This can be a rather complicated decision for parents since there is such a wide variety of nappies available on the market. The first decision that you will have to make is whether to go for cloth or disposable ones or a blend of the two types.
A vast majority of the parents prefer the disposable nappies to the cloth ones owing to the following reasons:
- They are exceptionally easy to use
- They do not involve a lot of washing
- They are reasonably priced in the short term since you do not have to purchase the entire pack upfront and you can get them as you go
However, in the long term, the disposable nappies are costlier in comparison with the disposable nappies. Moreover, they also tend to the degradation of our ecosystem.
Nappy changing does come with its associated complexities.
Cloth nappies are not meant to be used by everyone out there but the parents who go for them, certainly fall in love with them.
Here are some of the reasons for choosing cloth nappies:
- They are affordable in the long run especially if you are planning to have more than one child
- They tend to mitigate the adverse effects created by the disposable nappies on our ecosystem
- They come in a wide array of colors and designs
Nevertheless, using cloth nappies implies that you will be forced to do a lot of washing and drying in contrast to the disposable nappies.
It should be kept in mind that every baby has a unique personality so a nappy that might work with one infant might not suit the other one. There is also a strong possibility that a certain nappy brand works really well for your baby till a certain age and as he grows up, it stops being effective with the poo changing as well. So, being flexible and willing to experiment all the time is something that you should be looking for. So, nappy changing is not at all as easy as one might think.
Things needed when nappy changing
Here is what is required when changing your baby’s nappy:
- A clean nappy
- A mat or a changing unit or a clean towel that can be put on the bed during the nappy changing
- Baby wipes without any aromas or a small bowl of warm water with a clean cloth or a cotton swab
- A clean towel for drying up baby’s bum (optional)
- A barrier cream to protect against nappy rash
- Nappy sacks for the dirty nappy or disposable nappy liner and any used pieces of cloth or cotton swabs
- A wet bag for keeping your baby’s wet or dirty nappies in case you are using cloth nappies
While nappy changing, you should never leave your baby alone, so before you are going to change your baby’s nappies, ensure that you have all the essentials well within your reach.
If you are packing a changing bag, it is always judicious to change your baby’s clothes just in case your baby’s nappy gets leaked. A small toy can come in handy just to keep the baby engaged during the nappy changing process but it is not mandatory.
How to change the baby’s nappy?
Whether you are using disposable or cloth nappies, the basics of nappy changing remain the same:
- Snap open the dirty nappy and wipe away the worst of the poo with it. Tuck it under the baby’s bum with the clean side facing in the upward direction
- Wipe the infant’s bum from the front to the back. Lift his ankles gently to wipe him from under his bum. You may also roll him to one side if you intend to wipe up from higher up the back
- Dry the baby’s bum with a clean towel or wait for it to dry up naturally
- Apply a little bit of barrier cream to the infant’s bum to prevent rashes
- Take the dirty nappy out from under the infant and put it into the nappy sack alongside the cotton swabs or soiled wipes. The cloth nappy should be put into a wet bag and all the temporary items should be thrown into the dustbin
- Slide the new nappy under the infant’s tummy and fasten it up. That’s it!
These steps can vary depending on the nappy type that you are using. For instance, while using a cloth nappy, you have to put a waterproof wrap on or to add a liner. An insert is needed if you are using a pocket-styled nappy.
As you get more and more adept at nappy changing, you will discover that you may want to carry out certain things in a different manner. You will also be inclined to give your infant some nappy free time at each nappy change to let his skin breathe a bit. However, till then, these above mentioned steps should come in handy for you.
Nappy changing frequency
During the initial days after birth, your infant may need his nappy to be changed about twelve times a day. After this, for the first few weeks, he will get the nappy dirty at least six times a day. At this point in time, the wet sensation won’t disturb him a lot so do not presume that wetness is causing him any discomfort. As he grows up, the frequency of the poos might remain to once or twice a day.
It is essential that you take care that the baby is not made to sit in the wet or dirty diaper for a longer duration of time. The urine and the bacteria in his poo can make his skin sore and cause nappy rashes.
So, in order to ensure that your infant is kept free of nappy rashes, take care that nappy changing is carried out before or after every feeding session and every time the infant is done with the poo. If you still find your infant’s bottom to be red and sore, then he or she might be having sensitive skin. In such a case, examine his nappies frequently and get them changed whenever you feel that they have become wet.
Disposable nappies tend to absorb a large amount of moisture so you might not be able to determine whether the nappy is wet enough to be changed all the time. Some diapers come with a wetness indicator that is in the shape of a line with changing colors whenever the nappy is wet. This is not a mandatory feature of every nappy out there but it can prove to be instrumental in figuring out if the nappy has become too wet to be changed.
At night, parents do not need to wake their infants up to change their diapers. However, whenever he gets up for a feeding session, take the opportunity with both hands and go for the nappy changing. If you do not do so, he is likely to get up again owing to the discomfort caused by the wet diaper. You should take care to change his nappy as soon as he gets up so that by the end of the feeding session, he is all sleepy again. Nevertheless, if your infant is in habit of pooing during the feeding session or after it, then you can wait to get his nappy changed after feeding him. Whether you change it before or afterwards, ensure that you change the nappy in a calm and quiet manner.
Make nappy changing fun
You can interact with your baby while changing his nappy. Your chattering, singing and interaction with the infant will help the baby enjoy the process and stay still. It will also play an important role in the development of a strong relationship between you and your baby and will go a long way in his long term development.
Here are a couple of helpful posts on the nappy changing accessories that can be handy and the safest way to change your infant’s nappy.