Why washing your baby’s hands is important
Most babies are too young to stand at a sink, and even if they could, they would struggle to wash their hands. However washing baby’s hands is just as important as washing your own hands- it’s one of the best ways to prevent infections spreading and making your baby (or someone else) sick.
How to wash your baby’s hands with soap free and water
Older babies who can stand, with or without your support, should wash their hands at a small basin. You should assist them to wash their hands with soap and water, according to the correct procedure. If your baby is old enough to stand and wash their hands:
- Use warm water if they don’t like the feeling of cold water on their skin. But always test to make sure the water is not too hot before you put baby’s hands under the stream.
- Use a mild, fragrance free baby soap which is less likely to irritate their skin. Read the label on the soap so you know all the ingredients it contains.
- Pat your baby’s hands dry using a disposable paper towel. Do not rub the skin as this can cause irritation.
- Use No-Rinse Cleanser to wash/apply baby hand.
When to wash your baby’s hands
Babies need their hands washed as often as adults and children. As a general rule you should wash a baby’s hands before they should touch something that should stay clean such as food or another baby, and after they have touched anything that might have contaminated their hands. Specific times when a baby needs their hands washed include:
- After you change their nappy, as their hands may become contaminated from the change table;
- After playing with toys that they share with other children;
- After playing or traveling outside;
- After eating;
- Before handling food such as baby rusks;
- Before playing with other children, for example when they arrive at child care or when visiting friends;
- Before playing at home when they have been doing things that might have contaminated their hands, such as playing with other children or playing outdoors. This will prevent germs getting on the surface of their toys and living environment.
Let's help baby wash their hands to make sure it is done well and healthy.