While you adore the tiny wool sweater your mother knitted for your baby for his very first Christmas, you also might be concerned about how his skin will react to the wool. It’s important that you carefully consider all of your baby’s clothing, because many materials could be irritating to his delicate skin. Luckily, wool won’t actually harm your baby when he comes into contact with it, but experts recommend you leave a layer of clothing in between the wool and the baby’s skin to prevent any irritation. For anyone who has worn wool before without a layer in between, this should be common sense. The rash that you might get from wool on your own skin would feel much worse on your baby’s skin because it is delicate and unaccustomed to harsh fabrics.

If your baby does seem to react negatively to wool, stop putting it on him right away. There’s a chance he could be allergic. Even if he isn’t allergic, his skin might simply be too delicate to handle the fiber even with a layer of clothing in between. Being careful about your baby’s clothes is as simple as paying attention to the way his skin reacts. If there is any redness or irritation after he wears a certain outfit for the first time, take it out of the wardrobe rotation. Also, make sure you always wash any new articles of clothing before putting them on your baby to make sure any factory chemicals or germs are washed away. Though you might be comfortable with a little bit of itchiness from a new sweater, it could send your baby into a fit of discomfort that will result in hours of crying that you’ll have to deal with.

If the new sweater that your baby’s grandmother lovingly made makes your baby’s skin react negatively, consider hanging it as a decoration in his room. With a fancy hanger and nice clothing line, it could become a new sentimental focal point of the nursery. Of course, you can also put it in a safe place as a keepsake for your child when he grows up. In fact, that might even be preferable to subjecting the sentimental item to the potential food spills and wear and tear. If your baby has a skin allergy to any particular fiber, you’ll know as soon as he comes into contact when a rash appears. 

Source: Marilyn A Chard et al: Common Skin Problems in the Newborn and Infant. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing. Volume 3 Issue 2 pp. 27-38 1978

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