Maternal & Baby Care
Changing diapers is part and parcel of caring for your baby. While it seems pretty straightforward, you’d be surprised to know that there are new parents intimidated by this duty.
For first-time moms and dads, here’s a guide on how to properly put a diaper on your little boy or girl, plus, what to expect so you can avoid any “wee” surprises. Remember: it’s important to change diapers frequently to prevent irritation and diaper rash.
1. Have your essentials on hand.
Even if you have a diaper changing station inside your bedroom, it will also help to set up changing stations in different parts of the house, so you are ready for any slip-ups. This can be as easy as having boxes around the home with the following essentials:
● Clean diapers
● Clean cotton balls, washcloths, or wipes
● Change of clothes
● Ointment or cream to soothe diaper rash
● Toys (to distract a squirmy baby)
2. Change your baby’s diaper
- Start by putting the baby on a changing table or a flat surface. Make sure it is anchored on the floor.
- Get a fresh diaper. Unfold it and place the closures toward the baby's head. In general, the side with pictures goes in front.
- Clean your baby. Use wet wipes for older infants. For newborns and babies who are prone to diaper rash, you can soak cotton balls in warm water to clean the area and pat dry with a washcloth.
- Place your baby in a fresh diaper. Make sure the top of the diaper in the back should be at belly button level. Apply cream as needed.
-Talk to your baby! Your loving touch and soothing voice can calm a fussy baby and will make diaper changes easier.
- Close the diaper. Thread the front of the diaper through the baby's legs and fasten it. Make sure the fit is snug but not tight.
3. Remember to pat dry before applying a diaper rash cream.
Rash cream (or petroleum jelly) can act as a protective barrier between a baby's skin and a wet diaper, but make sure the bum is dry before applying it.
4. Don’t cover the umbilical cord stump.
Your baby’s umbilical cord stump will fall on its own (usually after about two weeks), so until then, the area must be kept clean and dry to prevent infections.
5. Bond with your baby!
Changing diapers (especially soiled ones) is not always fun but think of it as a precious chance to have one-on-one time with your little one.