I'm concerned about the hygiene of my newborn daughter's private areas. After pooping there are rarely any poop globules located between labia, but it does sometimes happen. Moreover, the "liquid" poop also has a chance of getting there - and it sometimes does.

How firmly should I clean those areas? Just on the surface and delicately remove any globules, or widen the area with two fingers and clean the area around the opening of the vagina more thoroughly?

1 Answer 1


You should check for feces between the labia and wipe any globules away as needed. Infections can and will arise if stuff is allowed to sit there. You can gently spread the labia to get a good look and make sure there isn't anything "hiding" in a fold.

Soaps and other kinds of cleansers can also create problems so use a moistened cotton ball or swab instead of the wipe. If I recall, baby pee while having mother's milk is pretty inoquous. I remember wiping my baby on the outside for this along with a very gentle wipe between the labia, but not needing to be too concerned about being extremely thorough.

It is also important to wipe front to back, not back to front as the bacteria that further back can infect the ureter - when it is time for her to learn to wipe herself this will be important to teach her then too.

Another thing to know about this is that you can expect things to look a little different for the first few days. There is a white material that coats a baby's skin while in the womb called vernix. Most of this comes off on its own before and during child birth, but the stuff in a girl's genitals often takes the longest to come off. Leave it there because the skin will absorb it and it is a nice moistureizing protective layer in the mean-time.

You can also expect her genitalia to be a little swollen and sometimes even see a tiny bit of blood in her diaper in those first days. That is because she has been exposed to mom's hormones while she was still in the womb so it isn't anything to worry about.

The really nice thing to know about all of this is that you'll be in to see the pediatrician soon so if anything is amiss, the doctor can catch it and you'll be able to get confirmation that all is well if you have any haunting concerns. Enjoy her!


  • I am aware of the front-to-back rule and infection prevention, but thanks for mentioning that, may be useful if someone else visits this question. Your answer, however, does not actually address my doubts. In general, if there are no visible feces when she lays with her legs spread, she should be ok?
    – Dariusz
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 21:44
  • One more follow-up question: she seems to have white mucus(?) between libia minora and labia majora (not between libia minora). It looks a bit like a newborn's peeling soft skin. I tried removing it with moistened cotton buds, and partly did so. Then she started being "kicky" and I stopped because we try to avoid immobilizing her forcefully. Should that mucus be removed? Feel free to address this in your question instead of a comment.
    – Dariusz
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 10:15
  • 2
    :-) I've edited to answer and answered one more thing that might be of concern to you or others that is related as well. Hope this helps and welcome to both the community and the "parenting club" Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 13:21
  • Thanks! You helped a lot. Your answer seems complete enough now to accept it.
    – Dariusz
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 14:43
  • 1
    The white material that coats the baby's skin is called vernix.
    – beansa
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 15:42

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