If you’ve never changed a baby’s diaper before, then this task may seem overwhelming. However, nothing can be done easily without practice. Soon, diaper change will become a part of your instinct. Also, if you are a new parent, your baby will give you plenty of practice. In fact, babies usually go through 6 to 10 diapers a day. Read on to know more about how to change a diaper.
What You Need
It’s important to make sure you have everything you need before changing your baby’s diaper. So, you don’t have to run around to find it while your baby is crying.
A safe and clean area: Normally, most parents use a changing table or a changing pad in places like their beds or table. If you are using those, it is recommended to use their safety straps. In addition, with the changing pad, you should follow the instructions for anchoring it to the table correctly. If you don’t use any of those, make sure to always have 1 hand on your baby. While a newborn baby won’t move much, an older one will roll or wiggle when you are changing their diaper. Therefore, practicing safety rules and using straps from the start would make it become a habit so you won’t have any difficulty when they get older.
Something to wipe their mess: Normally, parents can use baby wipes to clean the diaper area. However, a newborn’s skin is very sensitive. So, pediatricians will recommend using a soft cloth with warm water during the first weeks of life. Some traditional baby wipes, especially those containing alcohol, can cause rashes and irritation until children are about 2 months old.
Emergency supplies: In the case of a messy blowout, it’s helpful to have extra clothes for your baby or a changing diaper bag on hand. Also, you can have diaper cream or ointment if needed.
Changing a Diaper: Step by Step
These instructions are for changing disposable diapers only. However, if you choose to use cloth diapers, the basic steps are quite similar. Check this for how to change a cloth diaper.
Remember no matter your baby’s age, never leave them unattended on an elevated surface. Wash your hands and gather your supplies. Make sure you have everything you need in your reach. And, take baby’s clothes in their lower area like socks.
After that, lay your baby on their back on the changing surface. Unfasten the diaper tabs. Get your baby off the dirty diaper by gently grabbing their ankles and lift them up a bit. If there is a lot of poop present, you can use the upper half of the diaper to gently sweep it toward the lower half of the diaper.
Next, grab the dirty diaper and put it away from the baby. Make sure it is out of their reach. Wipe your baby clean with a soft cloth. When wiping a baby girl, always go from front to back to prevent any infection. Thoroughly clean the area so your baby won’t have rashes. After that, place any used disposable cleaning supplies on top of the soiled diaper so you can easily clean or throw away later.
Slide a clean diaper under your baby’s bottom. And, make sure you open the tabs before that. Most diapers today have colorful markings or characters indicating in the front of the diaper. So, you don’t have to worry about placing it on the wrong side.
In addition, if your doctor has recommended ointments or creams for your baby rashes, you should apply them right after placing the new diaper under your baby. This will prevent you from clean ointments off the changing surface, which sometimes can be difficult. After that, place the front of the diaper on your baby’s belly. Also, you can close the diaper by sticking the tabs to the diaper surface. On top of that, make sure the diaper isn’t too tight or too loose around the tummy. You should be able to slide two fingers into the diaper, so your little one has room to breathe and move freely.
There you have it! Now you only need to roll the used diaper and wrap the tabs all the way around it. Then, put the dirty diaper in a bag, diaper bin, or garbage can. Remember to wash your hands, and clean the changing surface. Also, clean your baby’s hands and feet, especially important if your baby is ill, as it helps prevent recontamination.
Tips and Advice for Diaper Change
- Pressure on your baby’s stomach making your baby more likely to spit up. So, you might want to wait a bit after feeding your baby,
- If your baby has a rash that seems to be in a lot of pain after a diaper change, contact your pediatrician immediately.
- It’s common for newborn baby girls to have discharge in the first few weeks. So, don’t freak out when you see that!
- Always keep one hand on your baby while looking away or reaching for items.
Changing diapers can be quite uncomfortable and messy at first. But, I’m sure you and your baby will get into a groove soon. Also, click here if you need help with cloth diapers. What do you think is the most difficult while changing diapers? Let us know in the comments!