For both new and experienced parents, cleaning a baby’s diaper can be an exhausting and overwhelming experience. It’s not surprising that parents are often terrified of this responsibility. Changing diapers is one of the most important albeit messy tasks when it comes to taking care of a newborn.
Here are a few tips for making the task a little easier.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- 1. How to Clean Meconium Properly
- 2. Keep the Changing Table Ready
- 3. Cleaning Tricks
- 4. Cleaning Positions
- 5. Choose the Right Diaper Size
- 6. Playful Talking with Baby
- 7. On-the-Go Diaper Bag
- 8. Give Toys While Changing
- 9. Diaper Rash Protection
- 10. Don’t Cover the Umbilical Cord
- 11. Changing Routine
- 12. Lay a Small Piece of Cloth on Baby’s Belly to Avoid Getting Peed On
- 13. Changes On-the-Go
- 14. Make the Onesie Work
- 15. Never Leave Your Baby Alone
1. How to Clean Meconium Properly
A baby’s first poop is called meconium which has a tar-like consistency that’s very hard to clean. When cleaning the meconium from your baby’s bottom, you can use a small amount of coconut oil as this will make it easier to remove.
You can also get a small travel hairspray bottle and fill it with water and a few drops of baby oil. You can use this mixture to moisten and soften the hard poop so that it’s easier to clean.
2. Keep the Changing Table Ready
Always keep the changing station prepared for the next nappy change. Remove changing pads or towels after every diaper change. Make sure that your supplies are within reach: new diapers, warm water, cotton balls, baby washcloths, and nappy cream. It will save you the hassle in an emergency.
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3. Cleaning Tricks
Wipe your baby’s bottom with a wet tissue or cotton ball. Always wipe from front to back, being careful to clean between the creases. If your baby decides to poop mid-clean, use the clean side of the diaper to mop up the mess.
Many people find that warm water and a washcloth or cotton balls work best, while others prefer to use baby oil.
4. Cleaning Positions
Lay down on the cleaning mat. After you’ve wiped your baby’s bottom, lift their legs and place the clean diaper under their bottom. If your baby is a little boy, you must make sure that the penis is pointing down before folding up the diaper.
Pull the front of the diaper between their legs and fasten.
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5. Choose the Right Diaper Size
Every baby is different in size, growth, and shape. Brands advertise their product to be perfect for every baby. But in reality, diaper sizes differ for every baby. You will need to experiment a bit until you find the right brand and size.
Diapers should fit a child’s waist with plenty of room for the tabs to grip onto. After fastening the diaper, parents should be able to fit a finger between the waist and the diaper easily. It shouldn’t be too tight.
6. Playful Talking with Baby
Talking in a soothing and playful tone keeps your baby calm while you’re changing them. Most babies cry during nappy changing as they likely feel uncomfortable. Newborns can’t understand what we say, but they can sense our intentions.
Talking in a soothing tone calms them down and makes them feel safe.
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7. On-the-Go Diaper Bag
An on-the-go diaper bag is a must for parents with newborn babies. You should fill it with all the essentials, such as fresh diapers, cotton balls, washcloths, nappy cream or ointment, towels or changing pads, waste diaper bags, etc.
Make sure you have plenty of supplies in case of an emergency. A plastic mat can be useful for changing your baby in public toilets.
8. Give Toys While Changing
You can keep a few small toys near your changing station to distract your baby while you change their diaper. This will divert the baby’s attention and make your task a lot easier.
Having something to play with keeps your baby’s hands away from the dirty diaper. Having some hanging toys or a baby mobile near the changing area can also come in handy.
9. Diaper Rash Protection
To avoid nappy rash, let the area dry completely before putting on rash cream or a clean diaper. Applying cream or putting a diaper on a wet bottom increases the chance of diaper rash. It also makes mild rashes spread easily.
Dry your baby’s bottom with a washcloth or by lightly blowing on the area. Apply rash cream or ointment liberally on areas that look pink. Creams with zinc oxide are best because they create a barrier against moisture.
For frequent or angry looking rashes, always consult a doctor.
10. Don’t Cover the Umbilical Cord
While changing your baby, new parents should be careful with the umbilical cord. It usually takes seven to 12 days to fully dry up and fall off. During this time, you have to be very careful not to damage the area. Diapers must never be put on over the umbilical cord.
Fold the front part of the diaper down so that it does not rub against the umbilical cord. As the area is very delicate, a simple pull can damage it which will be painful for your baby.
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11. Changing Routine
You will need to change your baby’s diaper often; about every two to three hours. How frequently you need to change them depends on the amount of urine. If the diaper is not that heavy, it can be changed every four hours. It’s not always necessary to wake a sleeping baby for changing.
Changing the diaper after they poop is very important for babies. The acid content of a poo may irritate their skin so a dirty diaper should be changed as soon as possible.
12. Lay a Small Piece of Cloth on Baby’s Belly to Avoid Getting Peed On
Parents can often get peed on while changing diapers – particularly with baby boys. To avoid this situation, put a small piece of cloth on your baby’s belly to stop the pee from spreading. This will make your job a lot less messy.
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13. Changes On-the-Go
You cannot expect a stinky baby to stay still and there may not be time to run to the changing station. Or perhaps you may want to change them on the bed when your changing table is messy.
To make changing diapers on the go a lot easier, fill a basket with all of your changing materials. Then just grab it whenever you are going to change your baby.
14. Make the Onesie Work
Sometimes babies will get poop all the way up their back and peeling off their onesie can spread it further still. Put the little flaps at the top of the shoulders onesie to use. These flaps help expand the neck hole so you can pull the onesie off from the shoulder down to minimize mess.
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15. Never Leave Your Baby Alone
You may think your baby isn’t yet capable of moving on their own, but don’t be fooled! Newborns can move their limbs and they can even move enough to fall off the table. So while you’re changing your baby, it’s very important to keep one hand on them and use the other to do the rest.
Make sure that you keep all the stuff you need within reach. If you need to grab something further away, then just pick up your baby to go get it.
Last but not least, be patient. Babies can sense apprehension and will follow your lead. So do not get frustrated with your baby if they move around while you’re changing them. Always be prepared and have a basket or on-the-go bag filled with your diaper changing essentials.
Keep an eye on your baby at all times and be consistent with diaper changes. If you’re not sure, just give their diaper a sniff! Don’t worry, changing diapers get easier with practice.
Enjoy every moment with your baby because they grow up very fast. Happy parenthood!
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