Everyone has been threatened by a mom, ‘Oh you’ll have to change diapers one day!’. In your head you’re thinking, ‘ya well at least it’s not today!’. But for most of us that day does eventually come…
I will go over the baby diapering process from the beginning so this article won’t be for everybody. Soon to be parents will definitely benefit the most.
You may be thinking changing diapers is easy, no big deal, and it is… or can be. The biggest thing you can’t control is a complacent and willing baby. Newborns with their sudden jerk reflexes, to toddlers restlessness can complicate the process significantly. So what is the secret?
Especially in the early months you really want to make sure you have a lot of diapers on hand, newborns can urinate up to twenty times a day. The last thing a new mom needs, while physically and emotionally recovering from child birth, is to get you and your baby to the store to buy an emergency pack of diapers.
Keeping a pack just for emergencies can be helpful. A monthly subscription with Amazon or another diaper service is also a smart idea. Baby wipes and creams for irritated baby bottoms are also essential.
You want your living spaces to be prepared. The nursery will be the main focal point as babies need to be changed before and after sleep. A change table is a great idea due to the amount of time you be there. Working from the standing position can be more comfortable. If you live in an apartment, you will be able to get away with a just a change table in the nursery because really there is not a lot of square footage and you can get everywhere quickly.
If you live in a multi-level townhouse or a house, due to the different levels and greater area to cover, a portable baby station to bring to the baby, instead of trekking to the nursery will be more convenient.
A baby station can be as simple as a basket with 5-10 diapers, baby wipes, a small portable change pad, a distraction toy, baby bottom cream and hand sanitizer. Always leave it stocked and in a central area.
Cloth vs Disposable Diapers
This topic really deserves a separate article but I’ll touch on the pros and cons…
- Reusable = affordability, unless you are using a diaper service which can cost around $3500 a year you will spend about $300 on the cloth.
- The cloth can be a variety of materials, cotton, terry cloth, or flannel in the rare case of allergy.
- Since changing is required more often, less chance of diaper rash, easier on skin.
- Easier to transition to potty training as the baby can tell it’s wet.
- Messy! Scooping poop out of diapers and smelly pails full of dirty diapers.
- If you’re out you have to pack those dirty diapers around.
- Uses a lot of water, electricity and the time to do extra loads of laundry, maybe 2-3 loads a week.
- Less absorbent so baby is more susceptible to rashes from sitting in soiled diapers to long.
- Quick and easy to change with velco straps.
- If your out, easy to dispose in the trash.
- Breathable, very absorbent so fewer changes, with an inner liner that keeps moisture away from the skin, fewer rashes.
- A variety form fitting sizes with fewer leaks.
- Expensive, similar to a cloth laundering service, can easily cost $1000+ per year.
- Dyes and gels can cause skin irritations.
- Although some are 40% bio-degradable they are no friends to land fills.
- Due to absorbency, can take motivation away from baby for potty training.
Note: Disposable diapers are rightly maligned due to the environmental imprint they leave. But let’s not underestimate the volume of dirty unusable water a load of laundry produces, times the extra 2-3 loads per week. Something to think about.
If you don’t keep your changing areas sufficiently stocked, a nice and quick change won’t be possible. The older the baby the harder it will be to change generally. Follow these steps for a fast change.
- Get out a wet wipe or cloth, and a diaper. Prepare the diaper so it can go on right away. Put them close to the baby so they can be easily grabbed.
- Remove enough clothing to give clear access to the diaper and pull the clothes up and off to the side so it doesn’t get dirty.
- If the baby is able to hold on to and focus on a distraction toy, this helps a lot, it eliminates flailing about.
- Loosen the diaper and if there is poo, gently swipe the back of the diaper up to remove most of the poo. Put the diaper to the side away from flailing feet.
- Cover baby boys peeing instrument with a cloth or pee tee-pee…..believe me, you WILL get peed on! A LOT. Possibly poo’d on.
- Grab your easily accessible wipe. Girls, wipe from top to bottom making sure to clean out all the little folds. Boys, the same, clean around the genitals first. Wipe as little as you have to, their skin is irritated easily by the friction of your cloth.
- This is where some apply oils (ex. coconut) to guard sensitive skin from the next wave of dirtiness, or apply creams if there are signs of redness or diaper rash. Beware if you are using cloth diapers, thick creams can eliminate the absorbency of the cloth and force you to use harsher chemicals to wash the creams out.
- Be quick from number 6 and 7 because if you’re not…..you get number 5
- Secure the diaper and clothe your baby!
I know I left the process till the end but, I think even a seasoned parent might learn a thing or two! With the sheer volume of diaper changes you will do with your first child it makes sense to know baby diapering inside and out. Of course it’s ingrained knowledge with each child after.
Or you can wing it like I did and all the things I warned above can happen to you just like they happened to me.
As always I appreciate you reading this article and please leave a comment below or share your experiences so we can all learn and possibly laugh a little more.