5 Health and Hygiene Tips for Babies

Babies require special hygiene care to keep them as healthy as possible. If you want to know how to take care of them correctly, don't miss out on the recommendations in this article.
5 Health and Hygiene Tips for Babies
Nelton Ramos

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Nelton Ramos.

Written by Naí Botello

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Taking care of babies’ health and hygiene, as well as providing them with proper nutrition are essential to their well-being.

Parents must be very alert, well informed and follow professional advice.

While pediatricians provide a comprehensive list with information related to the baby’s health and hygiene, when it comes time to putting it into practice, you may feel a little puzzled or afraid of how fragile your newborn actually is.

To simplify these tasks a bit for parents, here’s a list of basic care tips that are simple to apply.

5 Health and Hygiene Tips for Babies

The first piece of advice related to babies’ health and hygiene is, in fact, directed to the parents’ hygiene. It’s essential that parents have clean hands before touching babies, feeding or changing them.

This is because newborns and babies have low defenses during their first year of life. So if we don’t take the necessary precautions, we can be the ones who harm their health.

Now, it’s important to know that each part of the child’s body requires particular attention. We’ll talk about each of them specifically below.

1. Caring for Babies’ Skin

Babies’ skin is very delicate. Always use special baby products – many of them don’t include soap to avoid being abrasive. You should clean the folds of their skin, chest, arms, legs, and buttocks with special care.

To wash their head, you must use a very small amount of shampoo for children, taking special care so that it doesn’t get in their eyes. It’s very important that you thoroughly rinse out any leftover soap and shampoo from their body.

5 Health and Hygiene Tips for Babies

When removing them from the bathtub, make sure to dry them very well, apply a moisturizer and avoid putting colognes or perfumes on their hair and skin.

This can cause irritations or even olfactory discomfort. If you want to do it anyway, spread the cologne on their clothes, not skin.

2. Diaper Change

Cleaning the baby’s bottom properly guarantees his or her well-being. This area is exposed to irritation with the humidity that occurs with diaper use and from bowel movements.

One of the most important tips to avoid irritation is to try to reduce the use of wet towels as much as possible by sponges with warm water. If there is no irritation, directly proceed to wash the area.

In the case of girls, you should always wipe from front to back to avoid depositing waste from fesces in their vagina. It’s also very important to clean the vaginal area well.

3. Cleaning Their Ears

Contrary to what many parents may think, the most important idea linked to ear hygiene is to avoid using cotton swabs.

It’s important to dry the moisture after having a bath, always on the outer part of their ear. Inserting a swab may lead to sinking cerumen more deeply. This way, plugs and infections are created.

“It is essential that parents have clean hands before touching babies, feeding or changing them.”

4. Nail Care

It’s clear that babies’ hands are very fragile. Therefore, cutting their delicate nails can make you nervous.

If this is your case, it’s recommended to use a file that isn’t very abrasive and reduce the size of the nail with great care. Give it a straight shape and keep an appropriate size.

5. Navel Cleaning

The remains of the umbilical cord that adhere to the umbilicus usually fall off before the first month of the baby’s life. However, for proper healing, it’s recommended to clean the area twice a day with gauze or, alternatively, cotton that is soaked in low percentage alcohol.

The most important tips for this area are: take special care when changing their diaper. Also, let any dead skin fall off naturally without forcing it or trying to remove it.

Although at the beginning these basic tips for babies’ health and hygiene may seem demanding or challenging, they will become a routine that requires little effort over the months.  

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.