Changing your newborn’s nappy for the first time may seem a daunting activity. But this helpful collection of tried and true tips will go a long way to ensuring that you – and your baby – keep things drama-free at change time!
Have everything you need within reach, before you begin unbuttoning that onesie!
Nappies, change of clothes, wipes, nappy bags, bum cream, and most importantly patience. Be prepared for the worst (pooplosion!) but expect the best.
Choose the right kind of nappy
The first thing to do is decide what type of nappy you want to use.
- Disposable nappies are convenient, especially in those first few weeks when you’re trying to get to grips with caring for your new baby .Eco-disposable nappies use fewer or no chemical gels or bleaches, and break down more quickly. They’re expensive though.
- Cloth nappies come in two main types. Two-part styles include waterproof outer wraps and washable inner nappies, which either pop-on or come as pocket inserts. Or you can choose an all-in-one style. Both types of nappy can be used with washable or disposable liners to catch the worst of any poo, and booster pads for extra absorbency.
Checkout 5 Indian brands that are taking cloth diapers to a completely new league in India,making diapers that love your baby here
Make sure your nappies are suitable for newborns
Whatever nappy style you choose, make sure it is suitable for new borns. Nappies designed for newborns have a notch cut out from the top to leave room for your baby’s umbilical stump. Once it’s dropped off, they’ll allow the small wound to breathe and heal properly. You’ll need to use these nappies for the first few weeks at least. You can also fold down the front half of a standard disposable nappy to achieve the same effect.
Manage your nappy stock
There are endless poop times and wee times in the first few weeks. Research states that you could be doing upto 12 nappy changes a day to begin with.If you’re using disposables, buying nappies in bulk will save you money. So stock up!
Bear in mind that your baby will grow quickly, so don’t buy too many nappies in one size.
Pick a good-quality changing mat
Durability is the most important feature of any changing mat. After all, it needs to see you through more than two years of nappy changing. Most mats have raised or inflatable sides. But no matter how well-cushioned your baby is, never leave her unattended while she’s on it.
Double Nappy It
Pop a clean nappy under the one you are about to change. This means your tidy pants are at the ready to wear position when you’ve finished cleaning your baby AND it’ll catch any poorly timed accidents that may happen IN BETWEEN old nappy and new!
Decide which nappy-changing extras you need
- Cloth wipes, cotton wool, washcloths or disposable wipes to clean your baby’s bottom.
- Nappy sacks for used nappies. These often come gently fragranced to neutralise bad smells.
- Barrier cream to lock in moisture and help prevent nappy rash.
- A changing bag for when you’re out and about. Any roomy bag will do.
- Nappy grips for cloth nappies without built-in fasteners.
- A distraction toy have a special ‘change time only’ toy on hand to sweeten the deal.
Not all nappy-changing extras are essential, but some mums do find them helpful. So you may also like to buy:
- A top-and-tail bowl to help you keep the water and cotton wool for your baby’s face and bottom separate.
- A nappy disposal system to store used nappies before disposal or washing. You may prefer to put dirty nappies straight in the bin or washing machine.
Get ready for the world of colours
Welcome to the world of decoding poop colours and consistency formulas.
In your baby’s first nappy, you can expect to find a greenish-black, sticky stool that looks like motor oil. Don’t be alarmed! This is called meconium and it is perfectly normal. It’s just her bowel clearing out everything that has accumulated during her nine months in your womb (uterus). When your baby is two days to four days old, her poo will become lighter in colour and less sticky.
If your baby is exclusively breastfed, her poo will usually be yellow or slightly green and will have a mushy or creamy consistency. If she’s formula-fed, her poo will be pasty and peanut butter-like. It will be tan-brown, yellow-brown, or green-brown in colour. Don’t worry you’ll soon become a master at decoding – color,smell and consistency.
Change your baby’s nappy often
The baby routine is simple – eat-poop-sleep-repeat.Change your baby’s nappy often – Check for wetness every couple of hours by testing with a clean finger. Your baby will typically need a change before and after every feed.
Guard against nappy rash
It’s unlikely that your newborn will develop nappy rash in the initial few weeks – rashes usually occur between nine – twelve months. However, the skin is sensitive and you should take enough precaution irrespective of the age.
The main cause of nappy rash is wetness from contact with wee and poo. So the best defence is a dry bottom! These steps should help protect against irritation:
- Change your baby’s nappy regularly and as soon as possible after she’s done a wee or a poo.
- Give your baby some nappy-free time to allow air to circulate around her bottom.
- Apply a thin layer of barrier cream to your baby’s bottom after each nappy change.
- Clean your baby’s genitals and bottom thoroughly after each poo and make sure she’s clean and dry before putting on a new nappy.
Watch how to change a nappy and other parenting hacks here
And most importantly, make changing time fun! Nappy changes offer a chance for special one-on-one time. Talk and sing to your baby. Try pointing out the different parts of her body and explaining what you’re doing. The tone of your voice will help to soothe her.