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Diaper Changing Tips: Diapering Your Baby

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Diapering your baby is as much a part of parenting as feeding, even though it can sometimes seem like a never-ending chore. With a good knowledge of the diapering basics, you'll be able to keep your baby dry and comfortable with no problem at all.


The Bare Facts

Diaper changing is more about common sense than anything else. Your objective should be to keep your baby as dry and comfortable as possible. Before you start, assemble everything you need:

  • A clean diaper
  • Diaper rash ointment or petroleum jelly
  • A soft washcloth and small basin of warm water or a diaper wipe

Remember — never leave your baby unattended on the changing table. Even newborns can roll off and hurt themselves.
First, remove the soiled diaper. If it's only wet, it's best to rediaper immediately without cleansing or gently wipe your baby clean with a wipe or warm washcloth before diapering. For tips on caring for your baby's umbilical cord stump, click here.
If your baby has had a BM, wipe her bottom clean with a wipe or warm washcloth and gently pat her dry. Remember to always wipe from front to back, which will help prevent the introduction of bacteria into the urinary tract. There is no need to use soap unless she has a bowel movement that won't come clean with just water. Use only mild soap when necessary; all soaps strip your baby's skin of important natural oils.
Next, apply diaper ointment or petroleum jelly and put on a fresh diaper. Avoid baby powder — it doesn't help prevent or treat diaper rash and may be harmful if your baby inhales it. As your baby gets older, she's likely to fidget a lot more during these delicate diaper changes. You may wish to keep some toys near your changing area to distract her with.

Diapering Tips for Girls

  • A small amount of blood or discharge is normal in the first few days after birth. Your daughter is simply adjusting to hormonal changes following birth.


Diapering Tips for Boys

  • If your son is uncircumcised, don't try to pull the foreskin down to clean. It will loosen by itself in time, and is usually fully retractable by the time he is three.

  • Seasoned moms suggest covering your baby boy's penis with a diaper or burp cloth while changing prevent getting a surprise shower yourself!




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