How to change a baby

Diapering isn’t that hard: baby is happy when the clean diaper arrives. Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

Babies are a wonderful thing! But unfortunately they are not yet tight.

Until that happens, they need fresh diapers all the time. But which? How to diaper on the go? What to do if your bottom gets sore?

Here’s what you need to know to ensure that your baby is always well diapered and feels completely comfortable.

The most important thing: always keep one hand on your baby when changing him or her! Falls from the changing table are among the most common causes of accidents in the first year of life. And: Even very small babies can move or even turn unexpectedly!

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How often do I need to swaddle?

As often as necessary, because this prevents skin inflammation. You should change your baby quickly after every bowel movement.

With a newborn, this can happen up to three times a day. If you add the "wet only" diapers to the mix, you’ll easily end up with ten to twelve rounds of diapering per day in the beginning.

Tip: Especially newborns like to make during meals in the diaper. Therefore, it is better to change only afterwards. Exception: the diaper is simply already very full.

How to hold the baby?

The most important thing: hold baby firmly and securely, but gently at the same time. This gives you and the child security.

► Lift the bottom slightly by grasping the baby’s left thigh with your right hand and bending it at the hip joint. The right leg rests on your forearm. It also works the other way round, i.e. with the left hand, grasp the right thigh the other way round.

Attention! Never lift too high. The baby’s spine and also neck are sensitive.

Alternatively, grasp your baby at waist level and turn him or her onto his or her side. It lies comfortably like this. You can now clean it everywhere. Then put the diaper next to the baby, and then turn him back to the clean diaper.

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Tip: This is especially good for children who often suffer from colic, because the belly is spared when diapering sideways.

★ Here’s how to clean it up: remove coarser remains with a soft paper towel or with the clean part of the used diaper and put it aside. Then clean up with water and rags (or ready-made baby wipes) afterward. Always dry the skin well and pay special attention to the skin folds.

Tip for really dry, healthy skin in the diaper area: If possible, let your baby kick naked for a moment before you wrap him in a fresh diaper and finish dressing him.

Cloth or paper diapers – which is better?

Good is what makes parents and child feel good.

Three basic conditions all diapers must meet.

✔︎ Urine and stool must be well absorbed.
✔︎ They must not leak.
✔︎ They need to be comfortable and allow the baby freedom of movement.

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Cloth diapers

If you decide to use this method, you will need about 20 cloth diapers with fasteners and diaper liners. Then put either a diaper fleece or a pair of panties over the baby.

After diapering, the diapers are rinsed and stored in a special diaper pail. Wash these diapers in the boil wash cycle of the machine at 95 degrees.

Tip: There are also diaper services that supply you with fresh diapers on a subscription basis and take care of the washing.

Attention: When swaddling with cloth the correct technique is very important. Let the midwife show you how it is done. If the diaper package is too loose, it won’t stay tight. If it is too tight, the child feels uncomfortable.

Panty diapers

They absorb the urine and retain it in the absorbent body. This keeps the skin almost dry.

The material prevents stool from mixing with urine. This prevents the formation of ammonia. That protects the skin from diaper rash and soreness.

Panty diapers are very tight. Clothes usually stay dry.

► The right size of the diaper is very important. It must fit securely and close well, without constricting during kicking.

Why fathers should definitely swaddle

Especially in the first few weeks, the baby is very often with the mother for breastfeeding. This often leaves fathers with little opportunity for contact. Providing at the changing table is there a great chance to get to know the child.

Fact: babies feel especially comfortable in a fresh diaper. They enjoy being stroked, "talking" and kicking naked. Maybe it will smile at you for the first time here! Do you want to miss out on that?

Also: While you are undressing and dressing, even a newborn baby studies your face closely, it senses your attention. And very soon reacts cheerfully "babbling" to the common occupation. You will quickly become familiar with each other while cleaning and diapering.

Tip: Take as much time as possible at the changing table. And if you need to go fast in between times? No problem, there are always opportunities to extend the diaper changing and changing a little more.

What if the buttocks have become sore after all?

It happens despite all caution sometimes. The diaper bottom is sore, the baby whines. Sure you can now apply home remedies like breast milk, olive oil or honey. And first try it out to see if it helps.

But before it comes to a real diaper dermatitis with rash and itching, parents should consult with their pediatrician or pharmacist. It has been proven that antiseptic barrier creams, for example with zinc oxide, have the best healing effect on a sore bottom.

► But it is even better to take precautions with frequent diaper changes. If your child is sensitive or already sore, take the opportunity to change it freshly at night as well.

Where can I change diapers on the way

If necessary, even in a tight airplane toilet. If must be, then it must be! But to find the ideal place on the way is not always so easy.

If necessary, a very small baby can be freshened up and changed in his stroller, in the train compartment or at the trunk of the car with a wet wipe.

With somewhat older children, you are probably dependent on a changing table with a sink.

Tip: Look already during the Pregnancy in which cafes, restaurants or other public places there are nice and quiet diaper changing facilities.

To be on the safe side, always take a diaper bag with the necessary utensils, a pad and also some fresh clothes with you.

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