Your newborn baby may need his or her diaper changed 10 to 15 times a day. Since you will spend a lot of time doing this, make it a special time for talking, laughing, and playing with your baby. You do not need to wake your baby to change a diaper.
Tips for Diapering
- Wash your hands before and after each change.
- Put your baby on a flat, safe surface, such as a change table with side rails or on the floor.
- Keep one hand on your baby at all times.
- Babies move around, so keep creams, pins, etc. out of reach. Give your baby a toy or something to watch to keep her or him entertained.
- Wipe the diaper area with a warm, wet washcloth or a non‑perfumed diaper wipe. Pat the area dry or allow it to air dry.
- Do not use powder or cornstarch. A puff of powder near the face or nostrils can cause choking and breathing difficulty.
How do I diaper and clean a girl?
Wipe from the front to the back to prevent germs from her bowel movements getting into the urinary tract. Gently clean between the outer folds of the labia. There is no need to clean inside the vagina.
How do I diaper and clean a boy?
Do not pull the foreskin back when cleaning the penis. Wash the area well and clean from the front to the back.
What is Diaper Rash?
This is a red and painful rash on the diaper area. Rashes can be caused by:
- Irritation from dampness of urine or bowel movement on the skin.
- Allergic reaction to soaps, perfumes, or oils that touch the skin.
- Yeast infection that can be spread from the mouth or from stool. A yeast infection can develop after your baby has had a rash for several days.
Hints to Avoid Diaper Rash
- Keep the skin dry by changing diapers as soon as they are wet or soiled.
- Do not use soap.
- Take the diaper off and expose the area to the air for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a day. You can lay your baby on an absorbent towel and play with him or her during this time.
- When the diaper area is clean and dry, rub on a thin layer of petroleum jelly or zinc‑based cream.
- Avoid using airtight plastic pants over the diaper.
- Try switching to cloth diapers if you are using disposables and the rash is getting worse.
Contact your health care provider if you have followed these suggestions and the rash lasts longer than five days, has blisters, pus, peeling areas or crusty patches, or is mainly in the skin creases.