How To Wash Your Newborn Baby In Week 1 (Topping And Tailing)

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.

YOU’LL NEED:

  • Towel
  • Bowl of warm water
  • Cotton wool balls
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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. 

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2. WRAP YOUR BABY IN A TOWEL

A hooded towel is particularly good for keeping their head warm.

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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.

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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.

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5. WIPE THE EARS

Clean the outside of each ear. Try to avoid getting water inside the ear.

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6. WIPE BEHIND THE EARS

Use a clean piece of cotton wool for each ear.

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7. WIPE THE FACE

Clean your baby’s cheeks, forehead and chin.

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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.

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9. WIPE THE HANDS AND ARMPITS

Use a clean piece of cotton wool for each hand and armpit.

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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.

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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.

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12. PUT A CLEAN NAPPY ON

Fasten the nappy tabs. Put some clean clothes on. Job done.

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