First-Time Parents' Guide to Newborn Baby Grooming


Newborn babies smell so lovely even if you forget to bathe them a day or two. Even so, they still need grooming. Newborn baby grooming is a bit tricky and scary, especially for first-time parents. 

Here are a few tips on newborn baby grooming that will help you do things with ease.  

Umbilical cord

Every newborn comes with an umbilical cord. It is vital for your baby's nourishment while inside the womb. First-time parents might be bothered by it, especially when bathing their babies or changing their diapers. 

Every after a diaper change, gently use a cloth wet with warm water around the area. Do not cover it with the diaper as it might trap moisture, said Michelle Ponti, a London pediatrician. Allow the cord to stay dry. After one to two weeks, it will fall off by itself. 


Delay bathing for the first five to ten days. After being born, your baby's body has a creamy white substance known as vernix caseosa. The waxy layer protects your baby in utero. 

Pediatric neuropath from Calgary, Hillary Dinning, said that it also protects your newborn from bacteria. She also said that it keeps your baby's sensitive skin moisturized and healthy. 

For your baby's first month, all she needs is a sponge bath for grooming unless a thorough wash is required. You may use a soft cloth dipped in warm water to wash your baby. 

(Photo : unsplash/Jonathan Borba)


Ponti recommends you apply lotion to your newborn every after a bath. The lotion would act as a barrier against infection. Do not worry if you see rashes or small acne on your baby's face. It usually goes away by itself. If it worsens over time, call your pediatrician to check for skin conditions.


Also part of newborn baby grooming is washing your newborn's private parts with warm water. When grooming girls, make sure to wash from front to back to prevent infection. Only apply a barrier cream if you notice redness or spots. 

If your baby is circumcised, wash his genitals carefully with warm water. Apply petroleum jelly after to protect it from diapers. It usually heals in ten days. 


Be careful when grooming your newborn's scalp. They have a soft spot called fontanelles that have not yet fused during the early days. Some babies develop a cradle cap. It is the waxy spots found on aby's head. You may apply water or olive oil then scrub it lightly to remove it. They also usually go away without help. 

(Photo : unsplash/Kelly Sikkema)


Use a cotton ball or cloth soaked in warm water to clean your infant's eyes gently. Start from the inner working towards the outer eye. 


Even before your baby has teeth, one important newborn baby grooming is to make sure to clean his gums, tongue, and inside cheek for any residue. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe them clean. When your child's teeth arrive, use a soft toothbrush. No need to use fluoride toothpaste until they are one year old. 


Do not use a cotton swab on grooming your newborn's ear canal. Just like adults, babies' ears are self-cleaning. The most you could do is to wipe your baby's outer ear.

(Photo : unsplash/Irina Murza)


Trim your baby's nails because they could scratch your baby's face. Use a baby clipper to cut your baby's nails safely. If you are afraid of using clippers, you may use a nail file during the first few weeks. 

Other baby-related articles: 

3 Ways to Care for a Newborn During a Pandemic

What are Types of Baby Cries and What Causes Them?

What do Babies See During Their First Month? 

5 Significant Reasons Why Babies Drool So Much

7 Simple Tips on How to Get a Baby to Sleep in a Crib

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