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Hygiene for infants

  • 0-1 Years
  • Child development and growing up
Sleeping newborn baby being held with an adults finger gently pulling down on their lower lip to reveal the baby's first tooth.

It's important to try to keep your baby clean and healthy by bathing them and brushing their teeth. It can help your baby to build up their immunity to infections and stick to good personal hygiene as they get older.


Bathing your baby

Young babies will depend on their parent or carer to wash them. To keep your baby safe, you can use a baby bath or clean washing-up bowl. You still need to ensure they are supported in the water as they don’t have the ability to control their upper body. Never leave your baby unattended.

You don’t need to bathe your baby every day. The best time to bathe your baby is when they are awake and content. Get everything prepared before you start and make sure the room is warm. It’s best not to bathe your baby if they:

  • have just been fed
  • are hungry
  • are tired

It is recommended to delay your baby's first bath until at least 24 hours after birth to help protect them. Where this might not be possible for cultural reasons, it is recommend the first bath should be delayed for at least 6 hours. 

Read more about washing and bathing your baby.

Brushing your baby's teeth

You can start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they get their first tooth. This is often around 6 months old, but not always. You should brush your baby’s teeth twice a day. At first, there won’t be much to brush but it reinforces the idea of teeth brushing and makes it part of their routine. 

Use children's fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) unless a dentist advises different. You only need to use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old. Avoid using adult toothpaste on your baby's teeth.

Read more about looking after your baby's teeth.

Your baby's fingers and toes

It's a good idea to check and clean your baby's fingers and toes. If your baby has long nails, it is important to file them so they don't scratch themselves. You can try using an emery board to safely care for your baby's nails. 


Need more specific support for your child?

If your child needs more help or has additional needs, you can visit our specific section for extra support.

Child development and growing up for additional needs

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023


Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's hygiene, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

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