The first few weeks of your newborn’s life, though filled with joy and excitement, are also filled with a multitude of tasks. The days go by in a blur of feedings, rocking, diaper changes and sleeping (or lack thereof). Changing a baby’s diaper for the first time is often a source of dread, nerves and laughter for many parents. Although changing a diaper does take some practice, it will soon become a routine that you will master. Here are some tips on how to change your baby’s diaper like a pro.
Preparation is key, so make sure you have all these items handy when you change your baby’s diaper:
- Changing pad / changing table
- Baby wipes
- Diaper cream
- Extra set of clothes (in case of a diaper-related accident)
- Diaper pail
- Lay your baby down on a soft, smooth surface such as a changing pad or a changing table. Remove the used diaper and wrap it up by using the tapes to seal it. If you are throwing it in a trash can, be sure to put it in a plastic bag first to reduce the odor.
- Gently lift your baby’s legs and clean the area thoroughly using baby wipes. Make sure you clean your baby between all their folds as any residue left behind could cause an infection. Your newborn’s skin is very delicate and sensitive, so ensure that you are wiping gently. Always remember to wipe from front to back.
- If there is any remaining moisture on your baby’s skin, spend a moment to let their bum air dry or gently pat it down with a clean, dry cloth. If there is any evidence of redness, rash or skin irritation, apply a thin layer of diaper cream or diaper ointment such as zinc oxide which will help with healing.
- Carefully raise your baby’s legs and slide a clean diaper underneath. The colorful markings and the diaper tapes should always be front facing, that is, facing you. Pull the diaper between your baby’s legs and lay it flat on their stomach. Secure the diaper using the sticky tabs on both sides and fastening it to the front of the diaper.
- Make sure you don’t fasten the diaper too tight or too loose. To double check, you should be able to comfortably run two of your fingers between the diaper and your baby’s belly. Ensure that your baby’s entire bottom is covered by the diaper and turn the thigh cuffs outward to prevent leaks.
- When you are done, re-dress your baby. If there is any urine or poop on their clothes, change your baby into a fresh outfit.
- Always remember to wash your hands with soap and water after every diaper change.
Diaper changes are an essential part of taking care of your baby. The longer your baby’s skin is in contact with urine and poop, the more likely they will develop a rash or redness. Changing your baby’s diaper frequently and promptly is a good way of minimizing skin irritation. Using fragrance-free diapers, unscented wipes and unscented diaper creams will also prevent irritation.