Diaper Changing Guide with Pictures
As a new parent, one of the most immediate and repeated responsibilities is changing your baby's diaper. Changing a baby's diaper may seem difficult at first, but with some practice, it will become second nature.
And your baby will give you plenty of that: from birth to potty training, the average infant will require between eight and ten diaper changes per day. Find out the best method for changing your baby's dirty diaper into a clean one, as well as some helpful hints for making the transition go more smoothly for you and your baby.
Obtain all of your materials and supplies before beginning. For your convenience, here is a check list:
- Include an extra outfit for your infant (just in case).
- Alternately, a changing pad
- Wet or dry diapers
- Cloth diaper cover and/or pins (if using)
- Ointment or cream for diaper rash
- Garbage bag that can be discarded after use
- Soft swabs, cotton balls, or washcloths
To disinfect the diaper area, many people turn to baby wipes. The skin of a newborn baby, however, is extremely delicate. It is recommended to wash newborns with warm water and a cloth or cotton balls to avoid irritating their skin during the first few weeks of life.
Wipes that have already been moistened with water can also be purchased. Before a baby is about 2 months old, traditional baby wipes, especially those containing alcohol, can cause rashes and irritation.
Places where you can change a baby include a changing table, or a changing pad on the floor, bed, or couch. Use the changing table's safety straps and secure the changing pad to the table as directed.
It's best to use a changing pad or a changing table that is concave in the middle. The baby won't be able to roll off the table and hurt themselves, which is a common cause of hospitalizations.
Newborns don't do much at first, but by month 4, they've learned to roll over. And a baby of any age can start moving around and end up on the floor. Preparing for your child's mobility by engaging in age-appropriate safety practices is a great idea.
Instructions for resetting a diaper change station The process for using cloth diapers is similar, with the addition of folding and fastening the cloth on each side with diaper pins. But some cloth diapers have snaps or hook-and-loop closures already installed.
Before anything else, please clean your hands. Put together a stockpile You should not have to turn your back on your baby while they are on the changing table, so make sure you have everything you need within easy reach.
Put your infant gently on his or her back on the changing table. Pull apart the diaper's tabs or pins on both sides.
Finally, grasp your child's ankles and lift them gently to get their bottom out of the diaper. Use the upper half of the diaper to gently sweep the feces down toward the lower half if there is a lot of poop in the diaper.
Discretely pull the diaper free. Tuck it close by, but out of your infant's reach.
Scrub your infant down with a damp washcloth. Use wet wipes or cotton balls to gently yet thoroughly clean the diaper area. To avoid spreading infection, always wipe a vulva from front to back. Take into account that you are only removing waste from the visible portion of the vulva. Similarly, when cleaning the scrotum and penis, make sure to get in every crevice. Moreover, a clean diaper or cloth can be placed over the penis during the cleaning process to prevent getting wet.
Put the garbage in a separate pile. On top of the dirty diaper, pile any used disposable cleaning supplies.
Put a new diaper on your infant's bottom. Place the tabs on the side that will be under your child's bottom. Nowadays, the front of a diaper is usually marked with some sort of colorful marking or character.
If you don't want your baby to have an accident in the diaper, make sure the penis is pointing down before you close it. The use of ointments and creams for the treatment and prevention of rashes is entirely up to the individual. Doing this after you've changed your baby's diaper will save you time later on by keeping ointments from getting all over the changing mat.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other medical professionals no longer advise using baby powder because of the risks associated with breathing in the powder during a diaper change.
When finished, snap the new diaper closed. Grasp the front and bring it up over your kid's stomach, then pull it down between their legs. When putting on a diaper, make sure it is not too tight by opening the tabs and bringing them around to the front. Cloth diapers can be closed using the snaps or by pinning it in place. If you aren't using specially sized diapers for newborns, fold the front of the diaper down to protect the umbilical stump from chafing until it falls off.
While you're cleaning up, put your baby down in a secure place (like a crib or baby carrier). Roll the dirty diaper up tightly and secure the tabs all the way around the roll. Drop the soiled diaper into the appropriate receptacle (a diaper pail or trash can).
To properly clean a cloth diaper, simply empty solid waste into the toilet and give it a quick rinse. Then, you can place the dirty diaper in the laundry basket.
Scrub the ever-shifting surface When you next use the changing table, be sure to disinfect it to avoid spreading germs. Lastly, make sure you and the baby wash your hands.
A soiled diaper on your baby should be changed as soon as possible. This means eight to ten times a day on average, but it can vary widely depending on the baby. Babies usually need to have their diapers changed soon after each feeding, and you can tell by the smell or a quick glance if this is the case.
When compared to stool, urine is germ-free and rarely causes skin irritation. Your baby is more likely to get a painful diaper rash if you let feces sit on their skin for any length of time, especially if they are very young or have sensitive skin. Please keep in mind, however, that no matter how frequently you change your baby's diaper, he or she may still develop a diaper rash.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises mothers to use warm water to flush the diaper area and wipes whenever they change their baby's diaper. Inconvenient as it may be to take your baby's skin through this extra routine when you're on the go, doing so at home will help keep your baby's skin healthy and rash-free.
Your baby's diaper changes will become second nature to you soon, but in the meantime, you may find these pointers useful. Prior to anything else, never change a diaper or leave a dirty diaper in a food preparation or eating area.
To help the circumcision or umbilical stump heal, do as your pediatrician advises. Don't forget to finish up any necessary procedures, like washing or rinsing.
Remember to always have at least one hand on your baby. Maintaining your baby's safety while you go to get a fresh diaper or other items is much easier with this.
Never, ever, ever leave your infant unattended on a high surface, period.
Make sure the diaper isn't snapped on too tightly You need to keep your baby dry, but a diaper that is too tight can put pressure on their stomach, making them uncomfortable and more likely to spit up. Diaper rash can be caused by a combination of wetness being trapped in the diaper and the baby's skin being rubbed against the diaper.
From the sticky, dark black-green meconium to the softer, yellow or brown milk or formula stools, your baby's diaper in the early days will be full of surprises.
Vaginal discharge is a common problem among infant girls. For the first two weeks of a newborn's life, it's normal for them to have discharge that is white or blood-stained. But if it lasts longer than two weeks, turns yellow, or has an odor, those are all reasons to consult your baby's pediatrician about the possibility of an infection.
For the first few days after birth, urate crystals, which are typically a rusty color, may be visible. Breastfed infants are more likely to experience this metabolic byproduct. Since there is a lot of protein in breast milk, the baby's urine will be acidic and prone to crystallization of uric acid. Urate crystals are not always a sign of dehydration but can be a red flag.
If your infant exhibits any of the following signs of dehydration, you should contact your pediatrician immediately:
- Crying dry-eyed
- Urine with a brown or yellow tint
- Not more than six wet diapers in a 24-hour period
- Tactile dryness of the skin
In addition, while mild diaper rashes can usually be treated effectively at home, you should contact your pediatrician if the rash persists for more than a few days, the baby seems to be in pain, or the skin is red and raw. These signs may indicate an allergy or some other health problem.
Changing your newborn's diaper may seem like a scary new skill to master. A newborn's tiny body is going through a lot of adjustment as it adjusts to its new environment. It's normal to worry at first that you'll hurt your baby or do something wrong. These worries, as well as feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm associated with parenthood, are extremely prevalent.
Have faith that, like so many other aspects of parenthood, this one will be easy for you to master as well. While you're in the hospital, if you'd like, a nurse can show you how to change your baby's diaper.
At any point after returning home, if concerns or questions arise, it is imperative that you contact your child's pediatrician. They want to ensure your satisfaction and will answer any questions you may have.
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