A: First, lift her legs with one hand and remove any poop with a wet washcloth. (Many new moms use baby wipes on their newborns with no problem. If your child's skin reacts to the chemicals in wipes, you can use a washcloth or cotton balls and plain water when cleaning baby's tush during the first few weeks.) Using one area of the cloth at a time, clean inside all the creases, wiping downward. To clean the genital area, wipe from the vagina toward the rectum, which will prevent infection. Do not pull the labia back to clean inside. Dry the area with a soft cloth. Apply ointment around the genitals and on the buttocks to prevent diaper rash. --Kate Kelly
Copyright 2001 Meredith Corporation. Updated 2009.