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How To Change A Diaper

 Hey there new parents! How's your new big adventure in life going? Is it going as planned? Is it what you expected? 

As a new parent, you'll change a lot (I mean, mountains!) of diapers. But as time progresses, you'll see that changing your little one's diaper isn't the same experience all the time. 

You will probably notice that changing their diaper during the night isn't as easy as changing it during the day. This is because changing diapers at night wakes the baby. It's tough to get them to settle and go back to sleep once they are up. 

So, what's a parent like yourself to do in such a situation? Don't worry! We've got your back! 

Continue reading to learn how often and how to change a baby's diapers at night without disrupting their sleep!

Related: Potty Training a Toddler is Though: Here's What To Do

Before You Start: Essential Supplies To Have On Hand

 Baby on bed resting

If you want to change your baby's diaper quickly and easily, you'll need to prepare a few things ahead of time.

  • A fresh set of diapers. When changing diapers, it's usually a good idea to have a few more on hand.
  • A diversion. If you have a squirmy infant, keep a favorite toy visible, as well as a music box or mechanical toy for distraction. You can get our special 123BabyBox that our mothers swear by it has saved their lives!
  • Cotton balls, washcloths, or wipes that are clean. Use warm water and a cotton ball to clean newborns under one month old and those with diaper rash, then a washcloth to dry them (If you like, you might start with hypoallergenic wipes for babies without diaper rash.). Use pre-moistened wipes for older infants; opt for hypoallergenic wipes free of smell and alcohol. If the diaper has leaked (which happens! ), you may require one. 
  • Diaper wraps. You'll want to have diaper wraps on hand if you're using cloth diapers.
  • Diaper rash prevention and relief ointment. Diaper rash provides a barrier between the baby's sensitive bottom and the skin-irritating poop and urine. (Keep in mind that cloth diapers don't allow you to use a lot of diaper rash creams and diaper ointments.) Lotions, baby oil, and powder aren't required.
  • A tender touch. Diaper changes will be easier for your infant if you use a kind voice (talking or singing) and touch to soothe your baby

After you've gathered everything you'll need, wash and dry your hands, if you are in a place where you can't do it, use a wipe to clean your hands.


Related: Calming Songs To Sing To Your Baby

How To Tell If A Diaper Is Wet

 Baby wearing a white diaper

The grunts and grimaces that notify you will likely tell you when your baby poops. Alternatively, you'll receive a whiff shortly after your kid is done.

You will know your baby has peed if the liquid-sensitive, color-changing stripe on the disposable diaper changes color or if the cloth diaper is wet to the touch. 

Still not sure? A simple peek inside it should be enough.

There's no need to rouse the baby for a diaper change if he is napping. Unless your baby is really wet and uncomfortable or has a poopy diaper, you don't need to change their diaper during midnight (especially if doing so will interfere with going back to sleep.)

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How To Change A Diaper

We've gathered a set of easy steps for you to follow. They are pretty easy to do, so don't worry. Believe in yourself!

Step 1: Place your baby on a soft, sterile surface

A changing table, a dresser with a changing pad, a crib, or a bed (ideally with a towel or waterproof pad) are suitable options. Cover the surface with a protective cloth if you're not using your own changing table.

Always keep one hand on the baby, no matter where you're changing diapers, even if your baby hasn't started rolling over. Strapped-in babies should also be kept within arm's reach.

Step 2: Open the diaper and wipe your baby

Unfasten the diaper and assess the situation; next, for both boys and girls, follow the same basic rules:

Fold the wet diaper underneath the baby's bottom (so the clean, outer side is now under their bottom) and wipe the area clean.

If you have a poopy diaper, wipe as much as you can using the diaper itself, then fold it underneath as described above. Lift the legs and thoroughly clean the baby's front with warm water or wipes, ensuring that any creases are cleaned. Then lift both legs and thoroughly clean the baby's bottom.

When the baby's diaper region is clean, remove the soiled diaper and replace it with a new one before releasing its legs. Ensure the infant is totally dry before applying the clean diaper or any diaper rash creams.

If the umbilical cord is still connected and you aren't using special newborn diapers, fold it down to reveal the area to air and keep it sanitary.

To avoid leaks, fasten it tightly but not too tightly that it irritates (you'll notice the telltale red lines during the following diaper change).

The tabs in disposables go at the back, underneath the baby, and then wrap over to the front.

Step 3: Apply powder or cream

Only apply diaper rash cream before putting on a new diaper if you're afraid about leaving the baby in a damp diaper all night and causing her to have diaper rash. This creates a barrier between the baby's skin and the moist diaper, protecting him from diaper rash.

Step 4: Toss the dirty diaper

Wrap the disposable diaper into a ball and secure it with the tab fasteners. Then dispose of it in a diaper pail, plastic bag, or garbage can (but never flush down the toilet).

It's best to carry a supply of plastic bags with you when you're not at home.

Before dumping the dirty diaper into the trash, place it inside the bag and tie it. Until laundry day, store cloth diapers in a bucket with a tight-fitting lid or a vinyl bag if you're out.

Step 5: Change your baby

Now that you've finished changing the baby's clothes and/or linens as needed (and it will very certainly be needed!). Alternatively, you may redress him.

Step 6: Wash your hands (Again)

Finish by rewashing your hands (use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available).

Using Baby Powders And Rash Creams

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to avoid using talc or cornstarch-based baby powder during diaper changes or bathtime.

That's because babies don't actually need it, and powder might irritate their already sensitive skin, and partly because inhaling a lot of powder can be dangerous for little children.

Unless your baby has a diaper rash, you don't need to use baby lotion, baby oil, or other lotions when changing his or her diaper.

If your baby is in disposable diapers, you should apply a barrier ointment (plain old petroleum jelly or a zinc oxide lotion) in that situation. Diaper ointments aren't usually compatible with cloth diapers, so talk to your doctor about what to do in that situation.

Allow at least a couple of minutes for the baby's bottom to dry before administering the cream and diapering up. Contact your child's pediatrician if the rash persists after two to three days.

Changing Your Baby's Diaper At Night

If your baby's diapers are completely soaked or if he or she poops during the night, it's time for a nighttime diaper change. The baby will eventually cease pooping at night and urinate less while sleeping. One overnight diaper will suffice in this scenario, and you can cease changing diapers at night. 

Each baby, however, is unique, and each infant has various needs. So, depending on how wet the diaper gets or whether it gets dirty, you'll have to decide if your kid needs nighttime diaper changes.

A sleeping routine may help you (and your baby) get more sleep during the night. The best case scenario is where both of you get enough sleep and are well rested. 

Related: Sleep Training Your Baby: The Cry it Out Method

Final Thoughts

Diapering and feeding your infant are both important aspects of parenthood. Although changing a diaper takes some practice, it will become second nature once you get the hang of it.

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