Diaper changes can be challenging, especially when squirmy babies and skin rashes are involved. With a few simple tricks, wipe warmers, and the right amount of diaper cream, you can make changing time a breeze for you and your baby.
Keep Things Entertaining
You’ll definitely be excited to see your once-drowsy newborn start moving, wiggling, grabbing for toys, and preparing to roll over—except when those flailing limbs become an obstacle to getting your little one cleaned up. Trying to change a dirty diaper while your baby grabs at everything in close range makes you wish you had three hands. What you can do, however, is enlist a helper. At five years old my little girl is always eager to assist with her new brother, so on particularly wiggly days I ask her to keep him entertained with songs or chit-chat while I change him.
Whether or not you’re working solo, keep a favorite toy close by to provide a distraction when things get complicated. The best ones play music, emit funny noises, or make it easy for your baby grab onto.
Avoid the Rash
Over time, diaper rash can cause pain and discomfort that makes changing time no more fun for the one wearing it. The best way to prevent this skin irritation is to keep your baby dry as much as possible. This means changing them as soon as they’re dirty. If your child does develop a rash, try treating it with a natural diaper cream, which creates a barrier between the diaper and your baby’s irritated skin so that it has a chance to heal.
Always Be Prepared
Accidents don’t just happen; they sometimes happen in the middle of a diaper change. There’s nothing like opening a diaper right when your baby has decided to “go,” especially in the middle of the night. Having been there many times before, I’ve found the best way to avoid the inevitable mess is to be prepared for it.
You can keep a clean diaper on top of your baby as you change, but it can quickly become wasteful if you use disposables. Instead, I like to place a pre-folded cloth diaper on the changing pad below my son so that I can quickly cover him up should the need arise. That way, if he makes a mess, I can drop the cloth diaper right in the wash.
The Wipe Way
Picking the right baby wipes can make diaper changes a lot more pleasant, especially for babies with sensitive skin. Try to stick with wipes that are as natural as possible; natural baby products often contain fewer dyes and chemicals that irritate your baby’s skin. For newborns and babies who are extra sensitive—or already have a rash—Parents Magazine finds it best to avoid wipes that include aloe, alcohol, or synthetic fragrances. Opt for cotton gauze squares moistened with water, instead.
Temperature can also complicate wipe choice and the eventual diaper change. With my first baby, I learned the hard way that a cold wipe, especially in the middle of night, can set off those mid-change accidents. I quickly invested in the wipe warmer I once made fun of when registering for baby gear. It was one of the best purchases I ever made; no more cold wipes meant no more accidents.
Changing diapers is a big part of parenthood, but it doesn’t have to be the worst part. The good news is your little one won’t be in diapers forever. Do you have any handy diaper-change tricks? Share them in the comments!
Image sources: Sher Warkentin
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