You have a baby which means you have, or at least will soon have, experience changing diapers. And changing a diaper, even with the greatest of ease, is not an easy task by any means. So we thought we would write about some diaper changing hacks that might bring some smiles and make it easier for us all especially new parents.
Gather the necessary supplies (clean diapers, wipes, plastic bags, latex gloves, and clean clothes) and place them near – but not on – the diapering table. Use a disposable covering, such as nonporous paper, to cover the table. Before picking up the child, put on a pair of disposable latex gloves. Place the child on the covered surface and keep an eye on her at all times.
Diaper change is an important part of babies’ lives. A diaper change is best done with care, thoroughness, and under a watchful eye. This process can be more difficult for inexperienced caregivers, which is why preparation is key in making a simple diaper change routine easier and something both parent and baby can enjoy. It is a great idea to keep all the essentials within reach before you change a diaper.
Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need. Here’s a list:
Changing pad or changing table
In their first year, the average baby requires over 2,000 diaper changes. Many of these diaper changes will occur while you are out and about, and public changing tables are rarely well-kept. A changing table isn’t always available when you need it the most.
When changing a diaper at home or at other people’s homes, without a changing pad, you may end up with a nasty mess on your changing surface that is difficult to clean.
Having a changing pad at home and on the go can save you a lot of time and trouble. It keeps your baby on a clean, safe surface and prevents further messes.
Set up a diaper changing station with your diaper bag so you don’t have to wake up other sleeping siblings to change the baby’s diaper.
Clean diapers (cloth or disposable)
Whether you’re using a cloth or disposable diapers, you’ll need a clean, ready-to-use diaper. Cloth diapering parents should prepare the diaper ahead of time by inserting any inserts or folding it correctly.
Diaper wraps or waterproof pants that are clean. If you use cloth diapers, you’ll want to have these on hand.
Baby’s diaper ointment or cream
Many diaper creams actually work as a preventative measure. While they can also help heal a rash, many parents find that applying a thin layer of a preventative cream is more effective. This will assist you in preventing your child’s tush from becoming red and uncomfortable.
You’ll need plenty of wipes on hand because you never know what you’ll find when you open your baby’s diaper. When you’re nearing the end of a pack of wipes, experienced parents will advise you to keep an extra pack on hand.
Diaper bag for soiled or dirty diaper
Whether you use a full diaper system or a diaper bag, you’ll need a place to toss dirty diapers during diaper changes and then deal with them later.
Your baby’s clothing should be changed (in case of a blowout)
You don’t expect to see a blowout diaper until you see one. They do occur. As a result, keep clean clothes nearby in case you need to change a stained onesie or pants.
Many people clean the diaper area with baby wipes. A baby’s skin, on the other hand, is extremely sensitive. Warm water and a cloth or cotton balls can help prevent a baby’s skin irritation in the first few weeks of life.
Another option is to purchase water-premoistened wipes. Traditional baby wipes, particularly those containing alcohol, can cause rashes and irritation in children up to the age of two months.
When your baby starts grabbing at their private parts, it can be a little bit alarming. This is normal for many children and you’ll want to make sure they don’t get too messy in the process! You could try giving them something like a rattle toy or singing songs while changing a diaper so that both of you have fun during these changes without worrying about any accidents happening because there were distractions involved (plus we know how much Mum loves cleanliness!).
You change your baby’s diaper as often as you should in a day. You are getting pretty good at it. You have learned to do everything quickly and efficiently. We are sure you don’t think of yourself as a master diaper changer yet, but you are getting there. If only you knew some additional tips about how to change diapers.
Vaginal discharge in a baby girl is possible. For the first two weeks of life, white or blood-stained discharge is normal. However, notify your doctor if it lasts longer than this, turns yellow, or has an odor; these could be signs of an infection.
Diaper strips aid in the identification of wet diapers.
This is one of my favorite diaper tips. If you haven’t already noticed, some special diapers (ideal for infants but available in a variety of sizes) have a light yellow strip down the front. When the baby pees, this yellow line turns blue, making it much easier to tell when the baby is wet!
Fold newborn diapers down in front to allow for the healing of the umbilical stump.
It takes 7-10 days for your baby’s umbilical stump to heal.
You don’t want to get it wet or poopy inside a diaper while this is going on.
So, fold the front down and leave it uncovered.
For healing umbilical stumps, follow your doctor’s instructions. Remember to finish any necessary steps, such as cleaning or rinsing the site.
