Toping and tailing
This is a bit like a sponge bath, and it’s a great option for newborns (and nervous parents!) Instead of immersing your baby in the water, you use cotton wool and warm water to clean the bits that tend to get messy.
- First, make sure the room is nice and warm, and lay out what you’ll need: a clean nappy, clean clothes, a couple of towels, a bowl or sink filled with warm water, and some cotton wool. Use your elbow to test the temperature of the water. It should feel the same as your body temperature.
- Undress your baby on top of a clean towel.
- Dip a piece of cotton wool in the water and squeeze it out. Gently wipe each of your baby’s eyes, starting from the nose and wiping toward the ears. Use a new piece of cotton for the other eye to avoid spreading germs.
- Use fresh cotton to wipe the rest of your baby’s face, the ears, the neck creases, and the hands. (This is the "topping" bit.)
- "Tailing" is cleaning the bottom half – the part that’s covered by the nappy. If things down there are a bit too messy for just cotton and water, you can try using unperfumed baby wipes or some mild baby cleansing lotion.
- Afterward, pat your baby with a clean towel, making sure any skin creases are dry. Pop on some warm clothing and give your little one a cuddle – you both deserve it!