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Mother and Baby

How To Top And Tail Your Baby

Your newborn doesn’t need a daily bath – and it could dry out her sensitive skin. Try topping and tailing her instead, using just warm water and cotton wool

Undress your baby

Choose a time when your baby isn’t tired or hungry, so the process is as stressfree as possible, then lay her on a changing mat in a warm room. Undress her but keep her nappy on in case of any accidents.

Use water, not soap

Use cotton wool balls dipped in cooled, boiled water to clean her. Squeeze the cotton wool balls out so they’re not too wet. You should avoid using soap, as this will be too harsh on your baby’s delicate skin.

Clean her eyes

Start by wiping gently around her eyes from the inner corner working outwards. Use a fresh piece of cotton wool for each eye to prevent spreading infections.

Reassure her

Next, clean your baby’s cheeks and nose using another ball, before wiping the creases of her neck where milk could get trapped. Talk to your baby during the process, so your baby feels secure. 

Be careful of her ears

Use a fresh piece of cotton wool to clean around her ears but never insert anything into the ear canal, as this could potentially cause damage.

Clean the umbilical stump

Clean her tummy and under her arms. Babies seem to collect lots of fluff between their fingers so pay attention to this area. If the cord stump has become dirty, clean it with another piece of cotton wool.

Keep her warm

Pat her top half dry with a soft, warm towel, so she doesn’t get chilly. Put her in a clean vest, leaving it undone.

Carefully wipe your baby from front to back to avoid spreading infections. If you baby’s a boy, wipe his penis downwards, being careful not to pull his foreskin back, and clean around his testicles.

Take off her nappy and, changing the piece of cotton wool frequently, clean around her bottom and vagina.

Put on a fresh nappy

Wipe in between her leg creases where she might get a bit sweaty, and her feet, then dress her in a fresh nappy. She’ll now be smelling sweet enough to only need bathing once or twice a week.

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