Diapering 101

May 11th, 2017



For first-time parents, diapering your baby can be a real nightmare! Here are some tips on how to do it.

Diapering Your Baby

During life before toilet training, expect to change around five thousand diapers, an interaction surpassed only by the frequency of feeding your baby. Rather than being a mundane task to be handled with dispatch and distaste, diapering can be a satisfying time to interface with your baby. More happens during diapering than baby’s going from wet to dry. Baby feels your touch, hears your voice, and responds to your giggles (and you to your baby’s). Before you even begin to change the diaper, connect with your baby. Focus on the child, not the job. Reserve some special facial expressions, jingles, and massage strokes just for diapering time so that baby looks forward to getting more than a clean diaper, and be sure to convey this diapering attitude to any substitute caregiver.

Choosing a Diaper and Diaper Cover

Whether you choose cloth or disposables is a matter of convenience, cost, and your concern for ecology. And, of course, your baby’s skin should be a factor. Which type of diaper is kindest to your baby’s skin? Many parents use both: 100 percent cotton cloth diapers for home use and disposables when on the go. The bottom line is to choose a diapering system that is user friendly for parents, skin friendly for your baby, and kind to our environment.

A question was asked, what was the biggest recent breakthrough in child care, and the response was, “The elimination of diaper pins.” As a frequently stuck individual, I don’t like diaper pins, and they don’t like me. Cloth diaper covers with Velcro fasteners have eliminated stuck babies and parents. They’re great! And because they breathe, cloth diaper coverings are kinder to baby’s bottom than plastic pants, which aggravate diaper rashes.

Preparing Baby

Change baby in a warm room and on a sage and soft surface. Before starting, be sure you have all the necessary equipment within arm’s reach. You will need:

* Clean diapers ready. There is nothing more frustrating than getting baby naked, then reaching for a new diaper and finding the bag or stack empty. For cloth diapers, fold the new one before you begin changing.

* Baby wipes. For newborn girls, use warm wet washcloths for the first few weeks, or rinse the baby wipes in warm water before using them. The cleansing ingredients in wipes can irritate the vagina during the first few weeks of life.

* Changing pad or towel to lay baby on.

* Diaper rash ointment. Most newborns get a rash as their sensitive skin adjusts to life in diapers. We suggest using a small amount of Original A & D Ointment (looks like Vaseline) to protect baby’s skin during the early weeks. Use a white zinc oxide cream if a persistent rash develops. Eventually you may not need to use any ointment at all, except periodically during flare-ups.

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