Okay, if you have been searching for ‘how to change a baby’s diaper’ or ‘diaper change frequency chart’, well you have recently become a parent or are going to be a new parent soon enough. Well, welcome to the tribe of parenthood my friend.
Even though it might seem very difficult during the first few weeks of changing the baby’s diaper, don’t worry. With time you will get a hang of it and sure enough, it will become almost second nature to you. Till then that happens, don’t worry. Here’s your step-by-step guide to changing your baby’s diaper and answers for other relevant questions about diapering.
How frequently should I change the diaper?
So, let’s start with a common one first. Since it’s your first time being a parent, you must be wondering how often you should be changing the diaper.
The frequency of changing a baby’s diaper depends on several factors like age, how often does your baby poops (it could be once after every meal every day or maybe just once a day) or whether your baby is just being breastfed or eating solid foods.
Keeping all that aside, your baby can soil anywhere from 6 to 10 diapers per day. You don’t have to just wait for it to smell before you decide to change the same. It would be better if you check the diaper every two hours to change it. If it does not smell, you can use your finger to feel the inside of the diaper. If it feels wet, it is probably time to change it.
If you are a type-A parent, creating a diaper change frequency chart might help. For the first few weeks, I checked or marked the time the last time I changed the diaper. This helped me in creating a system and also made sure that the baby stayed clean, fresh and without rashes.
What do I need to change a diaper?
Okay, if you are a millennial parent, you know that nothing is easy. Not even changing a simple diaper. Well, there is actually a list of things that are available these days that can help make this diapering process a bit easier.
Diapers: Yes, duh. You need diapers to carry out the diaper changing process. But since you would be using several every day, it would be time as well as money-saving if you can size up and store some at your home. Store them in a place that is easily reachable by you but not by your baby.
Diaper Changing Table: If you are not aware, there are specifically designed baby’s diaper changing tables available in the market. These were invented to make sure that the diaper changing process is not only smooth but is safe for the baby. It provides for a flat surface surrounded by rails so that your baby doesn’t roll off with any sudden movement. You can choose one with at least two inches of high railings around the surface. You can set up the baby’s diaper changing table inside the nursery itself. These come with several cubbies which can be used to dock other amenities required to change your baby’s diaper.
Wipes: Once you remove the soiled diaper, you would need sanitized, but soft wipes to clean the diaper region of the baby. Just like diapers, make sure you stock these up as well.
Diaper Ointment: Okay, so every baby gets a rash in the diaper area at least once in a lifetime. It could be due to several reasons like diapers not being changed frequently or if the baby’s got diarrhea or if he/she has just started eating solids. Make sure you use a diaper ointment or petroleum jelly between the diaper and baby’s skin to prevent the rash. Your pediatrician can help you with an over-the-counter diaper ointment.
Diaper Changing Pad: So, along with a diaper changing station, a diaper changing pad is also available in the market. Buy the one which is curved in the middle as it makes it easier to change the diaper. These usually go in between the baby and the diaper changing table. These come with straps to keep the baby still as you change the diaper.
Towels: If you are not using a diaper changing pad, you can place towels in between the baby and the surface.
A Diaper Pail/Dustbin: Keep a diaper dustbin nearby to stash the soiled diapers.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Your Baby’s First Diaper
So, now you have everything you need to change the diaper of the baby. You also know the frequency to change the diaper and have created a diaper change frequency chart. Here’s what you need to do:
- Lay the baby on a flat surface. It could be on the floor or the bed or a baby diaper changing table. Make sure that if you are laying the baby on the floor or the bed, use towels in between the surface and the baby.
- Lift the baby’s leg gently and pull the diaper down slowly. If you are using a cloth diaper, open the knots to remove the diaper.
- Keep lifting the baby’s legs and use the wipes to clean the diaper region of the poop. Don’t forget to wipe this region even if the baby hasn’t pooped and you are changing the diaper because it was wet. If you are changing a baby girls’ diaper, make sure you wipe from front to back and not the other way around. Girls are more prone to infection and UTIs if not wiped properly.
- If your babies got a rash, make sure you apply the diaper ointment or petroleum jelly.
- Let the area dry before you put on a new diaper.
- Gently lift the baby’s leg and the lower portion from her ankles and slip the clean diaper underneath. Make sure that the colored markings are facing you. Now pull the diaper from between the legs and place it on the baby’s belly. Lift the diaper wings from the left and the right and strap the Velcro/ fastening tape present on each wing on to the diaper. Make sure you do not fasten it either too tightly or loosely. To check this, you should be easily able to put two fingers inside the diaper.
Once you have finished the process, clean the diaper changing pad and a baby diaper changing table and wash your hands thoroughly. And congratulations, you have just changed your very first diaper!