Genitals are self-cleaning due to the presence of natural ‘good’ bacteria which help to keep germs under control but how you wipe your baby’s genital lining matters a lot. Below are frequent questions and answers that would be relevant to you.
How do I clean my baby’s bum when changing a nappy?
When your baby passes stool, the best and appropriate way to wipe is From front to back with the nappy he/she is wearing or alternatively, you could use baby wipes. After which you can wash your baby’s bottom in a basin of warm water. When possible, leave your baby without a nappy for a short time for his/her skin to dry.
What’s the best nappy to use?
Wipes, cotton wool and warm water or a dedicated face-cloth can be used to clean the skin, but the latter must be kept scrupulously clean and soft.
Caring for your baby boy’s genitals
A newborn’s penis is small and the foreskin covers the tip (called the glans) to protect this delicate tissue. If your baby boy is uncircumcised, it’s important you don’t pull the foreskin back because, up until the age of four, this skin is naturally tight. If it is forced back, the foreskin can tear or even get stuck.
My best advice is to leave the penis alone! His dad can teach his uncircumcised son about cleaning the tip when he is older.
Circumcision (cutting off the foreskin) is usually done for religious or medical reasons. Depending on the method used, the doctor will advise parents on cleaning and healing. The doctor will also check that both testes have descended into the scrotum.
Caring for your baby girl’s genitals
You are to always wipe from the front to the back because the urethra, vagina and rectum are close together, and it’s easy to wipe germs from the rectum into the vagina and urethra. Girls have a shorter urethra so it’s easier for them to get urinary tract infections.