How do I change baby's diaper?

In collaboration with Rokiyah Hosen

Relecture professionnelle

Your little wonder has just joined your family. Your family is growing, and new emotions and tasks are being added to your already busy daily routine. Among your new mission as parents, the essential step you'll be performing at least 10 times a day is changing your baby's diaper! We tell you all about it!

Changing a baby's diaper: a step-by-step guide!

Changing a baby's diaper is an essential step in your new life as a young mom and dad. Changing your child will be a moment of apprehension, joy, laughter, tears and worry. What will you find in your little one's diaper? How to put on baby's diaper as safely as an infant care professional?

  1. Wash your hands before changing your baby's diaper!
  2. Make sure you have all the products you need at hand: wipes, cotton pads, diapers, liniment oléo-calcairea change of clothes, washcloths and diapers.
  3. Place baby on the changing table. Make sure baby is lying on a clean towel or underpad.
  4. Once your child is settled, don't take your eyes off him or her, and always keep one hand on him or her to avoid an accident. Your little one could fall off the changing table and hurt himself badly.
  5. Unbutton the bottom of your baby's bodysuit, and pull the fabric up to just above the navel, or up to the chest if the diaper is already full. This way, you'll avoid having to change all your baby's clothes.
  6. Open the diaper using the side fasteners.
  7. Roll the diaper up on itself or fold it over , using the clean part on the front of the diaper to remove and clean as much stool as possible from your baby's bottom.
  8. Wash baby thoroughly with a wet cotton pad soaked in liniment, diaper milk or a washcloth. Don't forget to clean every little fold. You'll avoid a lot of irritation. Never get pee or poo on your baby's genitalia.
  9. Dry your baby'sbottom and reproductive tractthoroughly. Your baby's skin should be dry after every diaper change. Gently pat baby's skin without rubbing, to remove any moisture and risk of redness and diaper rash.
  10. Immediatelyplace a clean diaper under your baby's bottom to prevent pee leaks onto your changing pad. The diaper's Velcro fasteners should be at the back and fold over the front of the diaper.
  11. If necessary,apply diaper cream to relieve your baby's redness and irritation. Use a suitable moisturizing cream.
  12. Close the fasteners on the new diaper , adjusting them to your child's size. Let two fingers pass over the navel. Clear the little wings around the thighs to retain fluids and prevent leaks!
  13. Put baby's clothes on and take him off the changing table. Place him safely on his floor mat, bed or if he walks on the floor!
  14. Close the roomdiaper with the Velcro fasteners and dispose of it in a suitable garbage can.

Mistakes to avoid when changing baby's diaper

When changing your baby's diaper, there are a few mistakes you should avoid to ensure your child's safety and good hygiene. Here's the bible of what not to do:

  • Move away from your child to prevent any risk of falling. Stay close to your child throughout the washing process;
  • Clean your child in any way. Never change a child from the bottom up, always from the anus to the genitals;
  • Keep your baby's bottom moist. Moisture can cause irritation, diaper rash and potentially fungal infections on a newborn's fragile skin;
  • There's no need to undress your baby completely. Your child could catch a cold, fall off the changing table or get upset, making the whole experience unpleasant;
  • If your child suffers from reflux, don't change him immediately after eating, as he could regurgitate;
  • Use a diaper that's too big or too small for your baby. An ill-fitting diaper can be uncomfortable or cause leaks;
  • Use wipes for every diaper change: wipes are very irritating for baby's skin and should be used sparingly;
  • Position your baby's diaper incorrectly: the upper part of the diaper should be pulled up to the navel, and the diaper should lie flat and come up to the lumbar region in the back. Make sure that the tabs on each side of the thighs stick out.

What accessories are useful for changing baby's diaper?

When changing your child's diaper, you need a minimum of equipment to install, clean and dress your baby.

Essential equipment

You'll be changing lots and lots of diapers over the first three years of your little one's life. Make sure you're well equipped! Our essentials :

  • A heavy-duty changing table or surface - one that can support the weight of a baby weighing over 11 kilos;
  • A flat or sloping changing mat for babies with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease);
  • A changing mat cover;
  • Diapers or old towels to store directly in the changing table;
  • A diaper garbage can to avoid disposing of diapers in an ordinary garbage can and having to put up with a strong, unpleasant odor;
  • And don't forget to put spare nappies in the changing table! You never know if your child will stain when changing;

Diapers and hygiene products

Prepare your changing table with products adapted to your child's diaper change:

  • Cotton pads, maxi pads: Choose organic, hypoallergenic cotton pads. Ideally, they should be GOTS or Ecocert certified;
  • Organic liniment or diaper milk;
  • A moisturizing cream to hydrate baby's skin during diaper changes;
  • A diaper cream to treat redness and diaper rash;
  • Saline solution.

