From a newborn with impossibly sticky poop to a toddler who won’t stay still for more than a few seconds, diaper changing challenges never stop. A single baby will literally need thousands of diaper changes in just the first year. We’ve got you, and your baby’s bottom, covered with 10 diaper hacks to make all those changes just a little bit easier.
photo: Sellers Patton via Flickr
1. Creating a Barrier
A newborn’s first bowel movements are black and tar-like. It’s called meconium and it’s a sticky mess. Right from the very fist diaper change, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to baby’s bottom to create a barrier on the skin. For any that does get stuck on, olive oil on a clean cloth will gently clean it off.
2. Keeping Track
In those early months, you’ll want to know how often baby goes to the bathroom to make sure they are getting enough nutrients. Your pediatrician is probably also going to ask how many diapers baby goes through in a day, so you’re going to want to keep track. Instead of relying on your sleep-deprived brain, try an app like Sleep Tracker, in which you can also record feedings, sleep patterns, and milestones.
3. Sizing Up
Blowouts up the back of the diaper are going to happen. If they start to become a regular occurrence, go up a diaper size. The height and weight guidelines for diapers are merely suggestions, so don’t worry that the diaper will be too big. What you want to check is that the leg openings aren’t loose, otherwise you might get leakage there.
4. Tricks for Receiving Blanket
Chances are you received at least one package of receiving blankets in preparation for your little bundle’s arrival, and chances are you have no idea what to do with all those small, thin blankets. Laying one on top of the changing pad cover makes for a quick clean-up when things get messy. That way you don’t have to worry about constantly washing the changing-pad cover. Also, stash one in the diaper bag for on-the-go changes in your car or public changing stations.
5. Emergency Diapers
Speaking of diaper bags, there will come a time when you run out of the house and completely forget to grab yours. Or you look into the bag and realize you forgot to restock diapers! To avert disaster, keep a diaper or two and a travel-size pack of wipes in your glove compartment for such an occasion. Check your stash occasionally to make sure it’s still baby’s current diaper size.
6. Diaper Cream Brush
Another thing that’s bound to happen when it comes to baby bums is diaper rash. There are many creams and lotions on the market to clear up rashy bottoms, and one thing almost all of them have in common is that they are very hard to clean off your hands and always seem to get under your fingernails. One accessory that’s worth looking into is the Baby Bumco Diaper Cream Brush for all your application needs.
Available at bumco.com, $9.99.
7. Avoid the Spray
It has probably happened to every parent. You get baby all cleaned up and are grabbing a fresh diaper only to get wet before getting the new diaper on. A good tip for post-nap changes is to wait a few minutes for your little one to wake up. As they get older, babies and toddlers are less likely to pee in their sleep, so you want to give them time to get it all out before you expose them to the air. You can also place a fresh diaper over top of boys while you slip the old one off and double up underneath for girls while you change them.
photo: heymattallen via Pixabay
8. Clothing Hacks
Baby clothes have built-in features to help avoid diaper woes. Those shoulder folds on many onesies and some shirts are not only there to help get the tops over baby’s head. You can also use them to take clothes off by pulling them down instead of up, which keeps baby’s face and hair clean in the case of a blowout. For curious toddlers who like to play with zippers and snaps, put them in their pajamas backwards to keep little hands out of messy diapers.
9. Make It Fun
Diaper changes can be stressful for parents and babies alike. For younger babies, sing a song or recite a nursery rhyme to keep them calm. For fidgety toddlers, set aside a few easily washable toys that are reserved for diaper time only to keep their minds distracted and their hands busy. Your little ones may actually come to look forward to changing time!
10. Overnight Diapers
For heavy night wetters, look for diapers specifically labeled for nighttime. They are more absorbent than regular ones, so it’s less likely that your little one will wake up in the middle of night soaked. You can also slip a Sposie Booster Pad into any type of diaper for extra absorbency.
Available at sposie.com, $11.99-$12.99.
—Katie L. Carroll