By Raising Children Network
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Mother wiping her baby's eyes
Your baby’s eyes, nose and ears need gentle cleaning once a day.

Cleaning baby’s eyes, ears and nose: basics

You can clean your baby’s eyes, nose and ears when you’re bathing him. Water on its own is fine, because the skin on your baby’s face is too sensitive for soap.

Steps for cleaning baby’s face

  1. Get some cotton balls.
  2. Soak one cotton ball in some warm water.
  3. Clean the corners of your baby’s eye, wiping gently from the inside corner to the outside corner. Use a new cotton ball for each eye.
  4. Wipe gently around each nostril to get rid of mucus. It’s best not to put anything inside your baby’s nostrils (including cotton buds). This can damage the lining of the nose and cause bleeding.
  5. Wipe behind your baby’s ears and around the outside of each ear. Be careful not to stick anything inside her ear, because it’s very easy to cause damage.
  6. Wipe gently under your baby’s chin and neck, making sure you wipe between the folds of skin.

Your baby might get anxious or irritated when you try to clean his face. Singing a song might distract him. But sometimes it’s good just to be quick and get on with it.

Newborns often have snuffly breathing when they’re overstimulated or tired. This is because the newborn nasal passage is very narrow. Your baby’s frequent sneezing will help remove any mucus plugs in her nasal cavity.
  • Last updated or reviewed 14-05-2014