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How to wipe a baby girl

hints and tips for how to wipe a baby girl

Marie Louise, midwife

4 minutes


A baby girl’s genitals are very delicate, so extra attention needs to be paid when wiping this area.

Here, we talk through how to properly wipe a baby girl, sharing expert input from midwife and first-time mum Marie Louise’s handy video guide along the way.

  1. Baby girl genital care

  2. How to wipe a baby girl

  3. Baby girl discharge

1. Baby girl genital care

It’s important to keep your baby girl’s genitals as clean and dry as possible. According to midwife Marie Louise, this helps reduce nappy rash and other skin irritations and also prevents infection.

The best time to clean your baby girl is when you’re changing their nappy or at bath times. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really straightforward, but it can take a few goes to confidently develop the knack. “Unless you’ve been around babies, you’ve worked with them, or you’ve already had one, it’s really normal not to know how,” reassures Marie Louise.

Tip: Try to change your baby as soon as you think they’ve got a dirty nappy, but make sure you have everything ready before doing so. You’ll need a safe surface, a changing mat or towel, WaterWipes original vegan, cruelty-free and sensitive baby wet wipes (now brilliantly biodegradable), a clean nappy, a nappy sack, clean clothes and barrier cream.

2. How to wipe a baby girl

1. Make sure you have clean hands

To clean a baby girl after a dirty nappy, first ensure you have clean hands of your own.

2. Loosen, undo, wipe and tuck

Loosen her clothing (making sure it’s safely out of the way), then undo her nappy. If it’s messy down there, use the clean edge of the old nappy to wipe away as much poo as you can, then curl the nappy up and tuck it under baby.

3. Always wipe from the front to the back

Take a WaterWipes wipe and gently and quickly clean the area, remembering to ALWAYS wipe from the front to the back. Wiping from the back to the front can mean bacteria finds its way from the bottom into the vagina or urethra, leading to possible infection.

4. Lift baby’s feet to ensure you haven’t missed any bits

To ensure you haven’t missed bits, lift your baby’s feet up. You should be able to do this with one hand, leaving the other hand free to clean away any previously hidden poo. Again, always remember to wipe from front to back. Or if you’re cleaning the folds around baby’s thighs, outwards.

5. Clean quickly and gently

If bits of poo have made their way into your daughter’s labia (vaginal lips), gently part the lips with your fingers and wipe the area from top to bottom using a WaterWipes wipe. There is no need to spend a long time doing this or be too firm and avoid directing any poo into the vaginal opening – a quick, gentle clean is all that’s needed.

6. Enjoy some nappy-free parent/baby time

Once your baby girl is clean, use this opportunity to have a little bit of nappy-free time. This can help reduce baby nappy rash as it allows her skin to dry naturally but also allows it to breathe. It’s also a great time to do some bonding. “It might not look like it, but they are taking it all in,” promises Marie Louise.

Tip: If you’re at home and it’s a particularly impressive dirty nappy, you can always pop your baby girl in the bath to clean her up. The warm water will naturally wash away any stubborn poo and other residue. Make sure she well dried before putting on a clean nappy. Read our article to learn how to bathe a baby.

3. Baby girl discharge

You may notice some whitish discharge on your baby girl’s genitals. Don’t worry, this is completely normal and there’s no need to try to remove it.

Newborn baby girls might also have blood-tinged discharge and that too is usually nothing to worry about – in most cases it’s just maternal hormones making their way out of her little body. If you have chosen not to have vitamin K then it is important to report any bleeding to a health care professional so that it can be checked but a but of pink loss in her nappy is generally normal.

Tip: Watch our nappy-changing tutorial video with Marie Louise for more expert advice on the proper way to wipe a baby girl.

If you found this guide about how to wipe a baby girl helpful, you might like to take a look at some of the other newborn baby articles on our Parenting Hub:

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