When it comes to diapering your baby, you can choose between disposable or cloth diapers.
When it comes to diapering your baby, you can choose between disposable or cloth diapers. Also, while many parents purchase a changing table, there are other options such as changing mats or simply placing a towel down on a bed. The most important thing to remember about your diapering area is that it should be easy to clean and have enough space for your baby to lie down safely. Some changing tables come with a strap, but if you are changing your infant on a surface that does not, it is important to keep at least one hand on the baby at all times. Prepare your supplies before starting, and keep distractions to a minimum. Do not walk away from your baby at any time.
- Make sure to wash and dry your hands before starting.
- Set up your diaper changing surface.
- Gather all of your supplies before you start: clean diapers, plenty of wipes or wet cloths, diaper rash cream.
Diaper Changing Procedure
There are a variety of ways parents can change or prefer to change their baby’s diapers; however, the following steps are important when it comes to the comfort, health, and safety of your baby when diaper changing.
1. Place the new, clean diaper under your baby while he is still in his dirty diaper. Placing the clean diaper down first keeps the diapering surface clean and protects it from get ting dirty.
2. Unfasten the tabs of your baby’s diaper and remove it. If there is poop on the diaper, use the front half of the diaper to wipe the bulk of it off your baby’s bot tom wiping from front to back, especially for girls, because if stool gets into the urethra, it can cause a urinary tract infection.
3. Fold the top half of the diaper under your baby so the clean diaper does not get dirty while you wipe your infant’s bottom. Dispose of the dirty diaper in a trash receptacle that is specifically for diapers and bodily fluids and has a lid.
4. Lift up his bottom slightly by gently grasping his ankles to properly clean him. Wipe his bottom with a wipe or damp cloth from front to back (toward his bottom).
5. If your baby has pooped, make sure to clean all of his creases by his legs and bottom so that he will not get an infection or diaper rash.
6. Add any creams if needed and place the front of the clean diaper on your infant and tightly secure it.
Wet diapers are one way to get an idea of whether your baby is getting enough milk to drink. Within five days after birth your baby should have three stools daily and five soaking wet diapers per day, though infants can go through up to ten diapers daily.
Change your baby’s diaper frequently to avoid diaper rash or chafing that can occur from the moisture locked in the diaper. Avoid using baby powder because your baby can easily inhale tiny particles of it that are light enough to be carried into the air and can cause respiratory problems. If your child has sensitive skin, try switching to just water and towels because some wipes have alcohol in them that can dry out your infant’s skin or fragrance that can irritate his skin.
Wash your hands and your baby’s hands after you’re done changing the diaper. Feces can cause illnesses or infections such as pink eye. Clean and sanitize the diaper changing area between uses with a bleach sanitizer solution, leaving the bleach sanitizer on the surface for at least two minutes (wipe or let air dry before use). Alternatively, you can cover the changing table with a larger cloth and just change the cloth after each use, cleaning the surface of the changing area with cleanser every few days. Never give your baby a bottle or feed him on a diaper changing area.
Your baby is going through many changes, from his new surroundings to feedings, and his poop will reflect those changes.
One to two days old
Your infant’s poop may consist of a dark blackish-greenish tarry substance that is a result of everything your baby ingested while in your uterus and that was left in his body after birth. Be gentle when cleaning this poop off your infant’s body.
Two to four days old
Your infant’s poop will be a mostly unscented, very dark shade of green almost black color because it is made up of ammonic fluid, skin cells, and other things ingested in utero.
After four days
Your infant’s poop will start to lighten up and look greener.
Breastfed poop will be a yellow, slightly green color with a thicker, mushier consistency, but it can be runny at times, especially in the beginning.
Formula fed poop will be thicker like peanut butter and tend to stay more in the realm of tan, brown, or yellow coloring.
Solid food poop will be thicker and a more distinct color of brown. Don’t be alarmed if your infant’s poop resembles colors of the food he ate or includes small pieces of food. This happens because your infant’s food travels through his intestines quickly, and he may have swallowed some pieces before fully chewing them. Solid food poop also begins to smell more like adult poop.
Things to watch for:
- If your baby’s poop is ever black (sign of digesting blood during breast feeding from a cracked nipple), contact your physician to make sure it is nothing more serious. Green, yellow, or brown and runny poop can be a sign of an allergy or infection. Untreated, it may lead to dehydration.
- After you have started feeding foods, white poop could be a sign that your baby is not digesting food. All five colors (green, yellow or brown, red, and white) will require a call to your physician immediately. Also, as mentioned before, it is important to monitor your baby’s poop when introducing new foods.
- Poop that has mucus in it can be due to your baby drooling; however, if you notice constant poops with mucus, it can be a sign of infection.
- Signs of constipation include poop that is hard and pebbly and often causes discomfort for your baby. Constipation can be due to introducing solid foods or even a lactose intolerance. Constipation can sometimes be accompanied by blood due to the hard poop irritating the anus on the way out.
- Diarrhea is very common and can come in the form of a “blow-out,” which is usually very runny and made up of more water than solids. The color is very light and can occur in response to a new food. If your baby has been having diarrhea for more than a few days, contact your doctor.