Best Way To Change Diaper Without Mess
How to Change a Diaper: Step-by-Step
These instructions are for changing disposable diapers. Using cloth diapers involves the same basic steps, except that you’ll also need to fold and fasten the cloth on each side.
- Wash your hands.
- Gather your supplies. Make sure you have everything you need in arm’s reach (but out of your baby’s reach), so that you won’t have to turn your back while your baby is on the changing table.
- Lay your baby down. Gently place the infant on their back on the changing surface.
- Unfasten the diaper tabs. Raise your child’s bottom off of the diaper by gently grasping their ankles and lifting. If there is a lot of stool in the diaper, you can use the upper half of the diaper to gently sweep it toward the lower half. -Slide the diaper away. Place it nearby, but out of reach of your baby.
- Wipe the baby clean. When wiping a girl, always go from front to back to prevent infection. Thoroughly cleanse the area with wipes or moistened cotton balls.
- Set aside trash. Place any used disposable cleaning supplies on top of the soiled diaper.
- Slide a clean diaper under your baby’s bottom. Make sure the tabs are on the side located under your child’s bottom. Most diapers today have colorful markings or characters indicating the front of the diaper.
- Apply any ointments or creams. Before closing the diaper, use any products your doctor has recommended for rashes. Doing this step after you’ve placed the new diaper under your baby will help prevent you from having to clean ointments off the changing surface.
- Close the new diaper. Pull the front between your child’s legs and up over their stomach. Then pull the diaper tabs open and around to the front, making sure the diaper is snug but not too tight. If you are not using specially cut newborn diapers, fold the diaper down to avoid irritation of the umbilical stump until it falls off. -Roll up the used diaper. Firmly roll the diaper up and wrap the tabs all the way around it. Place the diaper in a bag, diaper bin, or garbage can.
- Clean the changing surface. Use a disinfectant to prevent contamination the next time you use the changing table.
- Wash your and your baby’s hands.
Nine Steps To A Successful Diaper Change
- Entertain Your Baby Before you get to the real work, make a plan to keep your baby entertained during the diaper change. Try hanging a mobile above their changing area or even playing a little hiding game while getting the job done: be silly and put the diaper on your head or hide it in your shirt or behind your back. If you need to keep a wiggly baby occupied, put an interesting toy in their hands. This may also help if your little one has a habit of reaching down toward their diaper while you’re trying to change them. Take advantage of the time you have during a diaper change to bond and make eye contact with your baby. Talk to them or sing a song — you can even make up your own diaper changing song if you’re feeling creative! You can also make diaper changing educational by narrating to them what you’re doing, telling them what to expect (“This is wipe is going to be cold!”), or counting their feet and toes.
- Undo The Diaper All right, are you ready? Take a few breaths and undo the tape holding the diaper together. Fold the front of the diaper down, and then progress through the next five steps as quickly, but safely, as possible. Here we go!
- Grasp Your Baby By The Ankles With One Hand The simplest way to get the diaper out from under your baby’s backside is to cross their legs at the ankles, and then grab them both — gently! — with your left hand (or your right hand if you’re a lefty).
- Lift Your Baby’s Bottom And Remove The Dirty Diaper Lift your baby’s bottom just enough to slide the dirty diaper from under their back. Just a few inches is enough to get your baby off the diaper and to give you easy access for cleaning. When the dirty diaper is out from under your baby, keep pulling up on their ankles and set the dirty diaper aside. Leave the diaper open for a few moments while you complete the next step. Keep those ankles up!
- Wipe From Front To Back At this point, diaper wipes like Mustela’s Cleansing Wipes (Delicately Fragranced) will be your best friend. With a wipe in hand, wipe your baby’s diaper area from front to back (or top to bottom, depending on how you look at it).
- Keep in mind that one wipe might not be enough. It’s okay to use as many as you need to get the job done. When you first started changing diapers, you may have used handfuls at a time. That’s okay. Just keep practicing (as if you had a choice) and you’ll get better.
- When your baby is nearing potty-training age, you’ll be so adept at the process, you’ll be able to use one or two wipes for the whole thing.
- When you’re finished with the dirty wipes, place them inside the open dirty diaper so you can later discard everything at once.
