Here's a quick and easy guide on how to change a diaper for new parents, plus tips to master the art of the quick-change—whether you have the calmest baby ever or a romper who hates sitting still.
What You Need to Change a Diaper
- Diapers (cloth or disposable)
- Diapering lotion (or baby wipes)*
- Cotton pads, washcloths or dry wipes
- Change of clothes (blowouts happen!)
- Disposal bag
- Changing pad or changing table
* If you have a newborn, their skin is quite sensitive, so it is critical to keep it dry and to protect it at every diaper change against the acidic pee and waste. The easiest way to do so is to use a oil-based diapering lotion like La Petite Creme organic French diapering lotion instead of water-based baby wipes.
Diaper Basics: The Process
Don't worry if the process takes a little getting used to! You'll have plenty of practice, and your nurses, midwife, or doula can give you some hands-on lessons to get started.
Start by washing your hands and gathering your supplies. All supplies should be within your arm's reach but out of your baby's reach so that you don't have to turn your back on your baby at any point. A clearly organized basket or drawer is a great choice.
Next, gently lay your baby down on their back on the changing table or pad. Once the clothes on their bottoms are out of the way, gently unfasten the diaper tabs. If there's a lot of poop, use the upper part of the diaper to sweep it toward the bottom as you move the diaper away. Remove the diaper by gently grasping your baby's ankles to raise their bottom off the diaper. Don't fret about a blowout if it happens—that's what stain removers and laundry detergent were invented for.
Once you slide the diaper away, place it out of your baby's range in a trash bin or wet bag, ready for a wash.
Next, wipe your baby clean with diapering lotion on a cotton pad or washcloth. If you have a girl, always wipe from front to back to avoid infection.
Next, slide the clean diaper under your baby's bottom, checking to make sure the tabs are correct. At this point, apply any additional cream for healing if your little one’s bum is experiencing a rash. Close the diaper by pulling the front between your baby's legs and over their stomach, then pull the tabs open and over the front, making sure the diaper is snug but not too tight.
Once you've changed clothes (if needed) make sure to wash your hands and your baby's hands and disinfect the changing surface.
The Art of Diaper Changing
Since newborns urinate about twenty times a day for their first few months, you should try to change diapers every two to three hours. If your baby is sleeping, there's no need to wake them for a change especially if you are using a protective cleanser like La Petite Creme which create a barrier between the feces and the skin.
As for knowing when your baby needs a change, the most frequent indicator is smell, though it's less useful for wet diapers. Some diapers have handy wetness indicators, but you can also tell if you feel any dampness, if the underside is sagging, or if the diaper looks or feels bulky.
Go-To Diaper Cream for First Time Parents
The main thing that will tell you that you need to change your diapering routine is the recurring appearance of the dreaded diaper rash. If this happens, check for the most common causes of rash and consult your health provider if the problem persist.
Here at La Petite Creme, we're proud to offer organic diaper care products that are designed to make parents' lives easier and protect their little one’s precious behind. Because we are mothers, and we know too well that diaper rash is… a pain in the butt (pun intended).
Ready to make the switch? Check out our shop to get started.