One thing that all new parents expect to spend plenty of time doing is changing baby’s diaper! I’m sure you’ve been thoroughly warned about the sheer amount of time that is spent changing diaper after diaper when you bring your little one home. For the most part, changing a baby’s diaper is a no-brainer, repetitive activity. There are a few things, however, that all of the advice givers tend to leave out. Keep reading for 10 things that no one tells you about changing baby’s diaper.
Many newborns don’t actually cry when their diaper is wet
- When a baby is fussy, we usually think to check to make sure that he or she has a clean diaper. When baby is happy, it is easy to forget to check. Leaving baby in a wet diaper for too long is one of the fastest ways to get diaper rash. A nurse at the hospital advised us to “cluster care givings” to save our sanity. She meant that every time that you feed the baby, change his diaper at the same time. This has the added benefit of not letting your little one sit in his or her own filth for too long.
Size up at night
- Our son wet through the bed A LOT. Fortunately, we were warned and layered our sheets for quick switching at night. (Put down a mattress protector, sheet, then another mattress protector, sheet. You just have to pull of the top layer to get clean, dry sheets!) A family member suggested that we put him in a diaper that was a size too big at night. Our tiny baby looked ridiculous in a diaper that came up over his belly button, but he woke up dry!
Always be prepared before you start
- I learned this lesson very quickly by not being ready for the world’s worst blow out. As I was making a mess of an already messy situation, my little guy started to pee mid change! I didn’t have a diaper unfolded near by, and the one that was still under him was already full. Thankfully, my mom was there to help with the clean up. We pulled his onsie down over his body, threw it away, and gave him a sink bath.
Diaper rash cream goes on thick
- The instructions on our diaper rash cream tube were not entirely helpful. It was something like “apply to affected area as needed.” Diaper rash cream is meant to sit on top of the skin and act as a barrier. You apply it liberally and do not rub it in.
Jock itch cream is great for treating and preventing yeasty diaper rash
- When you think about it, jock itch and diaper rash are really the same thing – yeast growth fueled by too much moisture and not enough air. Our pediatrician was the one who recommended that we use Lotrimin on our son. She said once or twice a day when needed. We also use it after bathtime preventatively in his leg creases. The thing to remember is that this is not like diaper rash cream – it should rub gently into the skin. (Make sure to talk to your doctor before you try this or any other product on your baby’s skin. This is just my suggestion from personal experience.)
Airing out baby’s skin is important
- This is harder than it seems sometimes, but it is important to make sure that your little one’s skin has a chance to breathe. One suggestion that I found was to try naked tummy time after baths. Just lay baby down on a towel on the bathroom floor. This will make for easy clean up if he or she does make a mess.
Once your child starts crawling, be prepared for a wrestling match at each diaper change
- There will come a time when all of the sudden, diaper changes are just the worst! Good luck with getting your little one to lay still. Let me know if you find a secret to this one.
Keep everything out of arm’s reach of the changing table
- Around the same time, your little one will start grabbing anything and everything that he or she can reach. I even had to remove a poorly placed painting from the wall to prevent him from pulling it down on himself.
Offer a distraction for easier changes
- To prevent aforementioned wrestling, crawling, and grabbing, try giving baby something to play with instead. For a while, a burp cloth that I layed on my son’s face to play peek-a-boo worked best. Recently, he likes to hold on to the booger sucker. No guarantees that it will help, but it is always worth a shot.
Keep a portable changing pad and trash bags in diaper bag
- I am always amazed by the amount of places that do not have changing tables! The couple of times that we have gone to a sports bar or pub for dinner, I expected to have to get creative. When we stopped at a fast food place right off the highway, I was in shock that the floor was the best place available. Some places – doctor’s offices or particular friends – also may not allow you to put the dirty diapers in their trash cans. Walking around with a dirty diaper in the diaper bag isn’t ideal, but if you have a plastic bag, it is much better.
So there you have it. Those are the 10 things about diaper changes that I have had to learn from experience. Hopefully, I can save you some trouble.
Check out this post if you would like to learn how to create a diaper stockpile or this one to see how to find the best deals on diapers.
Veteran parents – was there anything that you learned about diaper changes that no one told you?