If you feel silly about not knowing how to change a nappy, don’t! There are so many of us who may feel quite unable to perform what seasoned parents tend to think of as a simple, everyday task. In this article, we take you through the process of changing a nappy and offer other tips as well to help you become a dab hand at the changing routine.
General diaper tips
Consider whether you want to use disposables or cloth nappies or both (you could use cloth in the day time and use disposables for the night to keep baby drier and more comfortable so their sleep is not disturbed). Both have their advantages. If you’re using cloth, inquire about any diaper service that could be available in your area.
Never leave your baby alone when she is on the changing table and make sure that one hand is always holding on to the baby. Make sure that you’re well equipped with diapers. A baby can go through as many as 6 to 8 in a week and if you have multiples, that is twice or more than amount! Stock up on extras so that you are not in danger of running out, say in the middle of the night. Make sure that the diaper is the right size for your baby – too big and it may slip or leak; too small and your baby will be uncomfortable and the skin may chafe of pinch.
Before you start changing your baby, assemble all of the things that you know you will need: a fresh diaper, wipes or a damp cloth or water and some cotton wool (whatever you’re going to use), some diaper rash cream and a change of clothes if they are soiled or require a change. Add a toy or other diversion to keep baby occupied as you change the diaper.
Change your baby’s nappy promptly each time it gets soiled with a bowel moment and every few hours even if baby has not had a bowel movement. Not doing so is likely to lead to diaper rash. For the first few days, you will need to turn the diaper back down to allow for the umbilical cord stump.
Doing it the right way
Firstly wash your hands properly to prevent transfer of any germs to your baby. If it’s a disposable diaper that you’re changing when you open up the diaper fold down the sticky ends so they don’t stick to baby’s skin or anything else. Try and get the worst of the poop off using the soiled diaper. Then using water and cotton wool, baby wipes or moist cloth, clean the entire diaper area properly. For girls wipe from front to back and for boys make sure you get all crevices and folds. Lift baby’s legs and slide a fresh diaper underneath. Let baby’s skin air dry, apply barrier or nappy rash cream and get tape the fresh diaper in a way that is neither too tight nor too loose and make sure it is high enough to avoid leakage.