All newborns require that their skin be taken care of in a special way and it is crucial to their health as well. However, it becomes even more important if the child is premature. All preemies are at more of a risk and they are more sensitive to everything and that even includes their skin. The importance of very good skin care is crucial in the overall healthy of the premature infant. They will receive special care while in the neonatal intensive care unit and this will have to be continued after they are taken home.
You need to realize that the skin actually protects the rest of the organs in our body for the rest of the world outside and with the skin of preemies this skin is often not developed fully and is far thinner than that of a full term baby. So this means that it gives less protection to the internal organs of the premature infant.
Any skin especially that of an infant needs to remain healthy and must have the right acid and alkaline balance in it. So in order to do this, a premature infant should have their baths done with very low alkaline soap, you can easily find out about the alkaline level by simply reading the label on the soap. If the soap is high in alkaline then this will irritate their skin and will also lower the acid levels in their skin that helps to protect them. They also need to be bathed with dye and fragrance free soaps because the ingredients can again reduce the acid levels in the skin as well as irritate it.
Newborns do not have to be bathed every day, you should only give them a full bath just a couple of times a week because the skin is already sensitive and over bathing will just irritate their very sensitive skin. You also should only use lotions sparingly because using lotions too often is also going to cut down on their natural protective abilities and will again mess up the acid and alkaline balance of the skin. If the skin of your baby becomes to dry and starts cracking you need to talk to your pediatrician and have them recommend the proper lotion to take care of the problem. You also should not use those baby wipes on a premature infant, just wash the diaper areas with some warm water and a low alkaline soap.
Also understand that you need to use good hygiene on yourself as well as others who may be handling the baby. So always make sure that you wash your hands really good before holding or touching your baby.