Mother and Baby

Washing and bathtime for baby - your essential guide

Take the stress out of baby bathtime with this handy three-minute videoe...

Nicola Joseph, Health Visitor says: You may find that within the first few weeks that you do something called top and tailing which is basically making sure that you clean baby’s face and neck, the hands, their feet and the nappy area. And to do that you would use either cotton wool or a clean baby flannel and some cool cold water.

Mum 1 says: "It’s important that you get underneath their necks; you don’t want it to smell under there. He usually gets really dirty underneath there too, especially during the night. And I give him a top and tail underneath his arms all in the creases. I find that when he has the top and tail it just refreshes him in the morning because some people just bath their babies once a day but I find doing top and tail in the morning and bath at night just helps to settle him throughout the day."

Nicola says: When it comes to bathing, to make sure there are a few things to check you have before you do anything. To make sure you have everything you need alongside you, to check the temperature of the water and this depends whether you are using the baby bath or the tub at home.

Mum 2 says: "She generally doesn’t like anything hot; she likes everything a bit cooler. I put the cotton wool on the side – that’s what I wash her face with – and sponge the rest of the body. I always start by just holding her hand just to keep her upright, so I just do gentle strokes across her back. She’s not a particularly sicky baby, but she does get some milk sick around her neck which doesn’t smell very nice. After the back, we move onto the legs and the toes, we go under the arms."

Katie, Cow & Gate Midwife says: The most important thing, which although may sound obvious is always worth mentioning, is never to leave baby unattended even if you’re bathing baby on the floor, because you just never know what’s going to happen.

Mum 2 says: "I use the towels which have a hood over the head; because when they get out of the bath they are always very cold so it’s important to get them warm as quickly as possible."

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