Hygiene and care are important for the health and comfort of your baby. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after care and changing diapers.
Wash the baby’s face with water but no soap. To clean the eyes, use a sterile pad and saline solution. Start on the cleaner side. Change the compresses each time and for each eye. If there is any large discharge, show your child to a midwife, nurse or pediatrician.
Never use a cotton bud as it may cause injury. Clean the top and back of the ear with a small piece of cotton wool. Dry the ears well after bathing.
Your baby breathes mainly through its nose, so be sure to keep it clean. To clean it, put saline into each nostril or use a damp cotton cloth. The use of a nasal spray or a nasal bulb is not recommended because they can cause irritation.
When changing diapers, carefully clean the genitals, between the buttocks and the folds between the legs using water or a cleansing lotion without soap. Preferably use dry rather than wet cleaning tissues because the latter contain alcohol and may cause irritation. Sometimes, it is more effective to put the very dirty parts under lukewarm running water. Be sure to dry thoroughly before putting on a clean diaper
- For girls, wash the vulva area from top to bottom (from the pubis to the rectum) without ever touching again with a soiled towel.
- For boys, wash the penis without pulling it back, the foreskin is still glued to the glans in infants.
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Red patches may appear on the buttocks and spread gradually under the diaper. These are caused by urine or stools irritating the skin. These patches are not serious and disappear quickly
What can you do if your baby has red buttocks ?
- Check the diapers every hour and change them as soon as they get wet.
- Clean the buttocks using warm water without soap. Let your baby’s skin dry in the air.
- Once the skin is dry, apply a thick layer of healing zinc-based ointment.
Consult your pediatrician if:
- the redness persists despite the suggested treatments
- scabs or blisters develop
- the redness spreads beyond the diaper
Clean the umbilical cord twice a day with sterile compresses or cotton swabs dipped in disinfectant to keep it clean and dry. This is not painful for your baby. Ensure there is a gap between the cord and the top of the diaper to make it easier to dry. It usually falls off before 1 month of life. If you notice redness, swelling, weeping or an unusual odor, talk to your pediatrician.
It is not recommended to cut a baby’s nails before 1 month of life. After that, use a pair of scissors suitable for your baby (with rounded ends) and take advantage of a time when your baby is calm.
A bath contributes to the well-being of your baby and ensures its personal hygiene. It is also a moment of relaxation, privileged exchange, play and sensory stimulation. Choose the right moment when the baby is calm and receptive and you are not in a hurry. It is not necessary to bathe a baby every day, once every two to three days is enough. The use of soap is not recommended before 18 months. For preference, use a cleansing lotion without soap or perfume.
Before putting your baby into water, always check first using a thermometer or your elbow that the water temperature is 37 °C. Never leave your baby unattended.