Diaper changing can be a daunting task at first but it's really easier than most new moms imagine, and you will soon be a pro.
Key to successful changing is having everything you need at hand: clean diapers, diaper pail with foot pedal or one-hand design, cotton balls and washcloth with lukewarm water or baby wipes, and a soft towel. Having these items close at hand makes for stress-free changing, particularly if you can make changing a positive experience for baby from day one by using this time to bond. Sing and talk to baby in a happy voice throughout the changing and do this consistently. Baby may cry and that is normal, but your voice and attitude will be soothing.
- Use a changing table with safety straps or a changing pad on the floor.
- Lay your baby on his back and unfasten diaper tabs.
- Grasp baby's ankles gently with one hand and lift to raise baby's bottom from the diaper. Use the front of the diaper to wipe away any poop and move the dirty diaper out of baby's reach.
- Keep baby's legs raised while you cleanse baby by wiping front to back (to prevent infection), and pat baby's skin dry with a soft towel.
- Slide the new diaper under baby with tabs on the bottom and pull the front of the diaper up over baby's belly (avoid the umbilical cord stump on newborns), and then match the diaper tabs to the front portion – it should be snug but not too tight.
- Wash cleaning surface and hands, and that's all there is to it!
Tip: With small babies, you may choose to cleanse their bottoms in the sink. It can simplify diaper-changing as long as you have everything you need close at hand and you use common-sense safety precautions.
Baby Fact: Newborns use up to 10 diapers a day.1
1American Academy of Pediatrics, Your Baby’s First Year (New York: Bantam Books 2010) 139