing through the first year of life [2, 11]. During the postnatal period, even the composition of commensal bacteria residing on the skin surface differs from that of adults and continues to evolve over the first year of life .2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3439947/
Although a lot of emphasis is placed on safe products to cleanse and moisturize a baby’s skin, the clothing that touches it is also important. Natural fibers, like cotton, help infants regulate body temperature through their breathability. In addition, cotton is less likely to irritate the thin skin of an infant. Irritation can compromise the barrier function of the skin letting in toxins, bacteria, etc.
I typically recommend organic cotton baby clothes. Although the Feltman Brothers line is not organic, it is made of super soft pima cotton. The nostalgic patterns and designs are simple and beautiful. Feltman Brothers has been making quality children’s clothing since 1916.
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