Diaper discipline or diaper changing routine should be established as soon as possible because wet and soiled diapers irritate the baby’s delicate skin and increase the risk of diaper rash. Babies need a diaper change 8 to 10 times a day which would not be a problem if they would not be squirming, kicking and screaming. However, it is necessary to change those dirty diapers as often as necessary. Diaper changing may seem a complicated thing at first but the good news is that you will become a master in a very short period of time. You just need to hold out those first days and create a diaper discipline which will make the whole thing less unpleasant experience for both of you.
First of all, you need to decide between disposable and cloth diapers which have become increasingly popular in the recent years. They are not as convenient as disposables but some parents believe that they are more friendly to the skin and less likely to cause diaper rash. However, babies who wear cloth diapers can get diaper rash too. In addition, cloth diapers do not absorb moisture particularly well and are not necessarily less expensive because they require frequent laundering. Which type of diapers to choose is therefore completely up to you and your personal preferences. Now, let’s get to the “messy business“.
It is nearly impossible to keep babies clean and dry all the time because they pee and poo a lot. Moisture does not seem to bother them particularly, especially if wearing disposable diapers that absorb moisture very well. However, a wet diaper should be changed before it becomes saturated. Check the diaper every couple of hours for moisture and if you think that it needs to be changed, it probably does. Soiled diapers, on the other hand, should be changed as soon as possible. If you are smelling something, check the diaper and get all the necessary supplies before you remove the diaper because the baby should be never left alone on the changing table not even for one second. Make sure that you have at hand a clean diaper, diaper pad, baby wipes or a container with warm water and a clean washcloth/cotton balls, fasteners if using cloth diapers, diaper cream for treatment and prevention of diaper rash, a change clothing if necessary, and some sort of distraction to keep your baby’s occupied and enable you to do what you have to do without the screaming and kicking. The rest is really a routine just like you were taught at childbirth classes.
Diapers should be always well tightened to prevent leaking but they should not be tightened too close because rubbing of the diapers against the skin is one of the main causes of diaper rash. Also, make sure that the diapers are not too small for your baby. If you notice red marks from the diapers and cannot make them any looser, you need to get a larger size regardless of your baby’s age.