If you’ve ever seen a baby scratching his or her own face while sleeping, you may have been concerned about what was happening. Rest assured, there’s usually no need to worry.
It’s totally normal for a baby to scratch his face while he sleeps. Most of the time, it’s not a big deal and things get better quickly. Still, it might cause some scratches for a while. If, on the other hand, your baby has sensitive skin or gets a skin condition like baby eczema, you may find that their skin is more irritated and ends up being easy to scratch.
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Why Do Babies Scratch Their Faces?
It’s important for parents to understand that newborns have very little control over their hands. During this stage of their lives, it’s common for them to accidentally scratch their faces.
However, this seemingly normal action can be really concerning for some parents, especially if the child ends up with scratches on their face.
But don’t worry, there are a few reasons why a child ends up scratching their face.
1) Moro reflex
One reason for babies scratching their face is the Moro reflex. This is when a baby feels like they’re falling and instinctively reach out their arms and legs to grab onto something.
This involuntary response can also happen if your baby’s head moves quickly or falls back, or if something loud scares him, he will stretch out his arms, legs, and neck, and then quickly pull his arms together.
As a new parent, you should remember that at this stage your baby doesn’t have full control of his movements yet.
2) Exploring their faces.
Another reason for newborns scratching their face is that they are exploring their faces and discovering new sensations. They want to know what everything feels like, so they’ll touch and feel it all over their face.
This includes their eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. They might even put their fingers in their mouths to explore further.
3) Your baby’s nails are sharp
Babies may scratch their faces because they have sharp nails. If you don’t keep them trimmed, they can start to scratch and irritate their skin. It’s important to keep an eye on their nails and trim them when necessary.
4) Baby’s skin irritation and dry skin
Babies might scratch their faces because of dry skin or other skin irritation such as eczema. This can be caused by a number of things, including not enough moisture in the air or using harsh soap on their skin.
If you notice your child’s skin is starting to get dry, make sure to use a moisturizer or antiseptic cream to help moisturize their skin and prevent further skin issues.
Another reason that can make your baby’s skin dry is the use of heaters. Heaters reduce humidity which can lead to moisture loss and dry the skin of your baby. This condition can lead to itchiness. So it’s important to keep your baby’s room at a cool temperature.
You can also look at your baby’s diet and make changes to it if necessary. Some foods can cause itchiness.
How To Prevent Babies From Scratching Their Faces
If you’re a parent, you know that one of the most frustrating things can be when your baby scratches their face and end up with scratch marks.
Not only is it painful for them, but it can also lead to skin infections, especially on deeper scratches.
Here are some tips on how to prevent babies from scratching their faces:
Trim Your Baby’s Nails Short
Trimming baby nails using razor-sharp nail clippers won’t make your baby stop scratching their face, but it will help to reduce the damage that he can cause.
When your baby scratches his face, he is actually causing tiny cuts and abrasions on baby face. These cuts can become infected and lead to a host of other problems.
It will also help to keep your baby’s hands clean and free of dirt and bacteria. This, in turn, will help to reduce the risk of infection. It is also important to trim your baby’s nails regularly so that they do not become too long. If you allow your baby’s nails to grow too long, he will be able to cause more damage when he scratches his face.
Be sure to use an emery board after trimming the nails to smooth any rough edges and points.
Swaddle Your Baby
When you swaddle your baby, you are essentially creating a safe and secure space for him to sleep in.
This not only keeps him warm but also prevents him from flailing his arms and legs around, which can lead to scratches on his face.
Swaddling also gives your baby the feeling of being held, which can be very calming and soothing for him which helps her sleep.
If you are worried about your baby scratching his face, try swaddling him. This simple technique can go a long way in preventing scratches and making your baby feel comfortable and safe.
Moisturize Your Baby’s Face
The best solution to preventing dry skin is applying a moisturizer. A moisturizer creates a skin barrier on the baby’s skin. This barrier will help to keep the skin hydrated and soft, making it less likely for the baby to scratch his face.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when applying moisturizers to your baby’s face:
- Pick a moisturizer that is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free over-the-counter options.
- Apply the moisturizer after the baby’s bath, while the itchy skin is still damp.
- Gently massage the moisturizer into the baby skin, using circular motions.
- Pay special attention to areas where the skin is dry or cracked.
- Use lukewarm water and gently clean the area of the surface scratch.
If you follow these tips, you can help prevent your baby from scratching his face while he is having a good night’s sleep. And if your baby does scratch his face, the moisturizer will help to soothe the skin and heal any damage. So stay calm and don’t hesitate to give your baby’s face a little extra TLC with a daily moisturizing routine.
Use Mittens or Gloves
The answer is two-fold. First, the fabric of the glove or mitten creates a barrier between your babies’ nails and their skin. Second, wearing gloves or mittens can help to remind your little one not to scratch his face.
If you’re concerned about your baby scratching his face, using gloves or mittens is a simple and effective solution. Just be sure to choose a pair that’s comfortable for your baby to wear, and that won’t impede his movement or development as your baby sleeps at night.
Babies might not like wearing mittens at first but they’ll get used to it. And with a little trial and error, you’re sure to find the perfect pair of gloves or mittens for your little one. And soon enough, those pesky scratches will be a thing of the past.
And if you don’t have mittens, you can also use baby socks to cover your newborn’s hands.
Of course, if you are worried about constant scratching, you can always talk to your baby’s doctor or a medical professional.
At What Age Do Babies Stop Scratching Their Faces?
Most newborns start to stop scratching their faces around the age of four months as they gain more control over their movements. This is because they are exploring their bodies and discovering that they have fingers and nails. However, some babies develop at different paces. This means some infants may start scratching earlier or later than this.
A baby scratching face while he sleeps is completely normal and nothing to worry about. However, there are a few ways to help prevent scratches on your baby’s face, we’ve got some tips for you.
As always, you can talk to your doctor if any concerns or questions regarding your baby’s habit of scratching his face.