- Now that your baby’s bottom is clean, it’s time to apply a diaper change cleanser, like Mustela’s Liniment, to keep your baby’s skin soft and smooth. Mustela’s Liniment provides skin-soothing nutrients and creates a moisture barrier on your baby’s skin that keeps it hydrated and healthy all day long.
Expert Diaper-Changing Tips for New Parents
Always Be Prepared for a Diaper Change
Every new parent has experienced it: leaving the house without enough diapers. If you think the baby might need to be changed once, pack backups. And backups for the backups.. As you’ll soon see, kids have a habit of hitting pause on their bathroom breaks and resuming the, ahem, action right when a new diaper’s halfway on. You’ll surely need more diapers than anticipated, and better safe than sorry.
Consider Diapers Multi-Purpose Tools
During diaper changes, diapers can take on more roles than waste-capturing vessels. When changing a baby’s diaper, a clean diaper should be placed underneath the baby’s backside, like a pad, before the dirty diaper straps are loosened. Once the dirty diaper is unstrapped, wipe down with the front end in order to get any excess poop out of the way before getting into the wipes. And with boys, while disposing of a dirty diaper, use the clean one to cover up the urethra in order to avoid an unwanted shower.
Don’t Freak Out About Funky Looking Poop
Baby poop can give you clues to what is going on inside your child. And while it’s typically something to note, changes in poop aren’t typically anything to freak out about. “Anytime you introduce kids to a new food, it can take the body time to get used to it. You might see some natural variations in different colors or consistency,” says Dr. Jana.
“If you get bright red blood, sometimes it’s not even coming from in the intestinal tract,” she continues. “Your baby could have a little cut in the skin as a result of constipated hard poop. It could also mean there’s some allergic reaction to a food that irritates the intestinal lining. That’s where you might also potentially see some blood so anytime you see it, it’s obviously worth bringing up, but it’s doesn’t mean you have to panic.”
Combat Diaper Rash Through Prevention
Diaper rash is an inevitability that starts with irritation, peaks with screaming, and promises to be repeated often. Controlling it is all about controlling moisture. If a baby’s wet, change them. Clean the area with water, then dab it dry.
Dr. Jana notes that most diaper rashes typically have one of two causes. “One is irritation of the skin, and that can be from sitting in a bowel movement for too long,” she says. “Or not being changed frequently enough cause a rash due to an infection. Like with a yeast infection diaper rash, since yeast lives in the intestinal tract and can cause problems if there is broken skin in the diaper area.”
Once a rash breaks out, it can be tough to get under control so keeping it from starting is worth the effort.
Develop a Diaper Change Routine
It’s also important to remember the unfortunate fact that poop can get everywhere, not just the diaper. But having a solid routine — or at least a mental checklist — can help with the cleanup.
First, always wipe front to back, taking extra care with baby girls to avoid wiping in the wrong direction. If the baby has skin folds, make sure no waste has gotten in there. With boys, clean under the scrotum and penis.
Wipe once to ensure that each area is clean, and repeat as necessary. Start with the side and outside of the area, and If there’s poop in the inner labia, you want to do that last. And in order to keep from pushing waste into skin folds, wipe gently to avoid pushing waste into hard-to-clean areas due to excess pressure.
Understand Diaper Size Is Only a Guideline
Diaper sizes aren’t gospel. They’re recommendations. Parents aren’t beholden to them. The right size diaper for a baby is, simply put, the diaper that fits. The wrong size will either be too snug or allow waste to escape. Nothing good will come from a saggy diaper. As a general rule, you want it to be just snug enough that you can get a finger between the diaper and the baby.
Respect the Diaper Ruffles
Choosing the right diaper material is a contentious issue but one thing is certain: disposable diapers have cloth diapers beat when it comes to bells and whistles. The most important component isn’t the little blue line that indicates wetness, it’s the ruffles, which might as well be floodgates. Paying attention to them is the key to avoiding catastrophe.
Most disposable diapers have an inner ruffle and an outer ruffle, but they aren’t just for show. Making sure that the outer ruffle is not tucked in allows it to serve its purpose as an extra barrier for blowouts. And for new parents who haven’t heard the term blowout yet, well … look, make sure that ruffle isn’t tucked in.
