The complete guide to baby nappies
From meconium and colour-changing poo to changing essentials, this guide gives you everything you need to know to tackle newborn nappies.
Babies are born with a unique moisturising layer called ‘vernix’, which protects their sensitive skin as it acclimatises to its new environment. This protective layer should be left on as long as possible. A daily ‘top and tail’ with clean water is all they need to stay fresh but you may wish to alternate with bathing your baby every couple of days.
Make sure the room is nice and warm before you undress your baby. Aim for around 24°C.
1. Lay your baby on the changing mat.
2. Undress them but leave their nappy on.
3. Wrap them in the hooded towel to keep them warm.
4. Dip a cotton wool ball into the water and gently wipe your baby's closed eyes from the nose outwards.
5. Use a clean ball on the other eye so as not to spread any infection.
6. Clean around the ears, avoiding the ear canal, with a clean cotton ball.
7. Now wash their face and neck with a cotton wool ball or soft washcloth. Start from the middle and work outwards.
8. Change the nappy, using our guide. Make sure you clean inside the folds of skin (wipe girls from front to back) and dry thoroughly before putting on a clean nappy.
9. Work your way down the legs to the feet.
10. Check their fingernails and toenails to see if they need clipping. If so, use baby nail clippers and a smooth emery board to soften any jagged edges.
11. When finished, dress your baby in their clean clothes and give them a cuddle to calm them, and make up for any drop in temperature.
Try to keep your newborn baby’s umbilical cord stump dry, where possible. The cord stump will drop off naturally after a couple of weeks but until then keep the top of the nappy folded down, away from the cord, to avoid rubbing.
"Ideally, have your partner or a family member with you for support – and to take pictures!"
1. NHS. How do I bath my baby? [Online]. 2017. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Video/Pages/how-do-i-bath-my-baby.aspx [Accessed March 2017]
2. NHS. Washing and bathing your baby [Online]. 2015. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/washing-your-baby.aspx [Accessed March 2017]
3. Public Health England. Reducing unintentional injuries among children and young people. Crown copyright, June, 2014.
4. NCT. Baby massage tips and benefits [Online]. 2016. Available at: https://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/babymassage [Accessed March 2017]
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