buyers guide bathing and changing

Everything you need to know about bathing & changing

From bathing your baby to toilet training your toddler this handy guide covers everything you’ll need, with some expert tips from our specialists too.


Splashing about with your baby is one of the best bits of parenting, particularly when baby squeals with delight at massive soapy bubbles that go pop!

Bathing a newborn

The truth is babies don’t need much washing. Every few days is fine, you just need to ‘top & tail’ with cotton wool to keep the nappy area, hands, face, neck & creases nice & clean. A top’n’tail bowl with separate water compartments is useful for the job.

If you’re giving baby a proper bath, do the old elbow test to make sure it’s comfortable. The ideal temperature is 36-38°C, ie cooler than your own bath. A good investment is a bath thermometer or choose a model that doubles up for both bath and bedroom.

A baby bath with anti-slip suckers will keep your wriggly little one contained. Your back will thank you for using a bath support (in either a baby bath or a regular bath) so you don’t have to hold baby for the duration.

Bathing from 6 months

When baby’s a bit more active many parents find a bath seat a good choice. Bath seats secure to the bath with suction pads while baby simply sits in it and splashes you from head to toe. Suitable for use up to 12 months.

It goes without saying that you should never leave your baby unattended in the bath, even for a split second.

Another essential investment is a bath mat not only for baby but for you too. Choose from extra long for two children, to mats with heat sensing dots for perfect temperature control. Just remember to clean and air it regularly to avoid mold.

Bath time extras

It wouldn’t be bath time without a rubber duckie, a pirate ship and a selection of sea squirters to drench mum. And if you have a reluctant bather? Bath toys are a sure-fire route to getting little one wet. They’ll also distract their attention while you apply the eye shield and start shampooing.

Currently proving a hit with parents is liquid talc – an alternative to the traditional talcum powder of days gone by. And of course it’s never too soon to introduce your little one to the concept of good dental hygiene. Kiddicare has a range of dental accessories ranging from first toothbrushes to gum massagers.

Cuddle robes & baby towels

Cuddling a baby fresh from the bath in a soft towel is one of the finest parenting pleasures. Cuddle robes (which often feature fun animal faces on the hoods) and hooded towels are a great buy as they quickly dry fine hair and keep baby nice and warm. Buy a two-pack so you can wash one, use one.


A couple of intriguing statistics for you: in the early days you may make a trip to the changing table as many as 18 times a day (eeek!) and one child wears up to about 5,500 nappies before potty training. So before committing to either disposable or reusable nappies, our advice is to try each out and see which works for you.

Disposable nappies

Kiddicare’s Just4Bums nappies are the best disposable nappies on the market. We know this because Mother & Baby gave us a shiny award that says so! Whichever brand you buy it’s worth buying in month-long packs for convenience as you’re likely to go through between 30-50 a week.

Nappy disposal systems

It’s also worth investing in a nappy disposal system, particularly in the early months when you’ll have lots of little poo parcels to deal with! Nappy bins use either a flap to contain contents and odour, or a twist system to seal each nappy. Both use cartridge refill liners.

Reusable nappies

There are two types to choose from:

  • All-in-one nappies. Look a bit like disposable nappies as the outer layer and inner layer is combined.
  • Two-part nappies. A machine washable cloth nappy inside an outer waterproof cover that fastens with Velcro.


Whether you use disposable or reusable nappies you’re going to need a LOT of wipes so make sure you’re happy with your brand. And if you hear a sharp intake of breath from your little person when you use a cold wipe you might consider a wipes warmer.

It’s worth stocking up on muslin squares too. Primarily used during feeding (and shoulder-protecting) they also make perfect nappy liners. And if you dip them in warm water they make great cleansing cloths.

Changing mats

Changing mats come in all different sizes and styles. At home a padded wipe-clean mat with raised edges is ideal for softening the hard surface of a changing table; when you’re on the move a changing mat that comes as part of a portable organiser changing kit or bag is a clever option.


Graduating from nappies to potties is a major achievement for your child. Let them decide when it happens: it maybe around two years old, it may be later. Successful toilet training needs patience and a whole lot of pants. Here’s the lowdown:

What you’ll need

  • potty (choose with or without a lid, in a carry bag, dinosaur shaped, duck shaped…) If you’re near a Kiddicare store let your little one sit on a few and see which meets approval
  • toilet training seat for use once regular potty use is established
  • training pants with a waterproof layer
  • stool to reach the toilet and sink
  • plenty of wipes
  • mattress protectors for any little middle-of- the-night accidents
  • travel potty

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