4 Tips for Caring for Your Baby Girl’s Diaper Area
When I took my youngest daughter for her check-up as a baby, I thought I had this parenting thing down pat.
On my fourth baby, and perhaps just the teensiest bit smug from my days as a nurse, I fully expected to receive the parenting stamp of approval from our family pediatrician. I stood back, watching as he checked her over, confident that everything would be just fine.
And it was. Until he got to checking her diaper area. Which is when he paused and told me that I hadn't been properly caring for her diaper area. And aside from being horrified, you can believe that I definitely learned a lot in that humbling moment, which is that we can always stand for a little refresher on tips that will help us be a better parent.
So on the off chance you're anything like me and could stand to learn a thing or two (or brush on your skills parenting a baby girl) here a few tips to keep in mind when caring for your little girl's diaper area:
Don't be alarmed if she has discharge
It's completely normal for newborn baby girls to have discharge after they are born. The discharge might be milky white or even bloody and resemble period discharge, but don't panic. The discharge is simply a reaction to hormones from pregnancy and will disappear in about a week. Just wipe away the discharge when you change her diaper, no other care is required.
Never use soap in her vagina
When you're sponge-bathing your baby before her cord falls off, be sure to only use warm water on the washcloth when cleaning her vagina. Soap can irritate the delicate tissue and pH of even a baby's vagina. And remember, the vagina is a self-cleaning body part, so soap is not necessary!
Be sure to clean her vagina thoroughly
It possible for the vagina to form an adhesion at the bottom of the vaginal opening when your baby is young, so be sure to clean the vagina thoroughly when you are bathing or wiping her. Nothing forceful, of course, but just check once in a while that there is no skin reattaching itself at the bottom of the vaginal opening. If you have any concerns, speak to your doctor about it.
Don't forget to cleanse inside the labial folds
The labia are the outside skin folds and in newborn girls, the labia may be swollen at first (again, from hormones!), so it may be easy to miss cleaning thoroughly inside of them. But poop, discharge, bacteria, and skin cells can get trapped inside, so be sure to clean inside the folds as well when you are bathing or changing your little one.
Do you have any tips for caring for your little girl's diaper area?