Changing a baby’s diaper can really stink… literally! But it’s just one of the many new requirements of a parent. In fact, according to Healthy Children, parents can expect to change about 3,000 diapers in the baby’s first year! With this in mind, as a parent, you can learn a few easy baby diapering tips to protect yourself and your children from germs by following these simple steps.
Before you begin, take inventory. You’ll need the following things (and make sure you have them all within an arm’s length):
- A clean and safe place to change your baby (such as a changing table or changing pad)
- Wipes (or something clean to wipe the baby with)
- Diaper cream or ointment
- Extra supplies on hand: diaper bag, change of clothes, extra diaper
One of, if not the most important thing to remember is to not leave your child unattended while changing them. Keep a hand on them at all times for their safety. Also, wash your hands before you begin. Then, wash your hands (and your child’s hands) thoroughly after you change their diaper.
A big fear that new parents might have is getting showered by the baby, as soon as the baby is exposed to open air. This can happen, and to avoid this, Healthy Children recommends keeping your baby covered as much as you can while changing their diaper.
Before removing the old diaper, have the new diaper ready, picture side up with the tab side underneath. Remove the old diaper and clean your baby thoroughly, wiping from front to back before bringing over the new diaper. Move the old diaper to a stable place to avoid the baby-stepping in it or knocking it to the floor.
When putting on a new diaper, you’ll know that it’s on properly if the front of it is centered between the legs, and its level with the back, usually around the baby’s belly button. Check the tabs to make sure they’re secured in front, and the fringe to make sure it’s not tucked into the elastic edges. Make sure the diaper is secure to prevent leaking, but not too tight!
Also – keep an eye out for diaper rash. If it doesn’t go away after a few days, definitely contact your pediatrician.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a handy downloadable PDF, which we’ve also posted below.