Keeping Your Newborn Baby Clean

Newborn Tips#1: Don't Hush-A-Bye-Baby
You don't have to be quiet while the baby is sleeping. The womb is loud, and newborns are used to the noise. When ours first came home, we watched television and I would vacuum, wash dishes and talk on the phone around her while she slept. She got used to sleeping with noise, and I could get stuff done. I am still able to vacuum in her room while she sleeps (she is 14 months), and she is peaceful and well rested when she wakes up.
Newborn Tips#2: Soothe Your Wailing Newborn
When my baby cries, I comfort her by patting her back in a heartbeat-like rhythm. That helps her burp more quickly, and it also helps her relax if she's crying from insecurity. If this doesn’t work, I also try one or all of Dr. Harvey Karp's five calming moves: swaddling, shushing, holding her on her side, swinging her or letting her suck. Sometimes it takes all six!

Additional Information:

There's an old saying that when you give birth to baby you give birth to your baby common-sense soon after…

But just in case you need some extra advice, here are some basic newborn baby care tips on keeping her clean.

In those early days you may feel there is an abundance of newborn baby items you have to buy, but being clean, fed and comfortable are your baby's basic needs.


Newborn babies often have red blotchy faces, but the skin settles down quite soon. Wash her face daily with baby soap and lukewarm water, taking care to remove all traces of soap.

Some babies have a crusty, yellow discharge from one or both eyes caused by a blocked tear duct. Clean with a damp cotton wool ball.


Many newborns have a condition called cradle cap, which is basically scaly, dry skin. It is harmless and baby will not even know it is there. You can use a soft baby hairbrush or very soft toothbrush to brush the dead skin away each day – washing her hair with baby shampoo every other day. A good newborn baby care tip is to massage olive or almond oil into the affected areas to soften the skin and make the scales easier to remove.


Newborn Tips#3: Help Get Your Baby to Latch
If you are having latch-on issues while breastfeeding your baby, you can use breast shields to help the process. This was a wonderful tip that I learned from my lactation consultant. I had to use the shields for an entire month before my baby would latch onto my own nipple without them. Had it not been for the breast shields, I would not have been able to continue nursing my baby.
Newborn Tips#4: Get Prepped
At 3 weeks, babies’ days and nights become more predictable, and you can focus on yourself in addition to your newborn. One way to do that is by reducing your stress level - and having everything ready for your hungry baby and yourself is one way to do that. Start by prepping for the next feeding as soon as the previous one is over. For example, after an 11 p.m. feeding, get ready for the 2 a.m. one by prepping whatever you need for feeding and putting out fresh drinking water for yourself so you don’t have anything to think about in the middle of the night. During the day, take advantage of the baby’s naps to work out, shower or catch up on e-mail, or take a nap too.

If your baby develops red, itchy patches called eczema or atopic dermatitis limit her bath to less than ten minutes and use a mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water. Pat her dry and apply a special hypoallergenic cream. Try to use only cotton clothing next to her skin.

A newborn baby care tip from mums in Mediterranean countries is to regularly massage baby all over with natural olive or almond oil taking care to avoid the eye area. These natural moisturisers will nourish her skin and she'll love the sensation too. If a daily oil massage is hard to fit into your routine try to do it at least once a week.



Babies with sensitive skin are more likely to develop nappy rash, but all babies can get it. It occurs when baby is left too long in a wet nappy.

So, to avoid your baby getting nappy rash, change her nappy frequently. Special creams like petroleum jelly and white zinc oxide can help.


Among the “must-buy” newborn baby items will be special baby nail clippers or blunt-nosed scissors for cutting her nails.

Baby nails are soft, but if they become jagged they can scratch their faces.

Only ever cut your baby's toenails if they are noticeably too long.

Umbilical Cord

This will fall off within a couple of weeks. All you have to do is keep the stump clean and dry. Give sponge baths until the stump detaches.


The tip of baby's penis will become swollen and a yellow scab will form after circumcision. Clean his genital area with warm water daily and protect it with petroleum jelly to stop the penis from sticking to his nappy.

Newborn Tips#5: Keeping Your Baby Awake During Feedings
When our baby was eating slowly and sleepily, my husband and I would massage her cheek to stimulate her to eat faster. A gentle stroke with a fingertip on her cheek was all it took, and on those long sleepless nights, this simple trick was a godsend! Our friends have found it works great with their infants too. When babies eat efficiently until they're full before going to sleep, they sleep for longer between feedings. And that means you’re both likely to be calmer!
Newborn Tips#6: Help Your Baby Bond with Dad
Make sure your baby has ample time alone with Daddy. His touch and voice are different than yours, and this will begin a bonding process and give you a break. Plus, it gets the baby used to being with someone other than you. The first few times can be hard. Make sure your baby is fed and well rested, as this will give you at least one or two hours before you're needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby alone. If you stay nearby, make sure the baby can’t see or hear you, and resist the urge to go into the room and "fix" things if she starts crying. Your baby cries with you and you experiment to find out what's wrong. Dads need time to do this too - in their own way. By allowing this time, your child will learn there is more than one way to receive comfort, which will help immensely when you leave your baby with a sitter or another family member for the first time. You could have your partner bathe her, put her to bed or just read or talk to her.
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