Whether you decide to opt for cloth or disposable diapers, your baby will dirty diapers about 10 times a day, or about 70 times a week.
Prior to putting diaper on your baby, make sure you have everything you need around you, so you won’t have to leave your infant unattended on the changing table. You’ll need:
- a clean diaper
- fasteners (if you use cloth pre-fold diapers)
- diaper ointment
- diaper wipes (or a container of warm water and a clean washcloth or cotton balls)
Every time the diaper is wet or dirty lay down your baby on his or her back and gently remove the dirty diaper. Use the water, cotton balls, and washcloth or the wipes to softly wipe your baby’s genital area clean. When taking off a boy’s diaper, do so carefully because air exposure may trigger him to urinate. When wiping a girl, wipe her genital area motioning upwards from bottom to top in order to avoid a urinary tract infection (UTI). You can prevent your baby from getting rashes or to heal it by applying ointment. Always keep in mind to wash your hands thoroughly after changing a diaper.
Diaper rash is a common concern. Usually, the rash is red and bumpy and will disappear in a few days with warm baths, some diaper cream, and a break from using diapers. Most rashes happen because the baby’s skin is sensitive and becomes irritated due to long exposure to urine and dirt.
To prevent or heal diaper rash, try these tips:
- Change your baby’s diaper frequently, and as soon as possible after every bowel movement.
- Gently wash the baby’s genital area with mild soap and water (wipes can be irritating at times), then apply a very thick layer of diaper rash or “barrier” cream. Creams containing zinc oxide are recommended because they establish a barrier against moisture.
- If you use cloth diapers, laundry them using dye and fragrance-free detergents.
- Allow your baby to take a break from using diapers. This gives the skin a chance to breathe.
If the diaper rash doesn’t disappear for more than 3 days or seems to be getting worse, consult your doctor — it may be a result of a fungal infection that requires a prescription.