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Even though babies are super cute, they can get messy from time to time, but it's good to know that they don't need a full bath every day during the early days! Topping and tailing can be a good alternative method for keeping your baby clean in-between baths - starting at their head and ending at their bottom!
Let's run through what topping and tailing is, what you'll need to do it, and how to top and tail your baby safely.
Gently washing your baby from top to bottom using cotton pads and warm water can be particularly useful in their first few weeks. This is because they're so tiny and you're able to keep their umbilical area dry and clean as it heals. A baby's umbilical stump usually falls off within two weeks after birth, and then takes an extra 10 days to heal and form a belly button.
Top and tailing is quick and easy and gives you a chance to get some quality skin-to-skin contact and special bonding time. It also gives you time to get used to handling and caring for your little one and builds your confidence before you give them their first proper bath.
Although there's no perfect time of day to top and tail, it's best to find a time when your baby is happy, calm, and wide awake.
Some parents choose to top and tail their baby before bedtime. Others find that topping and tailing in the morning works best and gives them and their little one a great start to the day. Whenever you decide the time is right for you, you should make sure that the room you're in is warm and comfortable.
At first, you can top and tail your newborn baby every day or every few days as needed. But because every baby is different, it's key that you find a bathing routine that works for you and your newborn.
Most babies only need proper baths twice or three times a week, and they can be top and tailed as needed in between.
Top and tailing involves washing your baby's face, neck, hands, underarms, and nappy area using moistened cotton pads.
Before you get started, it's important to be prepared with these essentials close to hand...
It's worth noting that you don't need to use any soap, shampoo, or products when top and tailing your baby. Just water works great, and it's safer for your baby's delicate skin.
Here are our top tips on how to make the most of topping and tailing and how to make it easier for yourself...
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