Changing diapers is right up there next to late-night snuggles and lots of cute tiny clothes on the list of guarantees with having a baby. Not only is it a guarantee, but it’s also something that you’ll find yourself doing multiple times daily!
In fact, according to New Kids-Center, “Newborns under a month old need to have at least six or more wet diapers every day. They usually have about three to four bowel movements a day. Parents often change at least ten soiled or wet diapers daily during the first month.”
Looking for some guidance in the world of newborn diapering? Don’t stress it, mama! Check out our ultimate guide to newborn diapering.
Essential Supplies for Diapers Changes
So what are the must-haves for getting the job done? There are so many gadgets and accessories out there aimed at making diaper changes easier and more comfortable, but they aren’t necessarily essential (have you ever seen a wipe warmer? Or a peepee teepee? People have really thought of everything)
While these items can be fun, they can also be a lot to take in. Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed. To effectively change your baby’s diaper, you’ll need the following:
Diapers: The star of the show! While there are some things you can save money on by opting for no-name brands, diapers are one thing we recommend splurging on. Brands like Huggies and Pampers are reliable and durable, and cloth diapers are a great way to go, as well.
Wipes: It may take one wipe; it may take a dozen. However many wipes you end up using, you want to make sure you have a package nearby for easy access during diaper changes.
Ointments and Creams: Things like eczema and diaper rash are bound to happen, so make sure you have the proper ointments and creams on hand to tend to those during diaper changes properly. (Keep in mind that it might take some trial and error to find the creams that are going to work best for your baby. If one doesn’t work, don’t get discouraged and try another!)
Diaper Changing Pad: Whether you’re at home or on the go, having a soft, comfortable place to change your little one’s diaper is going to be a must. A diaper changing pad at home and a portable diaper changing pad to keep in the diaper pad for changes on the go are going to be a must.
Diaper Pail: No one wants a stinky nursery, and a diaper pail is the best way to go with keeping the smell of those diapers contained. For diaper changes on the go, just keep a few gallon zip lock bags on hand to keep everything at bay until you find a trash can.
Backup Outfit: No matter how quick you are to change your baby’s diaper, blowouts still happen, and when they do, you’re going to want an extra outfit nearby. Make sure you have one in your diaper bag and at any diaper changing station in your house.
How to Change Your Baby’s Diaper
If you’ve never changed a diaper before, it can feel like an overwhelming task. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out:
- Always wash your hands first!
- Make sure you have everything you need: minimum a fresh diaper and wipes, but when possible, have ointment and a change of clothes in case of a blowout.
- Lay baby flat on her back with the clean diaper open underneath your baby (just in case she pees or poops mid-change!)
- Open the tabs on the diaper your baby is wearing; you’ll find these on both the left and right sides on the front of your baby’s diaper.
- Wipe baby clean. If you’re changing a baby girl’s diaper, be sure to wipe front to back. This prevents infections.
- Throw the dirty diaper and used wipes away. You can do this by putting all the used wipes inside the dirty diaper, rolling it up from the front side to the back, and then securing it with the diaper tabs. This keeps everything clean and contained!
- Use any creams or ointments you may see necessary.
- Close the new diaper. Pull the front up over your baby’s tummy and pull the tabs out the back. Adhere them to the front of the diaper, one on the left and one on the right. They should be snug but not too tight.
- Wash your hands and kiss your baby – you are done changing the diaper!
How often should I change my baby’s diaper?
As often as you notice your baby has soiled their diaper is how often you should be changing them. Here’s a tip: some diaper brands feature a yellow line in the middle. This yellow line turns blue when your baby has peed or pooped in the diaper. That means it’s time to grab your stuff and change that diaper!
Like we said earlier, your baby is likely to have around ten diaper changes per day. There may even be times when they soiled themselves as soon as you’ve finished putting the tabs on a fresh diaper. As crazy as it might feel (diapers do cost around $0.30 each after all) when that happens, it’s time to put them back on the diaper changing pad and change it out for another clean diaper.
How many diapers do I need for my baby’s first year?
According to Healthline, “…a baby can go through about 3,000 disposable (diapers) in their first year alone.”
Keep in mind that you’re looking at a variety of different diaper sizes, and they may not stay in one size for long! While it may be tempting to go out and buy five big boxes of every diaper size and just be done with it, we recommend purchasing a little at a time.
For example, your baby is likely to grow out of the newborn size relatively quickly. One baby may be in newborn diapers for a week; another may be in them for a month. And let me tell you, you don’t want to find yourself in a long line at the store with your newborn to return the four boxes of newborn size diapers that they can’t wear anymore. Start with one package and go from there.
Many parents wonder how to tell what size diapers their baby needs. Research the diaper brand you use and see what the weight is on the different diaper sizes: typically, it will go as follows:
- Preemie: under six pounds
- Newborn: up to 10 pounds
- Size One: 8-14 pounds
- Size Two: 12 to 18 pounds
- Size Three: 16 to 28 pounds
- Size Four: 22 to 37 pounds
- Size Five: Over 27 pounds
- Size Six: Over 35 pounds
The older your baby gets, the longer they’ll stay in a given size. While you may only buy one box of newborn diapers, you could be buying size four diapers for months before they grow into a size five! \You’ll notice that as you get into the larger sizes, starting at size three, there is some overlap. This just gives you some freedom between sizes, making it easier to transition from one to the other.
Now, of course, there is always the option to go with cloth diapering. We get it! The cost of disposable diapers can feel staggering, and cloth diapering is a more cost-effective and eco-friendly way to go. If this is something that speaks to you, cloth diapering could be the perfect direction to take.
Instead of the estimated $2,000-3,000 a year that it would take to use disposable diapers, with cloth diapers, you’re only looking at about $800-1,000 a year. They’re an excellent option for babies that have sensitive skin, and they’re adjustable, so you could use the same cloth diaper for an extended period, where you would be transitioning through different diaper sizes for disposable diapers.
However, you also have to consider the fact that this requires some unsavory cleaning. You will find yourself dumping poop out and doing some deep cleaning to make them reusable. On top of that, they aren’t necessarily as absorbent as disposable diapers.
There are pros and cons to both cloth diapers and disposable diapers, and it all comes down to you and your personal preferences. Go with the option that is going to be best for you and your little one!
The Best For Your Baby
Changing diapers is an inevitable part of parenthood, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be overwhelming. Gather up all the supplies you’ll need, whether that’s investing in a diaper pail or grabbing some cloth diapers, and create a diapering experience that is functional for both you and your baby.