18 Apr 2018
There are some things that people just do not tell you when you come home with your little bundle of joy, which is why Cuddlers have put together an instruction manual to help you care for your baby – from washing and dressing your baby, to caring for their nails, belly button and hair. Here is a list we have compiled to help you navigate parenthood
A daily bath isn’t always necessary, especially in winter. The sponging method is another way of washing your baby and can be just as effective. When sponging your baby it is important to remember to be gentle – their smooth skin is very sensitive.
Start with their eyes, using a damp cloth or some damp cotton wool to wipe them, starting from in the inside corner. When washing their little face, make sure that you wash behind their ears and neck. Wash their bottom last and always from front to back. Remember to be careful when washing your little girl between the labia if she has done a poo, it may be sensitive. Always remember to never, ever, leave your baby in the bath unattended – no matter how small the amount of water may be.
Once you have washed their whole body, dry your baby well, including all the various skin folds. Make sure you dry their belly button well. A cotton bud may help you keep your baby's belly button clean.
If the skin feels dry and needs moisturising, add a little oil to the bath water but don’t do this until after the umbilical cord stump has dropped off. Always keep your baby warm by covering them completely in a towel once they have come out of the bath.
Putting on a clean nappy
When it is time to put on a clean nappy, make sure it doesn’t interfere with the umbilical cord stump, if it hasn’t yet dropped off. If you have a baby boy, you may want to point their penis downwards so that he doesn’t pee towards his navel.
Dressing your baby
Make sure your baby’s clothes are comfortable and not too tight, a good choice of is a vest or a bodysuit. Their clothes should not pull the nappy up between the buttocks or press the arms and shoulders down – this will restrict your child’s movements. Again, remember to never leave your baby unattended on any raised surface.
Cleaning baby’s ears
You do not have to clean your baby’s ears every day. If you do need to clean them, only clean the outer part of the ear hole. You may find that they may need to be cleaned a couple of times a week or only once a week.
Your baby’s nails are very fragile and sometimes all you need to do to shorten them is rub them with your fingers until the nail comes away. Once your baby starts to grow and their nails become harder, you can start cutting them straight across with a pair of baby nail scissors or clippers.
You may want to brush your baby’s hair with your own hairbrush, but remember that this may hurt their little scalp. Rather comb the hair very carefully with a fine-toothed comb or soft brush. Begin by brushing against the natural direction of growth and then back the right way. This helps to prevent cradle cap.
Cuddlers recommend consulting a child expert on your child’s daily care and while the above can act as a guide new parents are always encouraged to seek expert advice.