How to wipe a baby girl

Discover how to wipe a baby girl properly so they stay happy and healthy.

A clean baby girl is a happy baby girl. Understanding how to wipe a girl baby effectively is vital, so they stay healthy and hygienic for the day or night ahead.

Whether you’re a completely new parent or are raising your first daughter, there are a few differences when it comes to the proper way to wipe a baby girl compared to a little boy. For starters, their vulva and vagina require slightly different cleaning methods to a baby boy’s private parts.

The good news is that your baby girl’s vagina pretty much cleans itself. However, there are still some specific cleaning techniques to follow so your little lady stays healthy and happy. 

Challenges of wiping a baby girl

Unlike wiping down a little boy , there’s the chance that bits of poo could get on their vulva, labia or in the vagina and urethra, possibly causing an infection

To prevent this happening when cleaning your baby girl, always wipe from front to back away from her vagina and urethra. This should prevent any bacteria spreading from her bum to these sensitive areas.

In some cases you may open up her nappy and think it’s too late, poo has gone everywhere. Don’t worry, you can carefully clean it up to avoid the risk of infection by: 

Carefully separating your baby’s vaginal lips with clean fingers

Wiping from front to back down the middle with a clean, damp cloth, cotton pad or baby wipe

Using a different clean, damp cloth to clean the sides of her labia

It’s a sensitive area down there and certain products can irritate your little girl’s skin. If they start to get a bit red, avoid baby wipes that contain alcohol or perfume – clean water and a mild baby cleanser will do the job.  

Techniques to clean your baby gir

The proper way to wipe a baby girl is from front to back. The vagina naturally secretes anything that shouldn’t be in there, so it shouldn’t require much attention unless a bit of poo makes its way in

Further ways to clean her genitals in a safe and hygienic way include:

Clean her genitals at bath time before putting her in the water, still cleaning from front to back around her little behind

Scrub and rub very gently, swishing around the water for an effective clean

Pat her bum and genitals down with a soft towel to dry off to protect the skin’s delicate surface layer

Baby girl care

Ensure your baby daughter is wiped down well and her private parts kept as clean as possible with these answers to some common questions around baby girl care. 

What do you do if a baby girl’s private part is swollen?

Many newborn babies experience swollen genitals for a few days after birth, often due to the withdrawal of maternal hormones or extra fluid they carry. It should go down in a few days, flushed out in her urine naturally and you hopefully won’t need to do anything – it’s harmless.  

There may be a little withdrawal bleeding as well, which is also normal. You can rinse with warm water or a clean baby wipe. If your baby girl has little red bumps on her private parts or bum too, it could be a sign of nappy rash – a common condition generally caused by skin irritation.

Should the swelling remain or you have concerns about these red bumps or blisters, contact your doctor for an expert medical diagnosis and treatment. 

My baby girl has a smell down below – is it normal?

Many baby girls and toddlers’ vaginas naturally create a certain smell that can be strengthened by the presence of poo and wee in their nappies.  Along with natural discharge, it can create quite the smell, but is usually nothing to worry about. 

If you’ve noticed a distinct change in the odour – especially alongside any redness and pain – it could be a sign of vulvovaginitis. This is common in many young girls but you should still take them to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

Do you need to wipe a baby girl after peeing?

No. Even with a baby girl, you don’t need to worry about wiping after they pee. This is because urine doesn’t normally irritate the skin and most nappies easily absorb it anyway. If your precious little princess is crying or clearly unhappy though, it can be worth cleaning them up as the dampness might cause some discomfort.   

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