“Dr. Linda, I’m due in 2 weeks. Which type of newborn diaper should I use? Can you give me some tips on how to change my newborn’s diaper?”

When deciding which type of newborn diaper to use you may want to consider convenience, cost and how the diapers you use will impact the environment.

Disposable diapers, cloth diapers, and hybrid diapers are the three main types.

The main pros and cons of the different types of newborn diaper :

  • Disposable diapers:

    Pros:

  • Are convenient especially when you’re not at home.
  •  Are highly absorbent.
  • You don’t require water or electricity to wash them.

       Cons:

  • Require a lot of raw material to make them.
  • Generate a lot of garbage for landfills.
  • Take a very long time to break down in landfills.
  • Contain chemicals and sometimes dyes and fragrances that some babies may  have a reaction to. I recommend using diapers with no color or fragrance.

 

Cloth diapers:

Pros:

  • More absorbent than in the past.
  • Don’t contain chemicals that could cause rashes unless you wash them in detergents that contain harsh chemicals.
  • Don’t generate garbage for landfills.

Cons:

  • Aren’t convenient for changing when you’re outside the house.
  • Need a lot of water and electricity to clean them.
  • Cleaning them is labor intensive.
  • Cleaning them can be expensive if you use a diaper cleaning service.

 

Hybrid newborn diapers:

A hybrid diaper is a combination of a biodegradable disposable pad and a reusable cover.

Pros:

  • Generate less garbage for landfills.You can flush the biodegradable pad down the toilet. It will break down in the sewer system.
  • Have a reusable washable cover.
Whatever type of diaper you use make sure you change your newborn’s diapers frequently.

Your newborn’s diapers will need to be changed around 8 times a day.

The physical rubbing of a wet (or poopy) diaper against your baby’s delicate skin is what causes diaper rashes.The drier and cleaner you keep your baby’s bottom the less chance he has of getting a diaper rash.

 

How to change your newborn’s diaper

Start with you

  • Take three deep breaths to become calm and present.If you’re stressed your baby will feel it and may get squirmy and fussy which makes changing his diaper harder!
  • Decide how you’re going to approach changing your newborn’s diaper. Are you going to choose to be present and focused on your baby and use this time to talk to him and strengthen your bond? Or are you going to focus on how tired you are, how many diapers you’ve already had to change and how tired you already are of changing dirty diapers? How you choose to react defines the experience you have as you do things with your baby.
  • Be prepared: Have everything you need right where you can reach it easily without taking your hands (or eyes) off of your baby.
  • Wash your hands before you start and then again when you’re done.
What you’ll need:
  • A stable surface to put your baby on as you change his diaper.
  • A  diaper changing pad.
  • Clean diapers.
  • Wipes. I had to use warm water and paper towels for cleaning my son’s diaper area because he had very sensitive skin and broke out with every type of wipe I used.
  • Garbage can or diaper holder.
  • A clean set of clothes in case his diaper leaked.

 

How to change your newborn’s diaper:

 

  • Put your baby on his back in the changing area,
  • Strap him in with the safety belt but don’t rely on it to keep baby from rolling off the table.
  • Keep at least one hand on your baby at all times, especially if you need to look away. I have had 3-day old babies get mad enough to roll over!
  • If you need to walk away, even for a second, take your baby off the changing table and put him in a safe place he can’t roll off of.
  • Open the diaper by the tabs or remove the outer cover if you are using cloth or hybrid diapers.
  • Fold the velcro tabs over so they don’t scratch your baby’s sensitive skin.
  • Survey the area before you start.
  • If the front part of the diaper is clean you may want to use it to wipe give the diaper area a quick wipe.
  • Lift up your baby’s bottom by holding onto his ankles and fold this front part under your baby’s bottom so it rests on the outside of the diaper.This way you don’t dirty the changing pad as much.
  • Talk to your baby and tell him everything you’re doing, sing to him or tell him a story be creative! This strengthens your bond and gives him a good vocabulary when he gets older. The more you talk (or sing) to your baby the better his vocabulary will be. You’ll also have more fun!
  • Take a wipe or wet paper towel and clean your baby’s private area from front to back. Don’t reuse a dirty cloth to wipe again. Throw it out and use a clean cloth each time cleaning from front to back until the diaper area is clean.
  • Remove the soiled diaper from under your baby’s buttocks and put a clean one under him that is open and ready to fasten into place.
  • Turn your baby over to make sure his lower back and the back part of the cleft between babies’ buttock cheeks are clean.
  • Wait till the diaper area is dry before fastening your newborn’s diaper in place.
  • Make sure the diaper isn’t too loose. A loose diaper can let poop and pee  leak out.
  • Fold the front of the diaper down and in so your baby’s umbilicus isn’t covered up. You want to keep his umbilical stump clean and dry so it doesn’t get infected.
Try to remember to have fun as you go through your day with your baby.

As always, I hope you find this helpful.

Please post any questions, comments or tips you have for making changing your newborn’s diaper more enjoyable.

To your holistic health,

Ask Dr. Linda

 

 

 

Resources:

https://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/health/10-best-green-baby-diapers-on-the-market/#slide-top

https://www.moneycrashers.com/cloth-diapers-vs-disposable-cost-types/