All About Diapering
You will probably decide whether cloth diapers should be used or disposable before bringing your baby home. Whatever you use, your diapers will pack diapers about 10 times a day or about 70 times a week.
Before diapering the baby, make sure you have all the supplies on hand so that you do not have to have the baby repacked on the changing table. You will need:
- a clean diaper
- fasteners (if cloth prefold diapers are used)
- diaper ointment
- diaper wipes (or a container of warm water and a clean washcloth or cotton balls)
After each emptying or if the nappy is wet, place the baby on its back and remove the dirty nappy. Use water, cotton swabs, and a washcloth or napkin to gently clean your baby's genital area. Be careful when removing a baby's diaper, as exposure to the air may force it to make urine. When cleaning a girl, scrub the bottom from the front to the back to prevent urinary tract infection (UTI). Apply ointment to prevent or treat the rash. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after the change.
Diaper rash is a common problem. The rash is usually red and bumpy and disappears in a few days with warm baths, a little cream for diapers and time to remove the diaper. Most rashes occur because the baby's skin is sensitive and becomes irritating due to the damp diaper or poppy.
To prevent or heal diaper rash, try these tips:
- Change your baby's diaper often, and as soon as possible after bowel movements.
- Gently clean the area with mild soap and water (napkins can sometimes be fun), then apply a very thick layer of diaper rash or cream. Zinc oxide creams are best because they protect against moisture.
- If you use cloth diapers, wash them in dye- and fragrance-free detergents.
- Let the baby go without a diaper for part of the day. This gives the skin a chance to air out.
If the diaper rash lasts more than 3 days or appears to be getting worse, call a doctor - who may need a prescription fungal infection.
You should give your baby a sponge bath until:
- the umbilical cord falls off and the navel heals completely (1–4 weeks)
- the circumcision heals (1–2 weeks)
A bath two or three times a week in the first year is fine. More frequent bathing may dry the skin.
Have these items ready before bathing your baby:
- a soft, clean washcloth
- mild, unscented baby soap and shampoo
- a soft brush to stimulate the baby's scalp
- towels or blankets
- a clean diaper
- clean clothes
Sponge baths. For a sponge bath, choose a safe, level surface (such as a changing table, floor or counter) in a warm room. Fill the sink if it is nearby or the bowl with hot (not hot!) Water. Discard your baby and wrap him in a towel. Wipe the baby's eyes with a damp cloth (or clean cotton wool) only with water, starting with one eye and rubbing from the inner corner to the outer. Use a clean corner of a washcloth or other cotton wool to clean the other eye. Clean the baby's nose and ears with a damp damp cloth. Then soak the cloth again and gently wash his face with a little soap and let it dry.
Then use a baby shampoo to create a lather and gently wash and rinse the baby's head. Gently wash the rest of the baby with a damp, soapy cloth, paying particular attention to the wounds under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck and in the genital area. Once these areas are washed, make sure they are dry, then wrap the diaper and treat your baby.
In addition to the supplies listed above, add:
- baby bath with 2 or 3 inches warm - not hot! - water (to test the temperature of the water, feel the water inside the elbow or in the wrist). A baby bath is a plastic bath that fits into the bath tub; it is a better size for children and makes swimming easier.
Move your child away and then immediately put him in the water, in a warm room so you don't have to shake. Make sure that the water in the tub is no more than 2 or 3 inches deep and that the water no longer flows into the tub. Support the head with one hand and first hang the other child in the legs. To put it mildly, slowly lower your baby's chest into the tub.
Use a towel to wash the face and hair. Gently massage the baby's scalp with your finger or a soft hairbrush, including the area above the fontanelles (soft spots) at the top of the head. When rinsing the soap or shampoo from the child's head, place your hand on top so that the foam is immersed inside and the soap does not get into the eyes. Gently wash the rest of the baby's body with water and a small amount of soap.
During the bath, regularly pour warm water on the baby's body to keep it cool. Immediately after the bath, wrap the baby in a towel and cover his head. Hooded baby towels are great for keeping a freshly washed baby warm.