Cleaning your baby’s face, head, mouth and teeth
Wash your hands before washing your baby’s face, head, mouth and teeth. Clean your baby’s eyes by wetting a cotton wool ball or soft washcloth with warm water. Wipe from inner eye to outer eye. Use a new piece of cotton wool or clean part of the cloth for each wipe.
Use a cotton wool ball to wipe behind and around the outside of your baby’s ears. Don’t stick anything inside the ears. To wash your baby’s hair, gently splash water onto their head. Dry your baby’s hair by gently moving the towel back and forth across their scalp.
Care and cleaning for your baby’s nails and umbilical cord
Trim your baby’s nails using special baby nail scissors or an emery board. Have someone hold your baby while you trim. Or try trimming when your baby is asleep, in the highchair or listening to a favourite song.
Wash your hands before cleaning your baby’s umbilical cord. Clean the area with water. Make sure the stump is dry after bathing. To help the stump heal, avoid covering it with plastic pants or nappies.
Fold nappies away from the stump if possible. Avoid touching the cord stump whenever possible.
Genital care and hygiene for babies
To clean your baby’s labia, hold your baby’s legs apart and wipe between the labia with a wet cotton ball or soft washcloth to remove traces of poo. Start at the front and gently wipe backwards.
To clean your baby’s penis, gently rinse the genital area with water while bathing. Clean only the outside of your baby’s foreskin. Read more about genital care for babies.
Give your baby some ‘nappy-free’ time. Air drying your baby’s bottom helps to prevent nappy rash.