Apply ointments or creams to prevent diaper rash
Make sure to put a protective layer like a diaper cream on top of the changing surface after you’ve removed old diapers and tapes. Then, use any products that your doctor has prescribed for rashes so they don’t get stuck in cracks or anywhere else!
Now that you have a new diaper, it’s time to put on some baby powder or ointment for those gross rashes or to prevent diaper rash. Make sure not to do this step after putting the liner in because then there will be extra germs from all over!
Unless your baby has a rash, you don’t really need baby lotion, baby oil, or other creams when changing his or her diaper.
During large diaper messes, use onesie shoulder flaps.
Okay, it appears that more and more moms and dads are catching on to this hack.
If you’re anything like the rest of us, you’ve probably missed the neat little design on various onesies, where the shoulder flaps easily unfold like envelope sleeves.
When the inevitable scary diaper blowout occurs and the baby has poop up their back and front, you can open these shoulder folds and roll the onesie down the baby rather than removing the entire soiled onesie over the head to keep them clean from the neck up!
Get rid of the stink with baking soda
When it comes to storing dirty diapers until wash day, remember that more air equals less stink.
Using a diaper pail liner with a lid-less tall trash can or a standing laundry basket with holes along the side will provide your diapers with the most air and the least stink. Rinsing all poopy diapers before putting them in the pail will also help reduce odor.
If the smell is still too strong for you, try putting some baking soda in the bottom of your pail to help deodorize the funk. You can also purchase diaper pail deodorant disks.
Extra cloth diaper for your baby boy
Surprise! When baby boys feel the cool air after you’ve opened their diapers, they frequently decide to pee. Make sure you have a cloth handy in case you get sprayed in the face. It’s almost certainly going to happen at some point.
Expect erections from time to time (they’re perfectly normal), and don’t be afraid to clean around the penis and scrotum gently. When putting on his new diaper, point his penis down to reduce leaks (and soaked shirts)
Always keep one hand on your baby.
Whether you’re changing a soiled diaper or reaching for some clean laundry from your diaper bags, always keep one hand on your baby at all times. This will help make sure he doesn’t fall over and get hurt in any way!
Wipe your hands as well as the child’s
Separate wipes should be used for yourself and the child. Wipes should be discarded. For this reason, it would be handy to have a hand sanitizer nearby.
Roll the onesie up and over the baby’s arms to keep curious hands away from the poop.
Oh, how many times have I gone into germaphobic mode as soon as those little hands touched the dirty goods! Let’s face it, it’s difficult to maintain your cool when you’re cleaning up a diaper mess and your baby’s hand decides to cop a feel!
Roll that onesie over the baby’s arms like a baby-friendly straight jacket and wipe away to keep flailing little arms from reaching in for the goods!
Do not overtighten the diaper
You want to avoid leaks, but a diaper that is too tight can put pressure on your baby’s stomach, increasing the likelihood that he or she will spit-up. Tight diapers can also trap moisture and cause rubbing, which can both lead to rash.
For a quick change, place a clean diaper underneath the dirty one
Newborns, in particular, can be volatile. You never know when they’ll let loose.
Position a clean diaper directly under your baby’s bottom for a quick nappy change.
Open the dirty diaper, wipe it down, and place it on the clean diaper.
It will take some practice, but you will be a champion in no time.
Place stained cloth diapers in the sun to dry
If you do get stains on your precious fluff, use nature’s bleach to remove them. Hang your diapers outside to dry, and the sun will remove the stains.
To keep your elastics from stretching out, hang your heavier diapers, such as AIOs (all-in-ones), the long way (hot dog style). If the sun isn’t shining, it’s winter, or you just have some really tough stains on your hands, you could try hypoallergenic, baby-safe stain removers.
Call your pediatrician
Call your pediatrician if your baby has a rash that doesn’t go away after a few days, or if they appear to be in pain and their skin is red and raw. These symptoms could be the result of an allergy or another medical condition.
Diaper markers aid in determining where diaper tabs should be attached.
Have you ever wondered where the diaper tapes should go when changing a baby? As a new mom, I often wondered if my baby’s diaper was too big or too small and if it was time to go up a size before dealing with a leaky mess.
Fortunately, some diapers include a handy little feature that you may not have noticed. Two lines at the very top of the diaper, marked in red or blue, will help you better judge where to attach those diaper tapes.
The tapes should be symmetrically attached to the diaper’s colored waistband on the front.
Homemade reusable liners
By wicking moisture away from your baby’s skin, reusable liners help keep stains away from your diapers, make poop easy to clean and prevent diaper rashes. They’re also useful if you need to use a diaper cream that isn’t cloth-safe.
