Besides for bath time, she’s wearing a diaper every minute of the day. Or to be more exact, she’ll go through about 2,000 diapers in her first year (pick your jaw up off the floor and go buy yourself a present for changing that many diapers).
There are so many tips and tricks that can help prevent diaper leaks, soak throughs and make your life just a little bit easier. So, let’s dive in!
General Diaper Tips
- Change when the line turns blue. Most diapers today are designed with a technology that the yellow line on the outside of the diaper will turn blue when the diaper is wet. That’s your way of knowing (without needing to open the diaper) if your baby is ready for a change.
- When to size up– if waist or legs start to feel tight, if you notice red marks around your baby’s legs when you take off the diaper, if your baby suddenly starts soaking through every diaper, or if it becomes a fight to close the Velcro tabs, it’s time to size up.
During a Diaper Change
- Fresh One Under. Before you open the wet diaper, place a clean one under your baby. This way, once your baby is wiped up, all you need to do is slip out the wet one and close the dry one that’s already there.
- Swipe that Wipe. This tip is more useful for boys than girls but can still help if you’ve got a little squirter. To avoid getting sprayed in middle of a diaper change, gently place a cool wipe (or wet washcloth) on your baby’s belly before you open his diaper to change him. The cool sensation encourages him to let it all out- and once he’s done, you can open the diaper with peace of mind knowing you won’t be getting wet this time.
- Contain those Arms. Rolling your baby’s onesie up over her chest and elbows and folding it over her arms can be a helpful way in keeping those chubby little fingers out of the mess. This will work best for younger babies who don’t have the strength yet to break out of the onesie-hold, so take advantage while you can!
- Ruffles Out. If you close a diaper on your baby and look at the edges of the leg holes, you’ll notice that there is a little bit of edging that you can pull out to create a ruffle around each leg. This is not for decoration having that ruffle pulled out secures the edges of the diaper and creates a stronger seal to prevent blow-outs. Pulling out the ruffles brings the actual hemline of the diaper closer to your baby’s thighs, which keeps the contents of the diaper where you want them to be in the diaper.
- Roll the Onesie Down. If your baby has had a blow-out and soaked through her onesie, you don’t have to pull the dirty undershirt over her head, dragging the mess all over her body. The shoulder flaps on the top of your baby’s onesie are made to be pulled back and opened, so you can pull the onesie off downwards, instead of over her head.
- Use a Diaper Cream Spatula. Instead of getting your hands gross and sticky every time you apply diaper cream, spend the six dollars on this incredible invention and thank me every time thereafter.
Nighttime Diaper Tips
- Last Thing Before Bed. At the risk of sounding obvious, you want to change your baby at the last moment possible before bed, getting as many hours in as possible of diaper absorbency. Especially if you’re battling constant soak-throughs, putting on a dry diaper should be the last step before bed.
- Slather on the Cream. Even if there’s no rash, it can be helpful to give your baby’s bottom a thick layer of diaper cream before bed. This can prevent irritation if she has a dirty diaper in the early morning hours, as many babies often do.
- Overnight Diapers, Supersized. You’ve probably heard of overnight diapers, which are made with extra absorbency (about 25 percent more than regular diapers). The trick with overnight diapers is to go UP a size from your baby’s usual size to absorb the extra moisture. If your baby wears a size 2 during the day, go up to size 3 for overnight.
- Double Up. For the last diaper change before bed, put a second diaper on top of the first diaper in case the first one leaks through. If you want real bang for your buck, put a regular diaper on your baby in her usual size, and then an overnight diaper on top of that in the next size (or two overnight diapers instead, if you really want to go crazy!)
- Diaper Pad Insert. Sounds old-mannish, but it works. These diapers pads are designed to fit inside your baby’s diaper for overnight use to soak up extra moisture. You can use these combined with an overnight diaper to ensure full overnight protection.
- Cloth Diaper Covers can be a final step in preventing leak-throughs. Cloth diapers are helpful in stopping leaks around the legs (feel free to remove the inserts as you’ll only need the cover.) Make sure the diapers are totally covered by the cloth cover and that you can’t see any part of the diaper. A diaper pad inside, two overnight diapers on top and a cloth diaper on the outside is pretty much a fail-proof way to keep your baby dry through the night.
- Keep it Quiet. The more you engage with your baby in middle of the night, the harder it will be for her to fall back asleep. While it’s totally ok to talk to your baby when you’re changing her, the less engaging you are, the more you send the message that it’s time to sleep.
- Keep it Dark. Instead of turning on a lamp for diaper changes, consider leaving the door open a bit and letting the light from the hallway be your light source. This allows you to control the light more and keeps the room more dim. If you’re going to use a nightlight, using one with a red bulb and a low wattage will disrupt your baby’s melatonin (sleep hormone) production the least.
Remember that every time you change your baby’s diaper, you are performing a true act of kindness for an individual who can’t yet help themselves. You are your baby’s world, Mama- and you’re doing an amazing job.