white top and tail bowl

How to top and tail

How to top and tail; a step by step guide. To top and tail means washing your baby’s face, neck, hands and bottom, including his eyes and ears. Here is how to do it:

Step by step guide: How to top and tail your baby

  • Firstly place your baby on to a warm dry towel on the floor.
  • Ensure the room is warm and there is no draught (windows and doors are closed).
  • Fill the top and tail bowl with warm water; check the temperature with your elbow and also a bath thermometer.
  • Place the water on the floor next to you, out of your newborns reach.
  • Remove her clothes but leave her nappy and vest on.
  • Dip the cotton wool in the water, ensuring it doesn’t get too wet.
  • To clean your her eyes, use a clean cotton wool ball for each eye and gently wipe in the opposite direction of the other eye. (Direction of wipe is from the nose towards the ear for each eye). This stops the risk of spreading an infection form one eye to the other.
  • With a fresh piece of cotton wool, clean around your her ears, you shouldn’t wash inside them and always avoid using cotton buds.
  • With another clean piece of cotton wool, clean her face, neck and hands.
  • Dry your little one’s face and hands with a towel.
  • Ensure the water is still warm enough.
  • Remove your baby’s clothes and nappy
  • Dip a clean cotton wool ball into the water and gently wipe her bottom and nappy area with it (hence the tail), make sure she is thoroughly clean, including between the folds in her skin.
  • Dry your baby very carefully
  • Ensure she is fully dry
  • Put a clean nappy on her and dress her.
  • Have big cuddles
  • Now you know how to top and tail your baby!
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