Diaper Changes without the Stress - or the Mess

If you are a first-time parent, you are probably encountering a whole lot of stuff you’re being expected to do without a whole lot of time to prepare. There are classes to help, but the fact is that you can only practice so much in the nine months before your first child arrives. After that, you need support when you encounter challenges, and in today’s world that means finding help through your web browser when you find yourself asking “How do I change a diaper?”

Young hipster father changing nappy to his little baby daughter

Young hipster father changing nappy to his little baby daughter

When it comes to diapering, there are a couple of solutions you can use, and mastering the one you decide to stick with is not going to be difficult if you take the time to practice. It’s important that you remember to be patient as you work, too, because you are working with a squirming baby, so even when you are proficient, you might not always enjoy a smooth change. The more you can keep yourself cool and collected, the easier it will be to get everything right the first time through, and the simpler your diapering process will be.

Gathering Supplies

The first thing you need to do is to make sure you have all your diapering supplies. Keeping them in a convenient baby bag is the best way to know they are all in one place, which also makes it easier to get out of the house when you need to go. At home, you will need all these supplies and a clean surface to work on, but when you are out and about you will find that you need to rely on changing tables in public restrooms, so it’s a good idea to keep extra surface cleaning wipes on hand as well.

  • Diapers, cloth or disposable
  • Safety pins if you are using cloth diapers
  • Diaper cream, powder, and/or lotion
  • Baby wipes or washcloths to clean your baby’s bottom
  • Hand sanitizer and soap

You never know when you might need to freshen your hands to make sure you start clean when taking care of a diapering, so having hand sanitizer around helps to ensure you can get ready to go quickly, and backup soap is always good when you are going out because you never know when you might run into an unstocked bathroom.

Related: Top 10 Most Googled Parenting Questions

Removing the Old Diaper

After you have washed your hands, lay your baby down on the changing table. Your baby should be on her back. Open the diaper and let it fall away, and then lift baby’s legs and wipe her clean with the wipes or washcloths. Fold and dispose of the dirty diaper after you have cleaned baby’s bottom. You can fold used wipes right into disposable diapers before tossing them.

Method 1: Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers are popular because they are convenient and they do not typically require a lot of extra supplies. You still need to have the diapers and the lotion or baby powder, as well as your wipes, but you do not need safety pins or a bag for your dirties if you use disposable diapers.

Start by sliding the diaper under your baby’s bottom with the back half under your baby. The side with the sticky tabs is the back. Once your baby is in position, you can go ahead and fold the tabs back to expose the sticky parts.

Open the dirty diaper and let it fall away, and then lift baby’s legs and wipe her clean with the wipes or washcloths. Fold and dispose of the dirty diaper after you have cleaned baby’s bottom. You can fold used wipes right into disposable diapers before tossing them. Keep in mind that you might want to cover the front of baby boys with a cloth in case of urination during the diaper change.

Pull up the front half of the clean diaper and seal it in place with the sticky tabs. This process is now done, and you can do whatever else is needed to dress your baby and wash your hands before you move on to other tasks.

Method 2: Cloth Diapers

When you change a cloth diaper, it goes a little differently. For starters, you will need to make sure you have a sealed container for the dirties until they can be laundered, and that makes the logistics of being out with your diaper bag even more challenging.

When you are starting, you still want to wash or sanitize your hands before you begin, and you still want to lay the clean cloth diaper under your baby before undoing the safety pin holding the old one on. Once you have the old diaper open, you will need to lift and clean baby by lifting her legs and wiping her bottom clean. After that, you will need to dispose of the wipe and fold the diaper to contain its own waste.

Lay your baby back down onto the clean diaper afterward, and if necessary apply the lotion or baby powder you need to help offset any rash. Then, fold the front of the diaper up and use safety pins to attach the front and back again before finishing up. Don’t forget to wash your hands!

Additional Tips

If you are new to changing diapers, there are a number of additional tips you need to be aware of. These can help you make the process more comfortable for you and your baby, making it easier for you to get through each change quickly.

  • Change diapers frequently to avoid diaper rash.
  • Educate yourself about yeast-based diaper rash as well, because it needs to be treated differently.
  • Keep distractions ready, and give your baby something to play with whenever there is a fuss during a changing session.
  • Newborns can go through 8 to 10 diapers in a day, so make sure you are keeping enough in stock to ensure you will not run out during the day.

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