How to Change a Newborn Baby’s Diaper
- April 3, 2023
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hi everyone. I’m Melissa from Cloudmom and I’m here to walk you through how to change your newborn baby’s diaper. In my video and this post, I’ll be covering some of the issues new parents ask themselves when it comes to diaper changes. Then, I’ll walk you through how to change your baby’s diaper step-by-step.
How Often Should you Change a Newborn Diaper?
When bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital, most new parents ask themselves: how often should a baby’s diaper be changed? The answer depends upon how old your baby is. During the first days of life, your newborn baby should have around three wet diapers a day. After that, your baby should have about six wet diapers. If your baby has fewer than six diapers, check with your doctor since they might be dehydrated. Change your baby’s diaper when it is wet because wearing a wet diaper can irritate your baby’s skin, causing an uncomfortable diaper rash.
How to Tell if your Baby Needs a Diaper Change
If you are unsure as to whether your baby needs a diaper change, wash your hands, put your baby down on the changing table (or a clean, secure surface), and open up the diaper and take a look at it. If the diaper is soiled, change it. If it is wet (which is sometimes hard to tell when clothes are on but you will notice when looking at it that it looks puffier and fuller), change it. If the diaper looks dry and thin, as if you just put it on, skip the diaper change. It all depends on what you find when you open the diaper up! Frequent diaper changes can be burdensome and expensive but you do not want your baby spending time in a soiled, soggy diaper since the dampness will cause a rash and make your baby uncomfortable.
Diaper Changing Essentials
Let’s walk through the essentials you’ll need for your “diaper changing station,” so to speak. A diaper changing station is an area where you set up shop with all of your diapering essentials, including a changing pad, a changing pad cover, disposable diaper changing pads to lie over the cover (which cuts down on laundry), wipes (or gauze or cotton balls with water), diaper creams and ointments, and diapers. Buy in bulk and stack your diapers in a handy place since your baby will be going through them quickly.
Baby Changing Table
In order to keep your diaper changing essentials organized, consider investing in a baby changing table. In addition to providing a safe, secure place for you to change your baby, a changing table (whether portable or not) offers a great place to organize all of your diapering essentials. Baby changing tables come in a wide array of styles and answer to different needs. Opt for a changing table with drawers or open shelves. The best portable changing tables are sturdy, spacious and easy to pack up and relocate. In the storage units of the baby changing table, place diaper creams and ointments, wipes (or gauze and cotton balls plus bowls for water), changing pad covers, protective changing pads (which can place over your covers), and any other necessities.
If space is precious, and your baby changing table offers this possibility, use your changing table to store onesies, pajamas, and your baby’s other clothing essentials, such as hats, socks, shirts, sweaters, pants, and dresses. I have organized all of these items on the bottom shelf of my changing table and used open baskets underneath to store even more. Take a look at the market and opt for what works for your household, budget and needs.
Why Buy a Portable Changing Table?
Like a Pack ‘N Play that can be moved easily from room to room, or packed up and transported for overnight stays, a portable changing table brings convenience to busy parents who need to be able to tend to their baby from closeby. This modern baby changing table works like any other: it requires a changing table pad cover for the top, and offers a way to organize your diapering essentials. In fact, the best portable changing tables offer plenty of storage. Otherwise, you’ll be running back and forth to your baby’s room before diaper changes anyway!
Baby Changing Table Pad
On top of your baby’s changing table, place a baby changing table pad, which functions like a mattress, offering a comfortable place for your baby to rest while you change them. The best baby changing pads fit nicely on your changing table and are flat and comfortable for your baby to lie upon. Velcro straps will permit the baby changing table pad to remain securely fixed to your table. Some baby changing tables offer a strap that you can place over your baby to prevent them from falling. These straps can be a good idea, but regardless, never leave your baby unattended, especially on a raised surface. Even a very young baby can move and turn, which puts them at risk of a fall.
What is a Baby Changing Table Pad Cover?
Like a fitted sheet, your baby changing table pad cover fits snugly over the baby changing table pad. Invest in a few of these since you’ll need to wash them. On top of this cover, place a disposable baby changing pad. Inexpensive and waterproof, these pads protect your changing table pad covers and cut down on laundry.
Best Baby Wipes for Newborn
After you’ve figured out how to set up your baby changing table station, you’ll need to think about how you’ll clean your baby during diaper changes. This is personal preference and partially a result of the advice you will have received from your doctor.
Organic Baby Wipes
If your baby is prone to rashes or has sensitive skin, consider organic baby wipes that are chemical-free or use gauze or cotton balls with warm water. The best organic baby wipes are absorbent while strong, meaning that it does not take a whole bunch to get through a diaper change. They also lift up easily without obliging your to grab a whole stack at once, which is wasteful.
Diapers for Newborns
Once you’ve figured out your diaper changing station, diapering essentials, and baby changing pad and cover, you’ll want to think about what kind of diapers you will actually use. The best diapers for newborns absorb moisture so as to protect your baby’s diaper area, and attach snugly to prevent leaks. Each brand is different so sample a few to see which works best for you.
Do I Need Organic Baby Diapers
You’re probably asking yourself “Should I buy organic diapers for my baby?” This is largely personal preference. Look at the ingredients and see what you think. In addition to your baby’s comfort and health, consider the environmental effect of the diapers you choose. The best organic diapers for babies share all the features of conventional diapers: they are absorbent, stay on well and don’t leak, and are fabricated from environmentally-friendly substances.
Diaper Rash Cream
The best cream for diaper rashes, in my experience, is a thick, oily, white cream that coats on and tends to lick diaper rashes quickly. I’ve seen this cream work wonders over a few hours or overnight. Vaseline-lick ointments are great for generally keeping the area lubricated. If your baby’s diaper area is not dry nor red or irritated, you can skip the diaper cream. Allowing your baby to air dry before you put on their diaper can help prevent rashes.
Organic Diaper Rash Cream
The best organic diaper rash creams provide great cover, lubrication, and soothing ingredients while eliminating harmful chemicals. Try a variety of brands to see what you prefer.
How to Change a Newborn Baby’s Diaper Step-by-Step
When it comes to how to change a newborn diaper, you want to get really organized because this allows you to get the task done quickly and without unnecessary stress. Here are my steps to changing a diaper:
- Place all diapering essentials within hand’s reach (never leave your baby unattended, especially on a raised surface)
- Wash your hands
- Select a clean, safe surface (I use my changing table with changing pad and cover)
- Lie your baby down, unbutton their clothing, and pull their clothing up high away from the diaper area
- Place your new diaper underneath your old diaper
- Wrap a wipe around your fingers, or dip your gauze pad or cotton ball into warm water
- Unstrap the old diaper and pull the top flap down
- If you are changing a boy, place a piece of gauze or a wipe over their penis (otherwise they will spray on you)
- Clean the top of your baby, wiping from up to down (front to back)
- Hold your baby’s feet with one hand and examine their backside
- If it’s a very poopy diaper, use the old diaper to wipe up the majority of the poop by scraping in a downwards motion and gathering the poop until the old diaper, wrap up and discard the old diaper
- Wipe the bottom side of your baby, getting between all the folds, wiping front to back
- Apply diaper cream, as necessary
- Attach your new diaper, high and tight
- Dress your baby
- Wash your hands again
Hope my video and post helped you guys out and see you back soon on Cloudmom.