Congratulations! As a new mom or dad, diapering will be one of your new hobbies for the next two or three years..! Or longer, if you have more children…
Since this new hobby definitely will take some of your time, it is nice to carry it out as easily as possible. Well, changing diapers will soon become a routine thing that you won’t even think about doing.
To get a good start, check out my tips! Some things are important to know, such as how to clean a baby girl or boy for example.
How To Diaper Your Baby Easily, Quickly, and Safely
The changing place
When our first child was born, our bath room was so small that I decided to just take care of the diapering on the floor.
Not a good idea!
All the bending over the baby and lifting him or her up is really bad for your back. If at all possible, make room for a changing table somewhere in the house. It doesn’t have to be in the bathroom, but it is very convenient if it is close to running water if you want to wash your baby.
If you have no room for a changing table, at least pick a bed instead of the floor for changing the diapers.
You do need to be close to some humid water. You also need to be able to reach some baby wipes or cotton balls, towels, ointment, new diapers, and clothes (for “bigger accidents”…) without leaving your baby.
Never leave your baby alone
Until a certain age, babies don’t know how to roll over. But don’t rely on this! Even newborn babies may wave their limbs enough to fall off a changing table.
Always keep one hand on your baby and make sure you can reach all the stuff you need with your other hand. If you need to get something that is too far away, pick your baby up.
Pee or poop?
If your baby has only urinated, baby wipes are usually enough to clean the infant. If the baby’s skin is dry and the nappy is not too heavy, you can even skip the baby wipes. Just change to a new diaper.
For poop, water is needed. Either you wash your baby with a wet cloth or you wash him or her off under the tap. Make sure the water has the right temperature and that you hold your baby securely so that there is no risk that you drop your child.
When the midwife told me, in the hospital after giving birth, to simply wash my baby off under the tap, I thought she joking. You mean without dropping her..?, I asked with an uncertain smile. She didn’t joke. It takes a little while to get used to juggling a baby, and you can sit down on the floor and practice the moves before heading for the tap. But running water really is the most hygienic way to wash off poop.
Boy or girl?
For a boy, make sure to clean him under his penis. And cover his penis with a piece of cloth while tending to him to avoid a shower. 🙂
For a girl make sure to always wipe her front to back to avoid bacteria in her vagina.
If your baby shows a tendency to diaper rash (red skin), put on some appropriate ointment, for example white zinc oxide.
Make sure the baby’s skin is completely dry before putting ointment and the nappy on.
Other things to do to prevent and heal the rash is to let the baby be undiapered for at least one hour a day. This is not so easy once your baby has started to move around. Maybe you can put him in the bathtub (without water) and play with him for a while.
Before the baby can move around, put him or her on a blanket and put some towels on it. If you have a boy, it might be a good idea to put a piece of dry cloth on top of his penis if he is lying on his back.
You can also try another brand or type of diaper if you think your baby easily gets a rash. You’ll find an interesting discussion in our forum, regarding nappy brands and rashes here.
How to put the diaper on
First make sure you know what is the front and the back of the nappy. A hint is that it should be secured at the front, not at the back. (My mother-in-law did put the diaper on backwards all the time!) 🙂
Slide the back of the nappy under your baby by lifting his legs up. Grabbing him or her by the ankles with one hand is an easy way to do this. Bring the nappy up between your baby’s legs and secure it on his belly, but not too tight. You should be able to put a finger or two between the diaper and the baby’s stomach.
If a boy, make sure his penis points downwards.
How to choose nappy
Well, just try different brands and see which you like.
Some will fit your baby, some won’t. You can also choose between cloth diapers and disposables. Cloth diapers tend to be much more economical and sometimes work better for babies with severe diaper rash. These days cloth nappies are much more similar to disposables since they have small “panties” you use to keep the cloth in place. No more complicated wrapping and folding of the cloth nappy. You can also find organic cloth diapers that are certain to be free from hazardous substances.
All that said, disposables are convenient! Hard to argue with that. 🙂
A great place to buy nappies is actually Amazon. Good prices.
When to start with a new size
If you want, you can just follow the weight instructions on package. However, I’ve noticed that many babies start wetting their pants more easily when they are getting close to the stated upper weight limit. Try a bigger nappy earlier if you notice this problem.
How often to change diapers at daytime
Change your baby’s diaper when it appears full and heavy if you squeeze it and also every time your baby poops. Well, for poop, change the diaper 5 minutes or so after any bowel movements.
Why not earlier? Because your baby might not be ready yet!
If no poop, squeeze the nappy lightly, to judge if it seems to be full. If so change it.
In any case, try to change the nappy every three hours or so to reduce the risk of diaper rash. Babies may very well use 10 diapers a day!
And diaper change at night
As your first hand option for changing diapers at night – Simply don’t! I know that’s a simplification, but it is your goal!
Newborn babies often have bowel movements also at night, and then you’ll have to change the diaper.
Most nappies, however, can keep the baby dry for up to 12 hours, so unless your baby has had a bowel movement, has a bad diaper rash or seems to be very uncomfortable, avoid changing at night. You’ll just wake your baby up, become wide awake yourself, and you’ll get less sleep at no extra benefit for anyone.
If you have to change the nappy at night, try to do it in dim light, quickly and without talking. Everything to keep your baby from thinking that is play time!
Where to Buy Diapers to Save Money
Diapers are expensive. Make sure you look around if you want to save some money. Once you have found the brand and type you need, buying diapers online can be an excellent option.
If you live where you can receive cheap deliveries from Amazon, check their prices here, they are usually quite competitive.
AND if you sign up for Amazon family, you receive 20% off on diaper subscriptions! Sign up here for Amazon Family 30-Day free trial, so you can evaluate if you want a full year membership.
Good luck with your diapering!