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How To "Top And Tail" Your Baby?

4 min read

The moment your little baby is placed into your arms after birth, your entire world revolves around him and no one else. Getting adjusted to the little one’s sleeping and feeding patterns and the entire package of motherhood is totally new to you and you often find yourself overwhelmed in those first twenty four hours. Bathing your baby may be one of the most apprehensive issues that may plague you. It is a strange new experiences for both you and your baby. You may be nervous and scared that you will hurt those tiny hands and feet or perhaps anxious of dropping the slippery and wriggly little one. If you are a little hesitant of bathing your newborn, you can start off by cleaning your baby by means of topping and tailing. Continue reading to know all about it.
newborn topping

What Is “Topping And Tailing”?

Cleaning the nappy area and wiping the little one’s neck and face is commonly referred to as “topping and tailing”. All that your darling new born requires for the first twenty four hours is just this. It is actually better to wait till the little baby’s umbilical stump withers away to begin bathing him regularly and this normally takes anywhere from a week to ten days. And it is necessary to ensure that the stump does not get too wet while washing or cleansing the nappy area.
Also if your newborn baby’s skin still has a creamy coating called vernix, don’t try to scrub it off from your baby’s skin as vernix provides moisture to your baby’s skin and at the same time help in heat conversation. Vernix will slowly and naturally wear off your baby’s skin.

How To “Top And Tail” Your Baby?

Topping and tailing is extremely simple and easy for you to manage even as a first time mom. You just need to get everything prepared for the same and all it takes is just a few minutes for your little one to look squeaky clean and smelling wonderful. The main steps involved are:

  • Getting a bowl or sink with warm water ready with clean towels and nappy all at an arm’s distance in a room that is not cold
  • Removing your little one’s clothing and placing him on the changing mat. Make sure you cover him with a fresh towel
  • Ensure you support the little one’s head each time you move him or her
What Does Topping The Baby Involve?

This includes cleaning the little mite’s hands, face and neck.

  • Begin with the baby’s eyes. For this dip a fresh ball of cotton wool in water that is warm and squeeze the water out. Wipe the little one’s eye from the inside to outside and ensure you use a fresh piece of cotton for the other eye in order to avoid spreading any kind of goo that has been removed from one eye to the other
  • Take another fresh piece of cotton that is dampened and wipe the little one’s ears but not the insides. Remember to clean behind the little mite’s ears too
  • Now pick a piece of fresh cotton and wipe the little one’s face and neck well as these are the areas that get damp and sweaty too. Another part that turns sweaty is the inside of the little one’s palms. Wipe them clean too
What Does Tailing The Baby Involve?

This includes cleansing the little one’s genitals very thoroughly during his wash and it even includes bottom. Ensure that this is done during every nappy change too.
Now you need to just dry the washed areas very gently and remember to take special care of the creases. Wrap the little one in a fluffy and warm towel and hold him close to you for a few minutes. After this you can put him down and put a clean nappy and dress him up. The little one is ready, all warm and cozy for a feed and nap.
newborn eyes cleaning

When Can The Newborn Have His First Bath?

If your baby is healthy and is a full-term baby, you can bathe your newborn as soon as you like. But it is best to wait atleast for an hour after the birth to give your baby his first bath. Also make sure that the first bath is short. It should not be more than 5 to 10 minutes. Ensure that you have all the things required for bathing near you. It can be a bit scary the first time your bathe your newborn. Try and remain calm and it is best if someone stands next to you for any kind of assistance required. Take care to firmly hold the little one so that he does not slip from your hands while bathing. While some babies will enjoy a bath, others hate the water. So be prepared for the worst and you will find that it was not so bad after all.
Giving bath to your baby two to three times a week is enough to keep him clean. Rest of the days you can just “top and tail” your newborn.

How To Clean The Umbilical Stump?

Although people advise not to get the stump wet on the contrary it is quite safe to wet the stump as long as you take care to dry it properly. This is because it has chances of getting infected. So in case you happen to give the little one a bath, ensure you pat the stump completely dry with a soft cloth. However refrain from disinfecting the umbilical stump as antiseptics will prolong the time taken for the stump to wither off.
So do go ahead and get ready to bathe your little one or you can just top and tail him during the first twenty four hours as it is not must for you to give bath to your little one as soon as he is born.

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