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Let's be honest, you can probably work out how to change a diaper. But, if the thought of changing diapers is keeping you awake at night or you just need to stop leakage, we can help you out!
Even though there's little that can go wrong when changing a diaper, the truth is, babies need frequent diaper changes - as often as 12 times a day! So, if you want to be prepared and avoid leaks, a diaper that falls off or one that's just not comfortable for your little one, then we've got some simple advice to help.
Let's start with the basics. Often is the simple answer for changing diapers.
A wet or dirty diaper is the best time to change. You'll also notice your baby might wee or poop after feeding, so you can get into a routine around your feeding times.
Leaving a wet or dirty diaper on for too long can cause diaper rash and other conditions which make for a baby with a very sore bum and plenty of tears. So yes, you will be changing a diaper around 12 times a day at first.
The number of changes needed will gradually reduce from around 12 a day to around six to eight as your baby gets older.
You'll either be able to see or smell when your baby's diaper needs to be changed. But as well as seeing or smelling pee or poo, keep an eye out for other tell-tale signs like sagging, dampness inside the diaper, the diaper feeling heavier than usual, or leaking. It's also useful to know that leakage from the diaper may be a sign that it's time to move up to the next diaper size.
You're going to be changing diapers at home and whilst you're out and about. Whether you're at the changing station at home or reaching into your changing bag, you need the essentials, so you've got everything you need to hand to make the operation fast and effective.
These diaper-changing essentials include...
First and foremost, you can help your baby get used to having their diaper changed by talking them through each step. Ok, deep breath, let's do this...
Midnight diaper changing is one of the more unglamorous sides of parenting, but alas, it must be done! You may be wondering if it's ok to leave the changing until morning.
Generally, if it's just a number one and hasn't soaked through the diaper, you should be fine to not change them straight away. This depends on the baby, however. If your little one has particularly sensitive skin, it can become sore and red if sat in a wet diaper for too long. Remember - parents know best, so trust your gut instinct!
Number twos, though? They've got to go! The longer that stuff stays in there, the higher the chances of your little one getting a rash.
Here are some of our top tips for successful nighttime diaper changes...
Failure to prepare is preparing not to sleep! We all know how clumsy and disoriented we can feel when we've just woken up. Grogginess and diaper changing don't go well together, so you'll want to make things easier for your future tired self.
Scrambling around searching for wipes or clean sleepsuits can cause your baby to stir and get upset. They want that slumber as much as you do!
Set everything out for yourself in an easy-to-reach spot each night to avoid a tired-fuelled tantrum. You'll both be back on your way to dreamland in no time.
Because they do what they say on the tin! Typically designed to be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, nighttime diapers are extra-large, extra absorbent, and extra friendly to exhausted parents!
These diapers are normally made of blanket-like material and promote airflow, making them super comfortable for extended wear. Their high absorbency not only reduces the urgency to change your baby but also helps keep the diaper rash at bay.
Your baby probably won't even notice when they've gone number one. That means, less crying and more sleep for the parents - hallelujah.
This is perhaps the trickiest tip on the list, but believe us, it's the one that will make the biggest difference.
Your baby's little eyes are super sensitive to light, especially when they've been sleeping in the dark for hours, so keeping the room dark while you're changing them will mean you can both get back to sleep quickly. If you really need to, you can use a soft nightlight to help you see what you're doing. Our Penguin Night Light is the perfect (and super handy) addition to your nursery.
If there's one thing babies hate, it's a cold wipe, and we can't blame them! A wipe warmer is a great investment that'll make changing time much more pleasant for your baby.
This simple, yet genius little tool makes those wipes feel soothingly warm against your baby's skin. They might even start to enjoy having their diaper changed! If you're brave enough to try and change your baby without waking them up (good luck!), a wipe warmer will give you your best chances of success.
When they're all changed and it's time to dispose of your little one's dirty diaper, a diaper bin and sacks can help to trap in any nasty smells and keep mess to a minimum. Remember that babies can suffocate or choke on plastic diaper sacks, so store them in a safe place that's well out of reach.
If you don't have a dedicated diaper bin, you can roll and bag the soiled diaper, tie the handles of the bag firmly, and put it in your outdoor bin as soon as possible.
If you're using reusable cloth diapers, you'll need a liner, cover and somewhere to store them - like a wet bag - before they're cleaned in the washing machine.
When using reusable diapers, follow these steps...
If you're unsure of how to clean them, it's best to follow the care label on your chosen brand of reusable diaper.