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Tips on Changing Diapers

Changing diapers is certainly on the dark side of parenting.

It is the moment of truth when your love is acted out and you sacrifice your olfactory nerves (a.k.a. nose) to a higher calling.

Much of the time you will spend with your little baby will involve this act.

Elena gets excited every time I place her on the changing table because she knows she's about to be kissed, tickled, nuzzled and sent into bouts of giggling.

Use these frequent diaper changes to bolster and build loving bonds to your baby.

Before you actually begin ripping diapers open, it's a good idea to set up the diaper changing station. Having it ready for each change will prevent the temptation to move away from the baby to reach what you need (a BIG safety no-no!).

Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.
~ Marshall McLuhan


A true story:
A young mother was playing with her baby one afternoon and noticed a drop of brown on her sleeve.

Having made chocolate chip cookies earlier that day, she licked it up.

It was definitely
not chocolate.

And no, this wasn't me.

Setting Up Your Changing Station

Your changing station should include:
  • a diaper changing table
  • a good diaper pail
  • clean diapers (cloth or disposable)
  • diaper ointment (or other remedy) for diaper rash
  • a washcloth or wipes
  • Antibacterial wash (the instant-dry kind)
In my home, there is a strict rule regarding changing diapers. All changes are to occur at The Diaper Change Station.

This prevents boxes of wipes all over the house and the occasional unhappy (and embarrassing) surprise of a MIA dirty diaper.

It will take discipline to go to the station every time a change is needed (especially if it's upstairs). Just consider it as your baby's contribution to helping you shed those pregnancy pounds.

The Miracle of Distraction

There are fewer things as frustrating as changing the diaper on a squirmy baby. Elminate that by offering a small container of toys to hear at diaper changes. The toys should only be for diaper changes, so they stay new and exciting.

One of the coolest new products I've discovered this year is the Wonderful Changing Pad Activity Center. This amazing product is an arc of toys and mirrors right above your baby's head. You have instant distactions everytime you lay her down for a change.

Changing Diapers that are Wet

Healthy babies should have light to dark-yellow urine. The darker the color, the less liquid the baby is getting. So, lighter is better. You should contact your pediatrician if�

  • Urination seems painful, and there are signs of distress.
  • If you see blood in the urine or if there is a bloody spot in the diaper.

      Occasionally you may see what looks like a pink stain on the diaper. This is usually not blood, but highly concentrated urine interacting with the gel used in disposable diapers, producing a pinkish color.

      If the stain lasts for several days, or he doesn't wet 4 diapers a day, call your doctor.

  • If your baby urinates less than 3 times in a 24 hour period (a possible sign of dehydration).
  • If he is urinating more than every half hour.
  • If the urine drastically changes color.

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As disgusting as diapers can sometimes be, try not to groan and over-dramatize. These should be times to communicate love and reassurance, not repulsion. This is especially true if you have older children trying to potty train!

Some babies may fuss during a diaper check, but almost all get used to it after a few weeks. If you have more children in the home, it's even possible your baby will see those diaper changes as an opportunity to have you all to himself - if only for a few minutes.

Changing diapers is not just Mom's duty. Dads should also be be well-trained in this central part of infant care. This can be a wonderful time to connect with your infant. His gurgles and coos will be your hard-earned reward for a (dirty) job well done.

Other Diaper-Related Articles in the EiR

This section is in progress. Look for cloth diapering instructions from "The Green Guru"! Subscribe to The Essential Infant Blog to be notified when they appear!

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I am not a doctor. I do not diagnose or prescribe.
When in doubt, give Doc a shout!

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