Changing a baby's diaper: what are the differences?

Always remember to clean your baby from front to back, without going back and forth with the wipe. Always go from clean to dirty and not the other way round. You don't want faeces, urine or other impurities to travel from the baby's bottom to the genitals.

Don't forget to clean all the little folds of skin, especially those in the groin area. Sometimes, you'll need to clean your baby's back, especially when he's had an overflowing bowel movement. You'll also need to change his clothes.

To change a little girl's diaper properly, clean the labia minora, labia majora and vulva with great care. Always go from the pubis to the rectum. Poor hygiene can lead to fungus and irritation. Avoid cleaning the inside of the vulva, as you could irritate it or remove the vaginal secretions that protect the vagina from bacteria.

For a little boy, be careful not to get a stream of pee when changing. Hold the diaper firmly as you remove it. Wipe the cotton pad over the penis, especially around the testicles/bursa. Do not unhood your child. The foreskin can stick to the glans (phimosis), and you could hurt him. Talk to your doctor or pediatrician.

How do I change the diaper according to the child's age?

Depending on your child's age, you'll change him more or less regularly. You'll do it on a changing table, mattress or bed, and the older he gets, the more mobile he'll be, so you'll end up changing him standing up.

Infant and newborn

A newborn baby needs to be gentle, and as you'll see, it's bound to be difficult to change your child's diaper at first:

  • Open the clean diaper and place it under baby.
  • Don't lift your baby by the feet, but gently turn him onto his side. Fold the front of the diaper over your child's tummy.
  • Fold the edge of the diaper under the navel to avoid rubbing the umbilical cord.
  • Check that the elasticated folds of the diaper are well positioned towards the outside (thighs and elders) to avoid leaks, and make sure that the width of the diaper is well centered on the front and back.

Young children

As your baby grows and his diaper is full, you'll notice that he has other things to do than lie down and wait for you to finish cleaning and changing him.

To make the moment easier, you can change his diaper standing up and use pull-on diapers or training pants if you want to help him potty train. Don't hesitate to involve him in the changing process. Tell him about the steps and what you're doing. You can even flush your child's stools down the toilet to explain that that's where they belong.

When should baby's diaper be changed?

It's important to regularly change your baby's diaper. It should be done at every feed and every time he has a bowel movement. Some people prefer to change their baby's diaper before feeding, others after - it's up to you!

It's up to you, but you should never leave your baby with a dirty bottom. He should be changed at every feeding. Prolonged skin contact with a dirty diaper can lead to irritation and redness, diaper rash and other inconveniences that we want to avoid.

It's also important to wash your baby's genitals and bottom every time you change his or her diaper.

To avoid running out of diapers, we recommend that you estimate how many diapers are needed per day and per month.

How to choose the right diaper size for baby?

To ensure that your child is comfortable in his diapers, neither too tight nor too loose, you need to make sure that the diapers you use are the right size. For choosing the right diaper sizeYou can refer to the size guide chart. Here are also some signs that it's time to change diaper size:

  • If the diaper no longer covers the bottom properly;
  • If you notice red marks on your baby's tummy or thighs;
  • If you can no longer slip two fingers under the diaper's waistband;
  • If you have difficulty closing the diaper adhesives or if they no longer reach the center of the diaper;
  • If you notice that your baby is tugging at the diaper, this indicates that he's uncomfortable.

Diaper leaks: how to avoid them during diaper changes?

If your diapers are overflowingfirst check that you're using the right size diaper. Sometimes a diaper leaks even though it's the right size. This can happen if the diaper is put on the wrong way, either too tightly or too loosely. Also check that the adhesives on the sides are symmetrically positioned and that the cuffs face outwards.

The right size will help stay in the diaper and protect your baby from contact with other areas of the body. As soon as the diaper is full, it's time to change it!

Diaper changing FAQs

Why put baby on his side when changing?

The best way to change your baby is to rotate his pelvis to the side while holding his thigh.

Why does baby cry when being changed?

Your baby may cry when he's being changed for a number of reasons: if he's cold, if the diaper isn't the right size, if the moment you choose to change him isn't the right one, or if the clothes you put on him are too tight.

How can I change my baby without waking him up?

It's best to change your baby before feeding, to avoid waking him up when you change him after feeding. In fact, it's often during or just after a feed that your baby falls asleep.

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