Diapering Know How
It’s easy to become an expert at changing your baby’s diaper — just wash your hands, gather the following items and make sure you keep everything out of your baby’s reach:
- A fresh diaper: If you’re using a cloth diaper, you’ll need either a clean diaper cover or pins and waterproof pants.
- Baby-wash supplies: Diaper wipes or, if your baby is under one month or has diaper rash, cotton balls and warm water for cleaning and a small towel for drying.
- Ointment: If needed, for diaper rash (preferably one containing zinc oxide)
- Cornstarch-based Powder: If needed, which should be applied to your hand and not shaken on your baby to prevent it from getting into your baby’s lungs.
Make diaper time fun by talking to or singing to your baby while changing him. Or distract him with music or a toy if he needs soothing.
Until the umbilical cord falls off, fold the diaper down to expose the raw area to the air and keep it from getting wet.
Dispose of plastic diapers by folding them over, re-taping them and tying them in a plastic bag.
Keep cloth diapers in a tightly covered diaper pail until pickup or laundry day. Choose a diaper pail with a locking lid to keep your baby out of it.
Wash your hands with soap and water after changing your baby.
Help for Diaper Rash
You can prevent diaper rash by keeping your baby dry and clean. However, if small, red dots, inflamed skin or pus-filled dots appear on your baby’s bottom, follow this advice:
Apply an ointment, with zinc oxide, at the first sign of broken skin. Rub it on your baby’s bottom after changing and washing your baby. Let your child go diaper-free whenever you can.
Limit the irritants you apply to your baby’s bottom. Use soap only once daily, and avoid using wipes until the rash clears up. Always dry your baby’s bottom thoroughly after washing.
Call your healthcare provider if the rash doesn’t clear up in a day or two.
Early Elimination Habits: What You Can Expect
In the beginning, breastfed babies will have at least five stools a day and at least six urinations. Bottle-fed babies may pass a stool for every feeding.
The number of stools will decrease as your baby gets older and may dwindle down to between one and three a day after the first month.
In the first 24 hours, your baby’s stool will be greenish black. After that, the stools will be greenish yellow and loose.
After three or four days, the stools of breastfed babies will be yellow, sometimes loose and sometimes seedy. The stools of bottle-fed babies will be soft but more formed, and the color can range from pale yellow to yellowish brown, light brown or greenish brown.
Your baby’s stools will vary from day to day and sometimes from movement to movement. The changes will become even more pronounced when your baby begins eating solids.
When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider
If your baby has fewer than 3 wet and 2 soiled diapers a day after the first 48 hours or fewer than 6 wet and 3 soiled diapers by the fifth day.
If you see blood, pus or mucus in the stool.
If your baby has watery stools, you should mention it. (Loose stools are generally not a cause for concern.)