The liners can be washed alongside your diapers, but if the poop is truly that bad, you can simply discard the liner.
You can get a cheap micro-fleece blanket at your local supermarket and cut your liners out of it. Typically, one blanket yields about 30-35 liners. Perfect for cloth diapering on the budget.
It is important to note that microfiber is not the same as microfleece. Microfiber should not be used directly against your baby’s skin, but micro-fleece is fine.
To prevent leakage, pull out the diaper leg ruffles on a disposable diaper.
As a new mom, I was perplexed by those tiny ruffles. They actually work best when used to prevent leakage.
On these toddler diapers, I believe it is much clearer. However, it was not obvious to the newborns.
Use diaper stats to ensure that your baby is wearing the correct diaper size.
This diaper is a little too small for the baby. This diaper is too big for the baby.
How do I know when my baby is ready to graduate to the next size?
Many first-time moms ask themselves these questions when deciding which diaper size is best for their baby.
Of course, many diaper accidents occur simply because the baby is wearing the incorrect size. Whether we just bought a jumbo box of diapers and are trying to use them up before purchasing the next size up, or we think it’s just a bad diaper, it’s critical to use the stats on the diaper box and other cues to ensure your baby’s diaper is the correct size.
Check the size ranges on the box to see if a diaper fits properly. You should also make sure that the waist is snug and just under the belly, but completely covers your baby’s bottom. A soaking diaper and red marks on the legs are signs of a too-small diaper.
Backward diapers are a great way to protect your floors.
If your older baby or toddler is constantly stripping down to their birthday suit, try putting their diaper on backward to protect your floors from pee and poo.
I wouldn’t try this with covers that don’t have elastic in the front because you’ll end up with some crazy blowouts.
If your toddler continues to remove their diaper, you should consider whether or not they are ready for potty training.
Rather than relying on a single station, keep a portable diaper basket at home.
If you live in a small apartment or a split-level house, you may want to forego the traditional idea of a single baby change table or station in favor of a portable basket that you can move from room to room.
Put baby in tight pants to prevent him from ripping a diaper.
Is your baby ripping off his or her diaper like ours? We found it less appealing when we immediately dressed him in comfortable but snug bottoms or underwear like these. If your child still wears one-piece pajamas, dressing them in backward jammies is an easy way to keep those diapers where they belong!
Increase the amount of flour sack towels used
If you have a heavy wetter but don’t want to spend a lot of money on extra inserts, you can always use a flour sack towel for an added boost.
Some moms, I’ve heard, even use old receiving blankets for cloth diapering. Some cut them into inserts, while others fold them like a pre-fold. Perfect for low-cost cloth diapering.
Apply butt cream using a butt spatula
Have you ever considered how unsanitary rash cream or butt cream can be?
Following a particularly bad bout of rash caused by a nasty stomach bug, a nurse at my doctor’s office gave me a brilliant tool: a plastic butt spatula for applying diaper rash cream. It makes applying the cream much easier, as well as helping to keep things sanitary and less painful for the baby.
You can purchase it either online or at your local department store.
Allow baby to be naked for a few minutes to help relieve diaper rash.
When it’s too late to prevent, it’s critical to treat it carefully. Allowing the baby to be naked for a few minutes is one of the best ways to naturally relieve diaper rash.
Allow them to air out for a few minutes after being cleaned, as long as they are in a contained area, to reduce the likelihood of a rash.
Use a homemade shield so that you can avoid poo splatters.
A diaper sprayer and a spray shield aren’t absolutely necessary for cloth diapering, but they can save your sanity. However, all of the spray shields on the market are exorbitantly priced for what they are.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to make your own for a fraction of the price. You only need a small plastic trash can with the bottom cut out, two clips to hold your diaper, and another plastic container to store your spray shield.
All of these materials should be available at your local supermarket.
Keep the Peri Bottle
Keep the peri bottle that the hospital gives you for dampening your cloth wipes. Keep a fresh supply of water in your peri bottle at your changing station for quick and easy diaper changes.
Of course, you could use a spray bottle instead, but I found the peri bottle to be much faster at wetting down the wipes. And plain water works perfectly well. There is no need for complicated wipe solutions.
Diaper changing can be a challenge, especially when your baby is on the move. The diaper change hacks we’ve outlined should help you save time and keep your sanity intact!
It may seem like no big deal to toss out an old disposable and put on a new one, but with these tips, it will take less than 60 seconds for you to get back to what’s really important: spending quality time with your little ones.