Baby Diaper changing is a tiresome business, but you have no choice but to get down and dirty.  Well, you would be thinking how your small adorable munchkin is capable of creating so much mess.  Well babies need to pee and poop a lot and keeping them clean and smelling fresh is our job to protect them from skin rashes and infections.

Diaper changing could be challenging initially, but as days goes by, you will be a pro at it.  Here, is all you need to know about diapers.

How Many Diapers Will Be Used?

Exactly how many diapers should be used is a question no one can answer accurately.  Every baby is different, some pee and poop a lot and others not very often. According to some parents, for the first month of life you can expect to use anywhere from 8 to 10 diapers each day.

What Size Should I Buy?

If you are planning to buy diapers, then you need to pick a size according to baby’s weight. The sizes as per body weight will be mentioned in the cover, helping you to pick the right size.  If you are buying reusable diapers, you can check if the diaper fits around your baby’s leg, make sure it is not too tight. Most diapers are adjustable, so you need not worry. Even if you happen to buy a larger size, you can keep it for later use.

Types of Diapers

You can choose from a variety of diapers in the market, whichever is most convenient for you.  

Disposable Diapers

Disposable Diapers are the most convenient ones, but you need to keep a few things in mind while using them.  Disposable diapers contain chemicals and harmful ingredients. Try safer products made with wooden pulp, cotton blend, chemical or gel free options.  Disposable diapers are not environment friendly, which is a bummer.

Things you need to know while disposable diapers:

  • While using disposable diapers, carefully check if you can see any marks around the baby’s legs and waist.  Marks indicate that the diaper is too tight so go for a looser fit or next size.
  • Diaper rash is a common problem, so if you see one develop just try switching the brand.  Some brand may not suit your sensitive little one.
  • Before diapering, put some baby lotion and dusting down, to avoid friction against the baby skin.
  • If you diapering a baby boy, ensure his penis is in a downward position before you fasten the diaper.  Doing this, would prevent any leaks above the waistline.
  • Wash your hands after changing the diaper to keep germs from spreading.
  • If the baby’s umbilical cord has not fallen off, you could fold the diaper down the waistline.  Keep the area dry.

Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are much more affordable, leaving your baby free of diaper rash too.  For all those hardcore nature lovers, this could be just the environment friendly option for you.  There is the traditional cloth diaper which are prefolded and just need to be pinned. Some of the modern versions come in fitted like disposable diapers and Velcro closures.  Some come with absorbent liners and diaper covers that seal those leaks.

Tips you need to know when using cloth diapers

  • Do not use pins or plastic clips to bind the clothes
  • Ensure soiled diapers are cleaned into the toilet first.  Rinse them before washing it.
  • Use a mild detergent or baby soaps and wash them separately from other laundry.  Use hot water while rinsing and avoid fabric softeners which can cause rashes.

Changing A Diaper

Prepare yourself: Wash your hands and set up the changing area with a towel or matt on the bed.  Make sure you have diapers and plenty of wet wipes or wash cloths within reach. Do not forget the rash cream or petroleum jelly if your baby is prone to diaper rashes.  Word of caution -never leave baby unattended on the changing table, babies can squirm off.

Steps to Change Diaper

  • Always use a mat or towel under your baby while cleaning up.
  • Pull down the dirty diaper and wipe off most of the poop using the front half of the diaper. Unfasten the dirty diaper, fold and keep it aside.
  • Gently lift your baby’s bottom upward by grasping at the ankles with one hand.  Use a baby wipe or damp cloth and wipe from front to back for a baby girl. Make sure you have cleaned all the creases of your baby’s thighs and buttocks.
  • Air dry or pat dry the skin to prevent diaper rashes.  Apply generous amounts of baby lotion and dusting powder.  
  • Get a new diaper and place the back half under your baby.  Make sure the top of back half should be just above the baby’s waist.
  • Pull the front half of the clean diaper, up on the tummy.  If it is a boy then be sure his penis is pointed down or he might pee over top of the diaper.
  • The part of the diaper between your baby’s legs should be spread out as much as possible.  If it is bunched up, then it could cause chafing.
  • Fasten the diaper at both sides with tabs and make sure it is not too tight. And you’re done.
  • Now dispose the dirty diaper in trash can.

