You don’t need to bath your newborn baby for the first week or so. Babies don’t get that dirty, plus their skin needs time to absorb the cheese-like substance (‘vernix’) which acts as a natural moisturiser. But you do need to clean their hands, face and genitals at least once a day. This handy guide will show you exactly how to do it.
- Bowl of warm water
- Cotton wool balls
1. CHANGE YOUR BABY’S NAPPY
Clean your baby’s bum and genitals, just like you would in a normal nappy change. Then put on a new nappy.
2. WRAP YOUR BABY IN A TOWEL
A hooded towel is particularly good for keeping their head warm.
3. DIP SOME COTTON WOOL IN WATER
Dip some cotton wool in warm water and squeeze it out. It should be slightly moist, not wet.
4. WIPE THE EYES
Wipe from the corner of the eye out towards the cheek. Repeat on the other eye with some clean cotton wool.
5. WIPE THE EARS
Clean the outside of each ear. Try to avoid getting water inside the ear.
6. WIPE BEHIND THE EARS
Use a clean piece of cotton wool for each ear.
7. WIPE THE FACE
Clean your baby’s cheeks, forehead and chin.
8. WIPE THE NECK
Wipe inside all the creases under your baby’s chin. These fat folds get full of milk and dribble, which can cause chafing and soreness.
9. WIPE THE HANDS AND ARMPITS
Use a clean piece of cotton wool for each hand and armpit.
10. WIPE AROUND THE BELLY BUTTON
Gently clean around the umbilical stump, trying to keep it as dry as possible. It will take about a week to dry out and fall off. Never pull the stump, as you may cause permanent damage.
11. DRY YOUR BABY
Always pat your baby dry. Don’t rub them, as babies don’t like this. Make sure you dry inside all the fat folds and creases.
12. PUT A CLEAN NAPPY ON
Fasten the nappy tabs. Put some clean clothes on. Job done.