If you’ve never had the pleasure of cleaning a newborn’s bum, it can seem pretty tricky at first – not to mention messy. Rest assured, though, with a little practice you’ll soon be doing it in your sleep (literally!). Here’s how:
- The first step is to have everything ready. You don’t want to be searching for cotton wool while your baby is slithering around weeing everywhere! So gather together a clean nappy, a vest and babygro, some cotton wool and warm water (or baby wipes) and a muslin cloth or two, and arrange them by the change mat.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Put your baby on a clean and safe surface. This can be a changing table or on your lap, but on a mat on the floor is probably safest.
- Remove the soiled nappy and put it to one side (out of reach of tiny hands and feet!).
- Gently lift your baby’s legs and, using cotton wool dipped in the warm water, clean the poo out of all the skin folds. The flaps of skin in a girl’s labia and the wrinkles in a boy’s scrotum are particularly tricky. Sometimes poo will go all the way up to the back of their necks, in which case, turn your baby over gently and sponge clean, before patting dry with a muslin or towel.
- Babies typically poo and wee when you’re changing them so have a cloth ready.
- Modern disposable nappies are very absorbent, but it’s still best to change them as soon as they’re soiled to avoid nappy rash. Generally speaking, this will be around six to eight times a day for a newborn.
- If your baby is prone to nappy rash, applying a barrier cream will help form a protective layer between the nappy and the delicate skin. It’s also a good idea to give your baby some naked time on a towel every day to allow his skin to breathe. Just watch out for any surprises!