In the first few weeks of your baby's life, you will spend many happy hours each day holding and washing your precious new child. Here's how to do both like a pro!
By Dr Janice TUNG
Associate Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital
A new era of your life has started — your tiny infant has arrived, and is ready for your care! Here's how to keep both of you smiling:
Up until about six months of age, your baby's neck muscles won't have developed and will be unable to support the weight of the head, so always support the head and neck. Did you know that babies' heads have a soft spot, known as a fontanelle? They will disappear once the skull bones knit together, but for now handle your child gently.
Related: Baby Has Come Home
Your newborn doesn't need much water, so a shallow tub will do just fine. Opt for a nice, lukewarm temperature: check that it's not too hot by testing the water with your elbow first. A good order to wash baby in is:
Eyes first. Clean them with moist cotton balls
Head next. Be sure to dry the head (and any hair!) as soon as you're done, so baby won't catch a chill
Armpits, body and bottom area last
When cleaning your daughter's genitals, be sure to wipe from front to back. That way you won't swab bacteria from the anus to the vagina
It may surprise you to know that many newborns can have quite sharp fingernails. You may be tempted to cut them, but at this early stage their nails are quite soft. Wait a few weeks until they have hardened. In the meantime, slip mittens and booties over your little one so they don't scratch themselves.
Common Childhood Injuries — A Child-Safe Home
Bath time may quickly become your favourite time with your baby. Many babies love it too, and may perk up after all the activity. To get your teeny tot relaxed and ready for bed soon after, you can end each bath with a gentle massage.
Copyright © 2016 HealthHub.sg. All rights reserved.
Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your baby a healthy start.
Download the HealthHub app on
Google Play or
Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.
Read these next:
The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore
This article was last reviewed on
15 Sep 2023
Benefits of Fruits: Fun Fruity Facts for Health
Eating Light At A Hawker Centre Is Possible
Getting Your Caffeine Hit
What is a Healthy Weight?
How Much Calories Do I Need A Day?
View More Programmes
Live a fuller and sweeter life with your loved ones by taking small steps towards healthier living. From healthier eating to mental wellbeing tips as well as health screening subsidies and free physical activity events near you – we’ve got you covered to help you kick start and continue your healthy journey!
Youth Preventive Dental Service (YPDS) provides oral health screening for pre-schoolers at some childcare centres as part of the Preschool Oral Health Screening and Fluoride Therapy Programme. Parents may access Healthhub to obtain the 'Information Sheet for Parents', which contains screening outcomes and the recommended follow-up action.
Start moving towards your health goals one day at a time with Healthy 365.
Browse Live Healthy
In partnership with