Your Newborn And You

How To ‘Top And Tail’ Your Baby

Babies don’t need a bath every day, especially in the early weeks so a quick ‘top and tail’ is usually enough to keep your little one clean and fresh. If you’re new to this, here’s a handy guide.

What you will need

Newborn babies have very soft, very sensitive skin so cotton wool and some warm water is all you need for now. Make sure your little one is on a safe, stable surface they can’t roll off. A changing mat on the floor is always good, or the centre of a big double bed. Have fresh clothes and nappy changing items close at hand so you never have to leave your baby’s side.

How to top and tail

As the name goes, work from top to tail, starting with your little one’s face.

Dip the cotton wool in the water and squeeze out so it’s damp, not dripping.

Wash your baby’s face, then, with a fresh piece of cotton wool each time, wipe each eye in turn, working from the inside corner outwards.

Once the face and eyes are clean, take a fresh piece of cotton wool and wipe your baby’s ears and neck. Pay special attention to any creases in the neck as fluff and milk residue can accumulate there.

Don’t be tempted to use cotton buds in your baby’s nose or ears. Just wipe what you can see.

Next, wash your little one’s hands and feet. There’s always time for a little play here and your baby will love it! Watch out for any sharp fingernails/toenails and clip them if you can. It will save your baby’s face from scratches. Use a tiny baby scissors or clippers for this.

Always keep the ‘tail’ till last. Once everything else is done, remove the nappy and give their little bottom a wash. Pay careful attention to the creases between the legs. You might like to let your baby have a little kick with the nappy off for a while. They adore this! If you have a boy, beware of unexpected ‘fountains’. 😉 Keep a nappy or a towel underneath for any unexpected accidents.

‘Top and tail’ is a handy way to freshen up your little one without using a bath and is so quick to do.

Read next: How To Make Bath Time Fun…For Everyone

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