Fold fluff, crevice crap, chub cheese. Caring for a chubby baby is sometimes similar to caring for a very wrinkly dog. Those folds have to be cleaned and prepped properly or you can be left with some incredibly gross stuff. Most babies, skinny or chubby, end up making a batch of neck cheese somewhere in their first month. I still remember the guilt from not realizing the cheese factory that was churning out stinky selections just under my baby’s collar. It’s one of those things no one tells you about, until it’s too late. But take comfort, almost everyone with a baby has neglected a fold or crevice at one time or another. What follows is a beginners guide to caring for the VCB (very chubby baby.)
LEAVE NO FOLD UNCHECKED! Sure, there’s the obvious folds. The neck, the bum, the bum folds. Other VIF (very important folds) include the armpits (prime for catching barf and various milk dribbles) and behind the knees. The one that mystifies me? Major thigh roll number one. How it gathers and brews so much…stuff…is beyond me. Needless to say it is at the top of the roll check list every morning.
WASH THOSE FOLDS! Sometimes you have to ditch the washcloth and get into the folds with your fingers. Let’s you make sure all the fluffy stuff is out. Generally warm water is enough to get a baby who hangs out all day clean, but when I need soap, I use Dolphin Organics baby wash. Since her royal chubbiness is already baby scented she doesn’t need anything extra come bath time that can stay hidden in her chubby parts.
DRY THOSE FOLDS! Just as important as washing every fold is drying every fold. Some of those crevices won’t see fresh air for a few more months if not years so it’s your job to open them up and dry them out. The bath towels I use (Bebe au Lait) are trimmed with regular cotton fabric, far softer on the chub than terry.
FOLD MAINTENANCE! I’ve used liquid powder with both babies, especially in summer. Goes on as easily as a lotion, but dries to a powder and keeps your baby’s foldy parts fresh. The one I currently use is made by Carter’s. If you go with a regular powder, talc=bad. Shake the powder into your and then apply it rather than showering your baby with the fine powder which they can inhale. Between baths and whenever needed I use a wet cotton pad or thin, damp washcloth to clean out any funk. Lotion? Dolphin Organics again. I don’t like the idea of putting chemical-based lotions on my baby especially after reading Danielle’s article about toxic baby bath products.
IF A FOLD GETS FUNKY! First of all, Don’t feel guilty. I’ve been very diligent with Vivi and occasionally something goes wrong and she’ll develop a raw spot. Clean it. Keep it as dry as possible and apply a salve. (I always have Smith’s Rosebud Salve on hand, Aquaphor is also an excellent choice.) Sometimes things can get infected. If a rash or raw spot seems to be getting worse instead of better? It’s time to talk to your doctor. A yeast infection is possible.
Chubby babies have a charm and allure all their own, keep them fresh and clean and may the deliciousness of their plump parts never fade.