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Baby care

Baby care

An instruction manual for Baby. Here is some advice regarding washing and dressing your baby, caring for their nails, belly button and hair.

A daily bath isn’t always necessary, especially in winter. This ‘sponging’ method is another way of washing your baby:

• Start with the eyes. Use a damp cloth or some damp cotton wool, and wipe from the inside out.
• Then wash the face, making sure you wash behind their ears, and don’t forget the neck. Then wash their arms and torso, front and back, and dry well, including all the various skin folds.
• If the skin needs moisturising, add a little oil to the water in the bowl, but don’t do this until after the umbilical cord stump has dropped off.
• Make sure you dry their belly button well. You might want to use a cotton bud to keep your baby's belly button clean.
• Wash their bottom last, always from front to back. Wash your baby girl carefully between the labia if she has done a poo.
• Keep your baby warm by covering any bare bits with a towel.

Putting on a clean nappy
When you put a clean nappy on, make sure it doesn’t interfere with the umbilical cord stump if it hasn’t yet dropped off. Point your baby boy’s penis downwards so he doesn’t pee towards his navel.

Dressing your baby

Dress your baby in a vest or a bodysuit but remember his or her clothes must not be uncomfortably tight. Make sure the clothes do not pull the nappy up between the buttocks or press the arms and shoulders down restricting movement.

Cleaning baby’s ears
You should only clean the outer part of the ear hole if it’s needed. This may vary from a couple of times a week to once a week.

Cutting the nails

If the nails need cutting, you can rub them with your fingers until the nail comes away. When the nails become too hard for rubbing – around one month – start cutting them straight across with a pair of baby nail scissors or clippers.

The hair

Comb the hair very carefully with a fine-toothed comb or soft brush – first against the natural direction of growth, then back the right way. This is to prevent cradle cap.

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