How to protect my baby from SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
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Alison Ross
Registered Midwife, DipHe, BSc (Hons) Was a midwife at Kingston Hospital and Specialist Midwife in Perinatal Mental Health.
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Bath and bedtime

Top and tailing to clean your baby

It's not necessary to bath your baby every single day and if you choose not to bath your baby you could do what we call a top and tail. This involves just cleaning your baby's face and bottom as they are the areas that get most in need of a quick clean.
Video Tutorial
In Short
Use 2 separate muslins or face-cloths, or cotton wool balls. Clean ones for each end - face and bottom.

Have 2 separate bowls of water for each area. You can also buy bowls that have 2 separate compartments.

Very gently wipe into all the little cracks and creases until everything is nice and clean; don't forget the big crease around the neck, where lots of milk and food can be hidden but be gentle when you clean here and protect your baby's neck if they don't have good head control yet.

Just use clean water no fragranced toiletries.

Top and Tailing Your Baby

It’s not necessary to bath your baby every single day, indeed the is evidence that it is better for your baby’s skin flora to avoid daily baths (especially using harsh chemicals). If you choose not to bath your baby, you could do what we call a top and tail which allows you to clean your baby’s face and bottom whilst keeping the rest of your baby dry and warm.

This means literally cleaning your baby at the top end and cleaning your baby at the tail end.

You don’t have to use a bowl specifically designed for the purpose but you do need to use separate bowls of water for each end otherwise dirty water that has been used to wash your baby’s bottom may get into your baby’s eyes and mouth.

You can use cotton wool, a muslin, or a very soft face cloth.

Babies are milk fed and this liquid food gets everywhere and under all their lovely folds and ‘bracelets.’ Your baby’s neck area can get smelly and gummed up and become sore if this gunky dried up milk isn’t washed off your baby’s skin. However, be very gentle and get in under all the folds.

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This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.