No matter which you decide to use — cloth or disposable — changing diapers is a dirty job. Your bundle of joy will soil diapers about 10 times a day, or about 70 times a week during the first few months of life.
So, follow these diapering dos and don’ts to minimize the mess and keep baby smiling … at least until it’s time to change her again.
6 Dos of diapering
- Change your baby’s diaper frequently, and as soon as possible after bowel movements.
- Have a permanent diaper changing station at home to avoid the spread of germs.
- Apply ointment to prevent or heal a rash, but don’t use baby powder, which can be harmful if inhaled.
- Wipe front to back on your baby girl to prevent urinary tract infections.
- Point your baby boy’s penis downward in the diaper to prevent leaks around the waistline.
- Clean cloth diapers in dye- and fragrance-free detergents.
5 Dont’s of diapering
- Don’t leave your baby unattended on the changing table.
- Don’t use perfumed wipes or diapers. The chemicals can irritate your baby’s bottom.
- Don’t use soap, which can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin.
- Don’t put the diaper on a damp bottom, such as immediately after a bath or cleaning. It can trap moisture and cause diaper rash.
- Don’t put the diaper on so tight that it chafes your baby or leaves marks. Leave a little breathing room.
(c) 2016. Article adapted from The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth(R). Used under license.