Don’t Totally Block Out the Smell
Diaper changes are a good opportunity to make sure your baby is sufficiently hydrated, though as diaper science continues to improve you may need to get clues from multiple senses to pick up whether or not your baby is staying hydrated. “There can be urine in the diaper and you just don’t know it, because the diaper is really absorbent and doing its job,” says Dr. Jana. “But the thing that people don’t often think about is that really concentrated urine starts to smell stronger, which could be a sign of some dehydration.”
Adopt New Diaper-Changing Tactics When Necessary
Ideally, parents are changing their baby’s diapers on a clean, dry surface complete with safety straps. But babies don’t always get the memo. Every parent will eventually find themselves in a situation where they’re changing a baby’s diaper in a less-than-ideal place, like a restaurant bathroom with no changing table, or outdoors. Figuring out how to change your baby’s diaper in those situations can feel like playing with fire, but there are a few tips to make things easier.
If possible, get the kid to the car and put them in the trunk. That may not sound like the best plan, but the trunk is also the flattest area of a car, and the walls work as boundaries. Barring automotive availability, find the flattest, driest place available for a diaper change. If it’s elevated, keep a hand on the baby at all times for safety. And if there’s no changing pad or blanket around, utilize what’s easily accessible nearby.
Use Diaper-Changing Time to Bond With Newborns
A diaper change can be frustrating, but it’s also a time for bonding. Consider it a captive-audience meeting. During diaper changes, parents can practice eye contact, sing songs, tickle tummies, talk, and play. Until the kid is old enough to begin trying to escape, it’s actually kind of a special time, even if there’s poop involved, and helps firm up the bond between a newborn and a new parent. Take the silver lining of this arduous chore and run with it.
Step 1: Place your baby on a clean, soft, safe surface
A changing table, a dresser equipped with a changing pad, a crib or a bed (preferably protected with a towel or waterproof pad) all work. Spread a protective cloth on the surface if you’re anywhere but your own changing table. No matter where you’re changing diapers, make sure to keep one hand on the baby at all times, even before your little one has started rolling over. Strapped-in babies also should remain with arm’s reach.
Step 2: Open up the diaper and clean your baby
Unfasten the diaper and survey the scene, then follow the same basic rules for both boys and girls: For a wet diaper: Fold the dirty diaper underneath the baby (so the clean, outer side is now under his or her bottom) and wipe the area. For a poopy diaper: Wipe as much as possible with the diaper itself, then fold it underneath, as above. Lift the legs and clean baby’s front well with warm water or wipes, being sure to get into all the creases. Then lift both legs and clean baby’s bottom thoroughly. Once baby’s diaper area is clean, slip the soiled diaper out and put a fresh one under baby before releasing baby’s legs. Pat baby dry before putting on the clean diaper or any diaper rash creams. If the umbilical cord is still attached and you aren’t using special newborn diapers, fold the diaper down to expose the area to air and avoid getting it wet. Fasten it tightly to avoid leaks, but not so tightly that irritation occurs (you’ll notice the telltale red marks during the next diaper change). For disposables, the tabs go in the back, underneath baby, and then wrap around to front. A few more tips to follow when changing baby’s diaper: -Girls need to be wiped from front to back, to avoid getting poop in the vaginal area. There is no need to open the labia and clean inside (even if you see a white discharge). -Boys may offer an unwanted surprise in the form of a fountain of pee, so keep his penis covered with a clean diaper or cloth whenever he’s undressed. Expect erections sometimes (they’re perfectly normal), and don’t be afraid of gently cleaning around the penis and scrotum. When you do put his new diaper on, point his penis down to minimize leaks (and soaked shirts).
Step 3: Throw out the dirty diaper
For disposables, wrap the diaper into a ball, using the tab fasteners to secure. Then throw away in your diaper pail, plastic bag or trash can (but never flush down the toilet). When you’re away from home, carry a stash of plastic bags. Place the dirty diaper inside and tie the bag before tossing it into the trash. Put cloth diapers into a bucket with a tight-fitting lid ,or a vinyl bag if you’re out, until laundry day.
Step 4: Dress baby
Now that you’re done, change baby’s clothes and/or sheets as needed (and it will probably be needed, quite often!) or re-dress him.
Step 5: Wash your hands again
Finish by washing your hands again (use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available).
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