Surviving the first week of Diaper Changing

I heard a story about a young couple who did not change the diaper of their new born for a few days because they did not know how to do it.

My son is a breastfed baby. I chance his diapers at least 10-11 times a day. He is now about 5 months, so I would have changed about 1650 diapers so far. Wow! I better start potty training for him soon otherwise it will cost me a bomb.

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Here are my personal experiences on changing diapers.
  1. Get everything you need ready before you start: fresh diaper, wipes, diaper cream, cotton wool, container of water and even a fresh set of clothes if you have a boy as they always pee on their clothes when you are changing them.

    I prefer wiping my son’s bottom with cotton and warm plain water then wipe it as it is more economical and there will be fewer chemicals on his skin.

  2. Find yourself a nice, flat place to do the daily chore.

    Changing tables - or any other sturdy table or even beds - are kind to the back. Some changing tables come with straps for securing the baby; never leave your baby unattended. The floor is probably the safest spot, as there is no danger of falling from height, but it can be hard on the back.

    I bought a changing table that subsequently became a white elephant as I realised that my son preferred to be changed on the floor.

  3. Put the baby face up on the changing surface. Some babies are nonchalant when it comes to changing diapers, some will struggle and put up a fight. If your baby belongs to the second category, hang a mobile toy above him to provide distraction for you to do what every mother needs to do.

    My son belongs to the second category and I realised that he became calmer if he could see my face during the diaper change.

  4. Open a clean diaper and place it beneath the baby. Then, unfasten the old one, hold the baby's bottom up by lifting the ankles, and pull the dirty diaper out. Be sure to cover immediately the baby's genitals with a towel or diaper, as the sudden rush of air will cause baby to pee especially with boys.

    My son loves to pee while being changed so if I am not quick enough I might have to change my clothes as well.

  5. Clean the bottom and genitals well -- if there's a clean spot on the old diaper, use that to make a first pass. If it is a baby girl, wipe from front to back to minimize the possibility of infection-causing bacteria getting into the vagina. For boys, clean under the scrotum.

  6. Put on diaper rash cream. Don’t skim on diaper cream. The trick to prevent nappy rash is to put enough barrier cream. Remember to put on the folds as well.

    Never use talcum powder because it is a potential carcinogen and can damage lungs. This is clearly spelled out on the Johnson’s and Johnson’s warning label. It was once suggested that cornstarch powder was better but recent reports show that cornstarch causes fungal infection.

    I use plenty of diaper cream on my son’s bottom. Mustela barrier cream is the best in my view as it has a thick texture and only a small amount is required compared to some other brands.

  7. Slide a clean diaper under the baby and fold down the front edge so it doesn't rub against the cord stump. If the baby pees or poops into the new, clean diaper, start all over again. Now you know why I need as much as 10 diapers a day.

    As my son is breastfed, he poos very frequently and very often on a new diaper.

  8. Fasten the diaper snuggly but still loose enough so it doesn't pinch the skin.

    If you don’t do this step well, the diaper will leak. Warning!

  9. Get the baby dressed. Changing diapers is an acquired skill. Practice makes perfect and soon you can change your baby’s diaper with your eyes closed, at home, at supermarkets and even in the backseat of your car. And this is something you must learn to do at all cost.

Contributed by Jenny Wee, a first time parent.

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