Important things to note:

  • For a newborn, avoid covering the umbilical cord stump till its dry, just fold the diaper down instead.
  • Frequent diaper checks and changes would ensure a rash-free baby.
  • Wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer to get rid of unwanted smell and bacteria.

Tips On Wiping Babies

Well, wiping the poop would not require you to suit up.  Be ready with a load of wipes or washcloth and lay the baby on the pad.For a baby girl, always wipe front to back, make sure stool does not into the urethra or she will end up with urinary tract infection.

If you have a circumcised baby boy, then wait for four months before you clean the inside of the penis.  Make sure you don’t pull the foreskin down, the membrane attached to penis could tear. Instead clean the outside of the skin with a soft cloth, little baby wash, and water.

You need to be even more careful if it is an uncircumcised baby boy, avoid submerging the baby in water before the wound heals could lead to infection.  Wipe the penis gently with wet, soapy cloth, cleaning under the scrotum. Apply antibiotic ointment to make it heal, prevent it from sticking to the diaper.

Diapering Tips

When babies get older, they start squirming, wiggling, kicking and screaming when you change their diapers.  It can be frustrating, as it takes forever to get her to wear a diaper. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • With exposure to air, boys usually feel the sensation to urinate on you, so better keep a cloth on the penis.  Diapers need to be kept away from the baby as soon as possible. After wiping pat dry the baby with a clean cloth.
  • Babies wiggle because they think it is a game or just a sort of power play.  Either way, try not to laugh as you could be encouraging the baby. Just keep calm and ignore them.
  • Distracting the baby gets the work done faster and easier.  You could try distracting her with just give a new interesting toy or mobiles to hold her attention.
  • You should never leave the baby alone on the changing table.  As a precaution, when you reach for supplies with one hand, keep the other one on her or she might just roll off.
  • Make diaper changing a fun time by talking and singing to your baby.  She will enjoy and would be distracted the whole while and less wiggly.

Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is common in majority of the newborns and infants.  Diaper rash is an allergic reaction and appears as a red irritation on the skin on the baby’s bottom or genital area.

Causes of Diaper rash

Caused by stool and urine-When you expose your baby’s sensitive skin with pee and poo, they cause irritation.  Not changing dirty / wet diapers will cause this rash.

New food-Some babies when started on solid food, changes their poo causing diaper rashes.  Any change in the diet could also increase frequency of poo leading to rashes if diaper change not happening frequently.

New Product-It could also be an allergic reaction caused by any new products like wipes, detergents or soaps etc.

Bacterial or Yeast Infection-Rashes developing around the buttock, thighs and genital are always warm and moist.  It is a perfect breeding ground for yeast and bacteria.

Diaper Rash Prevention

  • Don’t wait it out just change the diaper as soon as its dirty.
  • Wash baby’s bottom with a mild baby soap and water after every diaper change.
  • Gently pat dry baby’s bottom or you could air dry them and leave the diaper off for a while.
  • Use a bottom cream or baby lotion and dusting powder to prevent those diaper rashes.  
  • If you are using wipes then opt for a fragrance, alcohol, and chemical free ones.
  • Your baby could be sensitive to a diaper, so try changing the brand and keep checking whether she is developing a rash.

When To See a Doctor

Diaper rashes can irritate the baby’s sensitive soft skin and could get infected.  You need to get in touch with pediatrician if you see signs such as:

  • Blisters in the diaper area
  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pus or discharge
  • Rash starts to worsen or does not go away  

Diaper rashes may develop into secondary fungal infection.  In such cases, doctors usually prescribe antifungal cream.

Diaper rash is just short-lived problem and once the child is toilet trained, all the rashes or related problems disappear.

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