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*We’ve partnered with Aveeno to help you read baby’s skin more clearly.

When it comes to understanding your new baby, you’re often reliant on body signs. Since baby can’t actually tell you what’s wrong, everything from how he drinks to how he poops could be a method of communication. His skin can communicate, too — since it’s the largest organ in the body, when something isn’t right, the skin reacts pretty quickly. Those dry patches, scales or redness could be telling you that he’s got allergies or irritation…or eczema.

To help us understand what exactly our babies’ skin is saying — and how to treat it — we called in dermatologist Dr. Jeanine Downie. Here’s her advice on spotting eczema and treating it.

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How prevalent is eczema in babies?

Ezcema is actually genetic. If a family member experiences allergies, asthma or eczema, it could potentially show up at anytime in your baby. At present, there are roughly 50 million cases in the general population, and of which, 50% are diagnosed as babies. The severity of it could change as you age and go through different phases of life.

What does eczema look like and where is it typically found?

Usually you’ll see an area of red or hyper-pigmented skin that is usually thickened in density. You may or may not see scratch marks, and it may or may not be scaly. Eczema could appear on one area of the body or all over your body – that depends on the person.

What would make your baby more likely to get it?

If your little one is already prone to it due to the familial genetics, there are various triggers. The environment does play a role. For example, most people flare with cooler weather months, where the skin is dry from the lack of humidity and moisture. However, many also flare in the summer months when there is an increase in sweating, which also causes irritation.

Are there common skin irritants that might heighten the chances my baby could get eczema?

Wool fabrics tend to cause itchiness, so stick to 100% cotton instead. Laundry detergent can be an irritant too, and avoid cologne, perfume or strong-scented products, since fragrance can often cause skin reactions.

What simple changes can I make in my daily life to relieve skin inflammation?

Cut your nails! Our nails carry germs and debris and when we use them to scratch – it makes it worse. Make sure to cut you and your little one’s nails often enough. Once you’ve cut the nails, use a nail file to keep them smooth so that there is no white showing.

If you do determine your baby has eczema, how can you treat it?

There’s several ways we can treat eczema, ranging from over-the-counter to prescription. Here's what I'd suggest in order:

1)Topical over the counter creams/ balms. Creams with oatmeal as an ingredient can be very helpful.

2)Prescription Rx – immunomodulators i.e. (Elidel)*

3)Over the counter antihistamines. Find out what your doctor suggests based on the age of your baby.

4)Prescription Rx – steroids (topical).

5)Prescription Rx – steroids (oral)**

For any prescription, your doctor will determine what is safe and appropriate. There aren't many prescriptive options for babies under age 2.

What can I do at home to help my baby?

If you notice irritated, red, hyper-pigmented skin (and it is familial), consult your doctor so that you’re aware if you’re child has eczema. Once you know, create a plan to help your child handle the environmental changes well. If you’re child is below the age of 2, it would be harder to provide certain medications and creams but hopefully some of the over-the-counter remedies will help.

*Not prescribed for under the age of 2

**Could be prescribed for under the age of 2

Photography by Jonica Moore Studio for Well Rounded NY.

Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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