Expert Advice

How to: dress your newborn

Changing times can be quite stressful, but by following this simple technique you'll be doing it with your eyes shut in no time.

Changing times can be quite stressful, but by following this simple technique you'll be doing it with your eyes shut in no time.

Dressing your newborn

1. Put your baby on a firm flat surface, such as a changing mat. Gather up her singlet in your hands, stretching the neck as wide as possible, and gently slip it over her head from behind the crown.

2. Reach through the opening of the sleeves (gather them up and slip your fingers through if long sleeves) and gently pull your baby's hand. Do the same with the other hand.

3. Pull her singlet down over her body.

4. Lay your baby's stretchsuit on the changing mat with the poppers undone. Place your baby on top of the suit, with the nape of her neck in line with the collar.

5. Gather up one sleeve, reach through the wrist opening and grasp your baby's hand then gently pull it through. Do the same with the other hand.

6. Gently tuck each leg into the stretchsuit and fasten the poppers. Adjust your baby's legs so her feet are snugly in place.

Undressing your newborn

1. Undo the stretchsuit poppers. Put one hand inside the suit and hold your baby's ankle while you pull off the leg of the suit with your other hand. Do the same with the other leg.

2. Put your hand inside one of the sleeves, hold your baby's elbow and then pull the sleeve off with your other hand. Stretch the cuff to make this easier. Do the same with the other sleeve.

3. Slide your hand under your baby's head and neck, lifting her body to slip the stretchsuit out from underneath her.

4. Ease the singlet up her body. Gently pull one arm out of the sleeve by putting your hand inside the singlet, holding on to her elbow and easing it over her fist. Do the same with the other side.

5. Gather up her singlet, stretch the neck opening wide and take it over her face and head.

Tips to make it easy

  • Make sure you have everything to hand before you start dressing your baby. She'll prefer a warm and draught-free room.

  • Talk to your baby while you change her clothes and try to follow the same routine or play the same music so she learns to relax.

  • Changing mat plastic can be cold against the skin, so lay a towel on top to protect her. Laying a muslin square across her skin while you undress her may reassure her.

  • When buying clothes, check the neck openings are stretchy enough to prevent your baby's head getting stuck.

  • Look for clothes and sleepsuits with fastening down both legs as this avoids having to take the whole thing off every time you change her nappy.

  • Soft, stretchy fabrics are more comfortable for your newborn than denim, cord or other tough fabrics.

  • Biological powders or fabric conditions may irritate your baby's skin - go for non-biological instead.

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