The ABCs of Grooming Your Baby

At the hospital after the arrival of your little one, you will likely be taught the essentials of bathing a baby. Though, once you’re home, you’ll quickly discover that babies need cleaning a lot more frequently than the occasional bath. Below, we shine light on some of the most frequently asked questions about baby bathing and grooming, as well as highlighting a number of our favourite products that are designed to make bathtime fun. From baby’s very first hair brush, to dental trips and more - read all about the ABC’s of baby grooming online at Direct4Baby.

Do you need a baby hair brush?

One popular question we’re often asked by parents is, do I need a baby hair brush? The short answer is yes. Babies have very delicate scalps and thin, soft hair, so a regular adult hair brush is simply not suitable. Instead, you’ll likely need to invest in a baby brush with very soft and flexible bristles, so as to not hurt your baby whilst brushing. The Shnuggle Bath Baby Brush is an excellent product designed to be super soft against your baby's gentle head. Not only does this sit comfortably in the palm of your hand, gently rotating the brush away from the cradle cap works to massage your little one’s head, helping to calm and soothe your child at the same time.

Many parents also choose to brush their babies hair daily, though it’s not always necessary - we simply advise parents to use their best judgement on when is right to brush their little one’s hair.

How do I look after my baby's hair?

When your baby is very young, hair requires very little care. You can wash it just with water, gently rubbing onto their scalp, or you might choose to use a delicate no-tears baby shampoo. Baby's hair does not need washing regularly, and using too much shampoo can be bad for the hair as it removes the moisture that hair needs in this vital growth stage. Because of this, when it comes to babies, shampoo should really only be used if the baby's hair is particularly dirty or matted. As they grow, their hair becomes thicker and more like adult hair. At this stage, you can start using shampoo routinely once or twice a week. Once your little one is slightly older, you might decide to take them for their first hair cut.

Many people don't take their child for a haircut for at least the first year, and often wait much longer to give them a good chance to grow a full head of hair. If you’re worried about your baby’s first trip to the barbers, then you needn't be concerned. The first hair cut can be a special, momentous occasion for parents, who will often save a lock of their baby's first hair. But memories aside, your little one’s first trim will also help to keep their hair in top condition, removing the soft and wispy baby hair to allow them to begin to develop their toddler style.

Do I need to brush my baby's gums?

Your baby's first teeth may appear at any time. Some babies are born with teeth or get them in their first few months of life, whilst others may not get their first teeth until they're closer to a year old. Even before your baby gets their first teeth through their gums are surprisingly strong and are even able to tackle hard foods like raw carrots once they are weaning. Newborn gum care will vary from child to child, based on their teething status and, although brushing your baby's gums isn't entirely necessary, it is a good habit to get into. As soon as you see signs of their first tooth, you will need to begin brushing regularly. A daily gum-brushing routine can help you to spot any changes and the first signs of emerging teeth.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't always need to buy specific baby or child toothpaste. Babies and toddlers can often use adult toothpaste - just check the label to make sure that it's suitable for children under 6. When your baby is very young, you might like to use a finger toothbrush for easy control, the Clippasafe Finger Toothbrush is great for this, as its gentle and delicate bristles offer a safe, yet hygienic way to brush your little one’s teeth from a young age. As they get older, you can then move on to a baby and toddler electric toothbrush for a more thorough clean. These electric toothbrushes are made to be gentle yet effective when cleaning your little one’s teeth.

Are baby nail clippers necessary?

You'll be amazed at just how tiny a baby's fingernail is. Their fingernails are incredibly small and soft, which means that they're quite hard to cut. Don't beat yourself up if you accidentally snip at a baby's finger ever so slightly. Many parents do, as this is a very delicate job. You can use baby nail clippers, or to make this task a little easier and perhaps more accurate, baby nail scissors for this baby grooming task.

Different people have different preferences, so there’s no harm in picking up both types and getting to grips with which one you prefer. You can also use a nail file after you've cut the nails, to ensure that there are no sharp edges with which your baby can scratch. If you're wondering how to file baby nails safely, then it may help to know that many parents have more success when their child is asleep.

There are also products available to make this process a lot safer for babies, such as the Nipper Clipper at Direct4Baby, which is designed with a safety spy hole, that allows parents to see exactly what they are doing and can trim nails safely and correctly. Now, we appreciate it can be difficult to get your little one to sleep at the best of times - so risking waking them up for this task is a big ask. Our tip is to simply lift the baby's hand and drop it gently once they're asleep. If they're in light sleep, the baby will react and may hold their hand up or move it away. If they're in a deeper sleep, then the baby's hand will fall straight back down when you drop it. At this stage of sleep, they're less likely to move and react which makes it easier to cut or file your baby's nails.

What is in a baby grooming kit?

A good baby grooming kit will contain many of the first things your baby needs, including nail scissors and/or clippers, a soft-bristled baby hairbrush, a file and a toothbrush. These often include all of the non-disposable items, whilst you'll need to buy other things separately. If you don't want to buy a full baby grooming kit, you can buy these items individually or add to the kit to make it your own. What baby grooming items do I need?

Baby grooming essentials will include their first hair brush and toothbrush, clippers or nail scissors, a gentle baby shampoo and other important products like cotton wool balls, which can be wet to wash baby's body with and to clean any mess remaining after removing the nappy. Babies do not need most adult grooming products, such as bubble bath, lotions, adult shampoo or conditioner, but will need a suitable toothpaste as soon as their first teeth emerge.

Baby Bathing Essentials

Baby bath time may appear daunting at first, but babies naturally love water! After all, they have been in water for the last nine months. Thankfully, there are a number of baby essentials designed to make bathtime a calming, bonding experience for both parent and baby. Starting with the essential, a baby bath.

The ideal, safe solution for newborns - a baby bath is designed to make bathtime a safe, stressless experience for both parents and baby. Here at Direct4Baby, we would recommend the multi-award winning Shnuggle Bath as an excellent product to consider. Suitable for use right from birth, this clever baby bath features a built in bum bump to help support even the tiniest of babies in an upright position.

Designed to create a comfortable, relaxing space for babies up to 12 months plus, the Shnuggle baby bath keeps your baby from sliding in the water, as well as providing parents with the confidence they need to handle their newborn baby efficiently at bathtime.

What temperature should a baby's bath water be?

Baby’s growing skin is very sensitive at such a young age, so it’s important to bear this in mind when giving your baby a bath. As a benchmark, a bath between 36 and 37 degrees is an ideal temperature for a baby's thin skin. Parents can simply test the temperature of the water using the underneath of your wrist, rather than your less sensitive hands.

Or, if you’d prefer the reassurance of an exact temperature, consider investing in a baby thermometer. The Shnuggle Pebbly Baby Bath Thermometer, is pre-set with the perfect water temperature, so you can be sure your baby is comfortable. Designed to float in water, this clever easy to read device features a light system to tell you when the temperature is just right. Built to not distract from your bonding experience, this small, yet innovative device isn’t distracting and can also be used to measure the temperature in your little one’s nursery.

Shop all Baby Grooming products at Direct4Baby

Here at Direct4Baby, we recognise that your baby grooming routine should be a calming experience and a chance for bonding, and is something to be enjoyed as part of everyday baby care. To make this a stress-free experience for parents and babies alike, we work with the very best of leading baby brands to offer our customers a variety of exceptional, award-winning products to help you create your ideal grooming routine. From baby toothbrushes, to baby baths and snuggly-soft waffles and towels to wrap them up afterward, we’ve got all areas covered online.

To shop all baby grooming products, simply visit the baby bathtime and changing collection online.