Well, whoever is awake and able should be the answer. Contrary to popular belief, diaper duty is not a mum’s job. Thankfully, the world no longer thinks dads are immune to taking care of babies. While there are men who embrace co-parenting, there are still a few who’ll come up with any excuse to avoid all the “mummy work” especially diaper duty.
Changing a baby’s diaper, whether a boy or a girl, is perfectly fine for both parents to do. In many cases, mums need help while recovering from child birth and changing diapers is one area where they will need dad’s expertise. So dads need to strap on their diaper gloves (literally).
To avoid the excuse that it’s a mum’s job and dads don’t know what to do when it comes to changing a baby’s diaper; this easy guide by Webmd on “How to change diapers and avoid diaper rash” should do the trick.
How to change diapers
Firstly, get your supplies. Always make sure you have one hand on your baby. Remove dirty diapers and wipe baby’s bottom from front to back then wear clean diapers for baby. Make sure you can place 2 fingers between the diaper and baby’s waist. With a newborn, fold the top of the diaper down so that the umbilical stump is exposed.
Make sure the diaper fits well around your baby’s leg – snug, but not too tight.
If (s)he’s having a lot of leaks, it may be time to go up or back down a diaper size.
Diaper Rash: Prevention and Treatment
Allergic reactions, leaving a dirty diaper on too long, and changes in a baby’s poop when (s)he switches to solid foods may lead to diaper rash.
To prevent it:
- Change diaper as soon as possible after it gets dirty.
- Let baby’s bottom air dry during a change, and leave the diaper off for a while, if you can.
- Use unscented, mild soap and a warm washcloth to clean her during a diaper change. Perfume and deodorant soaps can be harsh on baby’s skin.
- If you use baby wipes, choose those that are free of perfume, alcohol, and chemicals.
- When you wash cloth diapers (and baby clothes), avoid using fabric softeners, antistatic products, and perfumed detergent. These can also cause rashes.
- Avoid any foods that seem to make her rash worse.
Diaper rash treatment:
See your peadiatrician
Stopping Diaper Leaks
Baby diapers can leak for all sorts of reasons – the size, the brand, or how you put them on. Some common causes of leaks and how to prevent them:
1. If your baby is 2 weeks old or younger, he probably still has his umbilical cord stump, which diapers don’t lie over smoothly. Be sure that when you put a diaper on, it fits snuggly below the stump.
2. The diaper may be too big or too small. Try going up a size – or down, if the diaper is too loose.
3. The diaper may be the right size, but fastened too loosely. Try closing it tighter.
4. A baby boy’s diaper sometimes leaks if his penis is pointing upward inside of it. Try directing the penis downward as you put in his diaper.
5. If your baby is between sizes, the solution is time. Wait a few weeks, and then try the next size up.
Prevent Pin Sticks With Cloth Diapers
Do you want to use cloth diapers, but worry about the pins? To pin safely:
- Buy diaper pins that are stainless steel and have plastic protective heads that lock, so they won’t pop open as your baby moves around.
- Keep your hand between her skin and the pin during diapering, so you won’t stick her.
- Look into buying disposable diaper tape for cloth diapers. You can also try Velcro-fasten diaper covers or cloth diapers fitted with snaps or other baby-safe fasteners.
Diapering a Busy Baby
As babies get older and more active, some squirm, wiggle, or even kick and scream when you change their diapers. What can you do about it?
First, understand that it’s probably just a phase your little one is going through, and she’ll grow out of it. Until then, a few parental pointers:
1. Ignore it. For some children, wiggling is a power play. For others, it becomes a game. In both cases, your reaction is key. If you laugh, you’ve given your baby a powerful reward: Your attention! Keep an even temper and make it seem like the squirming is no big deal.
2. Distract her. Some parents sing to a baby, hang mobiles over the changing area, or give her a new and interesting object during changing time to hold her attention.
3. Never leave a baby unattended on a changing table. This goes for any baby – wiggly or not. If you’re reaching for supplies with one hand, keep your other hand on her.
4. Reel in Roaming Hands During Diapering
Babies are interested in everything, and changing time is no different. But what can you do to keep your child’s exploring hands out of the diaper area during changes?
First, remember that this exploration is normal and that babies are interested in all parts of their bodies, especially the parts they don’t get access to very often. But that doesn’t help when there’s a diaper full of poop, or you’re in a rush to get out the door.
These tips may help:
- Don’t scold your baby for her curiosity. It won’t work, and it can send messages of shame about something that’s completely normal.
- Offer distractions such as singing, mobiles, or a rarely seen toy, preferably one that occupies both hands.
Have a diapering question we didn’t cover? Put your head together with family, friends, and your child’s pediatrician. They know you and your baby best – and chances are good they’ve been where you are now.