Top & tailing
In those precious newborn days, top & tailing is the perfect alternative to giving your baby a full bath. You can use a wash cloth, cotton pads or bath sponge to gently wipe your baby’s skin with plain warm water.
Start with their eyes, ears, neck and face. Pay attention to neck creases, where milk and fluff can get trapped. Then do their hands and feet, before cleaning their nappy area (this is the tailing). Make sure you dry them gently and carefully, paying attention to their skin folds where trapped moisture can cause redness.
Start with quick baths at first, to help them get used to the experience. Make sure the room is warm and you’ve everything ready – a towel, wash cloth or sponge, clean nappy and fresh clothes. The bath water should be at body temperature. It shouldn’t feel too hot or too cold. You can check this by putting your elbow in the water.
Lower your little one slowly into the water so they don’t feel as though they’re falling. Have one arm behind their shoulders and neck, holding their outside arm with your hand. This helps keep their head supported. Place your other hand under their bottom.
Once their bottom is resting on the floor of the bath, you can free that hand to wash them. You can gently splash the warm water over your little one to wash them and/or use our soft wash cloth or sponge.
When you finish washing your little one, get a firm grip on them as they will be slippery. You can put your free arm back under their bottom and hold their legs, then lift them out onto the towel. Dry your baby carefully, paying particular attention to any skin folds.
Should I use products in the bath?
In the first few weeks, midwives recommend using plain water to cleanse baby’s super sensitive skin. You can then start to introduce a very mild, unfragranced cleanser such as Kokoso Baby’s Gentle Hair & Body Wash with organic coconut oil and aloe vera. We also have a naturally scented version of this product, for when baby’s skin has matured and strengthened and you are ready to use a gently fragranced wash product. We recommend introducing this at around three months old.
How often should I bathe my baby?
Most midwives recommend bathing newborns two or three times per week, increasing the frequency as your baby gets older. Even though you may not give your baby a bath every day, top & tailing is a great alternative for the smallest tots.
If you want to massage your baby after their bath, you can use a little Kokoso Baby Organic Coconut Oil to do a gentle massage. Apply a small amount of coconut oil to their nappy area too, as a soothing natural nappy balm. This light nourishing oil is also perfect for any red skin folds, dry patches or flaky skin and scalps. Please note they always recommend doing a patch test when first using any product on baby’s skin.
What if my baby has dry skin or eczema?
Hot water and longer bathtimes can irritate and dry out skin, often causing eczema to flare up in little ones with sensitive and eczema-prone skin. For this reason, it’s recommended to keep bath water warm and avoid bathing baby for longer than 10 minutes. Choose a mild bath wash that has been dermatologically approved for eczema-prone skin, such as our Gentle Hair & Body Wash.
It’s also important to use a skin-friendly bathroom cleaner such as Kokoso Protect’s Surface Disinfectant. This germ-busting biodegradable spray is fragrance-free, with no toxic fumes and doesn’t leave a harmful residue on surfaces that can irritate skin. It’s also dermatologically tested and clinically approved for sensitive skin, making it perfect for families with little ones.