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When your baby is born – wrinkly, red and crying – nothing will stop you believing that he is the most beautiful child in the world. When he comes home with you, swaddled in soft sheets and looking like a little doll, that belief will be strengthened. Whether or not he was born with hair, or whether or not you can discern if he looks more like you or your spouse, your child will be the apple of your eye!
However, some mothers worry about what seems like excess body hair on their babies. Body hair on new born babies is actually completely normal – it’s called lanugo, and it is found mainly on pre-term babies, but most full-term babies can also have it. Lanugo has a fine, soft texture, and is usually visible. It gets shed either in the womb before birth, or within a few weeks or months after birth.
Although it is natural and mostly determined by genes, some mommies may want to remove it for cosmetic reasons (which is also normal – to each her own!). There are natural remedies to remove body hair on babies, and several methods have been in use for generations, which are quite safe, as they are organic and chemical-free.
Easy Home Remedies for Baby Hair Removal
Before you get to removing body hair on your baby, it is important to understand why they have it, how it is important, and what happens to it eventually. Read further to know all about your baby’s body hair and its removal methods.
The lanugo or body hair that your baby is born with will clear up in a few months. Elders may suggest massaging your baby gently to help the hair shed faster, or you could let nature take its course and let the hair shed by itself. However, if you don’t want to wait for months, you can try some home remedies to help your newborn get rid of the lanugo. These home remedies use milk, turmeric, flour, and other common household ingredients that have no harmful chemicals. There might be no scientific evidence to suggest that they work effectively in removing body hair, but they have been used for a long time by our elders, and are a part of traditional remedies used by mothers.
The three safest home practices for body hair removal are mentioned below, all of which involve gentle massage and easily available ingredients. Let’s take a look at them!
Ayurvedic Atta (Flour) Rubbing
This is one of the best Ayurvedic hair removal methods for newborns, as it uses simple ingredients. The dough for rubbing is made from atta (flour), turmeric and almond oil. Whole wheat flour is preferred, as it is rich in Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant needed by the body. Wheat flour is also gentle on the skin, and can improve your baby’s complexion. Almond oil acts as a good moisturizer and lubricant, and it soothes the rubbing process. Using a little water, all the ingredients are kneaded into a soft ball of dough. This dough is dipped in warm almond oil before rubbing on the baby’s skin. Cover all the body parts that have the hair, such as forehead, shoulder, and back, and rub gently. The hair should come off easily.
Turmeric and Milk
A mixture of turmeric and milk can be applied to the baby all over its body after a massage session. Let the mixture dry on the body, and then remove it using a soft cloth dipped in milk. Give your baby a bath after this procedure, but don’t use any soap or body wash. Milk acts as a cleansing agent, and hence there is no need for a cleanser! This is a gentle way to remove baby body hair naturally, or even to get them to shed sooner.
Ubtan is made from gram flour, milk, and a pinch of turmeric powder. The ingredients are finely mixed together and applied to the baby before a massage. Ubtan is a safe way of removing facial hair for babies. The milk can also be substituted with yoghurt or cream. And, along with removing excess hair, ubtan also acts as a moisturizer, and can improve complexion!
Other Methods to Remove Baby Body Hair
Aside from these three popular home remedies, here are a few others you can try as well.
- Mix chandan (sandalwood) powder and a pinch of turmeric with milk, and apply it on the body parts that have the hair. Rub the paste gently on your baby’s skin. Do this before a bath, as you can then remove the paste using water.
- You can also make a massage paste out of almonds, yellow mustard and turmeric, and use it on the areas with hair you want to remove.
- You may dip a piece of bread in milk that has not been boiled, and massage it all over the baby’s body. Do this regularly to remove hair.
- Another method is to make a paste of baby cream and powdered red masoor dal. Apply it to the areas that have the hair, and gently massage your baby.
Tips to Follow When Using Hair Removal Methods
- Go easy on your little one’s skin – it’s very delicate and sensitive! Vigorously washing or scrubbing can irritate it, and may also lead to abrasion, rashes, bruises or allergies.
- Go with what makes your baby comfortable. Having a dry paste being rubbed and washed off can be an uncomfortable experience for the baby, so change up the remedy as and when needed.
- Be cautious if you’re using raw milk. It may carry pathogens that can cause infections such as diarrhoea and dysentery, which are quite harmful for newborns.
- These methods may not permanently remove the hair from your baby, so you may notice the hair growing back after some time. Give it time to thin out on its own. If the hair persists or grows darker and thicker as your child gets older, you can consult a paediatrician about it.
Body hair on newborns is not a cause for concern, and it usually goes away a few months after birth. However, using home remedies is a good and safe way to remove your baby’s body hair, and these methods can be used regularly to achieve good results.
Also Read: 15 Home Remedies for Cradle Cap in Babies