One of the simple realities of having a baby, as you’ve probably already discovered, is that you’re going to change a lot of diapers. Thousands of them, if you do your share. Depending on your technique, your baby’s gender, and a few other factors, you may also get peed on more times than you’d like to remember. The up-side to this is that it will harden you against life’s disgusting moments, most of which will pale in comparison to changing a 20-wipe blowout diaper that went all the way up your baby’s back by the time you discovered it.
Changing diapers is something you will quickly master from experience, but there are some tips worth sharing… things that can help you avoid blowouts, getting peed on, and other diaper change disasters.
Changing a diaper should be a straightforward exercise. You take off the old one, wipe clean, put on the new one, right? Only this can be complicated by lots of things: a squirming baby, a major poopy, an unforeseen shortage in wipes or clean diapers. Here are some basic diapering tips to make sure everything goes smoothly.
- Stock the supplies. Your diaper changing station should have plenty of clean diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, and everything you need within easy reach. I know it’s a chore, but being vigilant about keeping everything restocked pays off. You’ll learn this the hard way if you run out of diapers or wipes during a change.
- New diaper under the old one. Everything in a baby’s diaper, especially at the newborn stage, is fairly liquid. You want a new diaper under the old one to catch anything that could ooze out, and as a landing pad for your baby’s bottom. Getting a bit of “the business” on a new diaper is vastly preferable to a skidmark on the diaper changer cover.
- Flanges out! The number one mistake we made that lead to leaks or blowouts had to do with the flanges — the soft plastic ruffles along the edge of the diaper. These should face out, meaning not tucked in against the baby’s skin. Run your finger under the edge to be sure. Otherwise, the plastic will chafe and (worse) allow leaks.
- As usual, size matters. Putting your baby in the correct-size diaper is best, but if you aren’t sure, go with the smaller diaper. This seems counter-intuitive, I know, but a diaper that’s too big will have gaps around your baby’s legs, and that’s bad news. A diaper that’s a bit too small still fits because the tabs and velcro straps provide enough reach to keep everything covered.
How To Avoid Getting Peed On
Getting peed on while changing diapers really has a way of taking you down a peg in life. There is no up-side to it. The wipe count skyrockets, diapers and clothes have to be changed again, and you feel pretty gross.
The way I see it, there are three strategies to avoid getting peed on:
- Minimize exposure time. The longer your baby’s parts are exposed to cool air, the greater the urge to let loose. Have the new diaper ready, move quickly, and get the area covered as fast as you can.
- Get a wipe warmer. This might seem like an extravagance to most, but I think that warm wipes really do make a difference and reduce your baby’s urge to pee on you. It seems to work better for girls than boys, but either way, it’s worthwhile.
- Get ready to block. If you have a boy, treat every diaper change like a battle. Expect the counterattack, and be ready to block it. Gross? Sure. But it minimizes the splash damage. If you have the new diaper ready, it works well for this.
I have seen, on Pinterest and elsewhere, this little cone-shaped device that’s supposed to prevent a baby boy from peeing on you. After talking to parents who’ve tried them, I think it’s too good to be true. It won’t work any better than a diaper or your own hand.
Handling Diaper Rash
Diaper rashes are common even for the most fervent diaper-changing parents. These things can gross you out, and they can make your baby fairly miserable too. Medically speaking, it’s unusual for a diaper rash to become severe enough that you’d have to go see the pediatrician, but you should take action to resolve it on your own:
- Use a good diaper cream. I personally think the creams work better than gels, and I’ve never found a better ointment than Dr. Smith’s. It’s a bit pricey because it works.
- Change diapers more often. Any time there’s a wet or dirty diaper, it irritates your baby’s skin further. Change whenever you think it’s not dry.
- Avoid overheating the baby. This also seems to exacerbate diaper rash, especially when you have them in heavy pants or a warm car seat. Keep them in cool, loose fitting clothing.
- A bath can help. A nice 10-minute soak in a warm bath (minimum or no soap) followed by patting dry can work wonders, especially right before bed. If you do this, don’t put on the diaper rash ointment… their fresh, clean skin will do better
Buy Diapers in Bulk
Diapers are going to be one of your biggest expenses over the next couple of years. There’s no avoiding this, but you can save a lot of money if you buy them in bulk. We usually shop for the best deal at Sam’s Club or at Amazon.com, both of which offer quick and free shipping. On Amazon the prices get even more competitive if you use Subscribe & Save, which essentially schedules diapers to be shipped to you at regular intervals (you can cancel any time).
|Huggies Diapers on Amazon||Pampers Diapers on Amazon|
When the price drops, we really stock up. What’s nice is that they come right to the door — no loading the big boxes into carts or trunks or anything.