So, you’ve spent nine long months preparing, and now your new bundle of joy has arrived, and overnight you have become a parent. Whilst bringing your newborn home is a momentous moment, it can also be filled with a teeny tiny bit of fear! You are now in sole charge of your little one, and regardless of the mountains of baby books you may have read, nothing can truly prepare you for this next step.
But don’t worry, we are here to help guide you through all the firsts, starting with our handy guide to bathing and changing your baby.
Now, newborns actually don’t need to be bathed every day, and in all honesty, some babies love baths and some absolutely loathe them, so do what works best for you and your little one.
Topping and Tailing
- If you would rather avoid a bath for the first few weeks, then topping and tailing is an option.
- Simply lay your child on a changing mat, take off their clothes, ensuring the room is warm, so your little one is not chilly whilst you are washing them.
- Prepare a bowl of fresh, cooled water and dip cotton balls into the bowl (soap is not needed for newborns).
- Starting with their eyes, wipe each eye, using a fresh cotton ball each time.
- Move onto their ears, and then face and neck, again changing cotton balls.
- Next, remove their nappy and wash their bottom and genitals with fresh cotton balls.
- Dry them carefully, paying close attention to their skin folds, and redress.
- Depending on what suits you best, you may either want to buy a baby bath that sits in the bath, or purchase a free-standing bath which perches on a stand.
- Prior to the bath, make sure you have everything you need within reaching distance, towels, flannels etc, as you cannot leave your baby alone in the bath for one second.
- Ideal temperature for the bath should be 37 degrees. You can use the age-old elbow technique, or you may want to use a bath thermometer.
- Once you place your baby in the bath, they may start to become distressed by the coldish water, placing a flannel on their stomach will help keep them warm.
- Using a flannel or a sponge, gently swish the water over your baby. Again, you do not need to use any soaps when your baby is first born. After a few weeks you may want to start to introduce soap but ensure it is baby friendly.
- To wash your baby’s hair, fill a cup with the warm water and gently pour over their head.
- Take your baby out of the bath and place them on a towel, and dry them gently.
The world of nappy changing is a scary one, in your baby’s nappy wearing career you will likely confront poo-nami’s and free flying wee on numerous occasions, it’s par for the parenting course. However, creating a fail-safe nappy changing routine will go a long way to minimise any potential disasters.
- Nappy changing stations are useful as they keep all your nappy changing items in an organised, easy-to-reach place, or you may want to just keep to a changing mat on the floor. Either way, ensure that you have all the necessary items close to hand.
- You can choose from either disposable nappies, or reusable ones.
- Once you have lain your baby on the mat, remove their nappy. For newborns, try to avoid wipes, instead using clean, cooled water to wash their bottom and genitals. For boys, placing a tissue on their penis will help eliminate any unexpected weeing incidents.
- If your child suffers from nappy rash, after you have fully cleaned them, smother them in nappy cream, and replace their nappy, securing it, but making sure it’s not too tight.
- To dispose of your nappy, you can use a nappy bin, which keeps the dirty nappies secure, and encloses any bad smells. The bin can then be cleaned out once it fills up. For reusable nappies, placing them in a dedicated bucket can help to keep them out of harm’s way until you are able to wash them.