Changing nappies is such a regular part of babycare that after a while you will hardly even notice you are doing it. In the beginning you might dread it, but given that a baby may need up to 6-8 nappy changes a day, you do get used to it quickly!
What kind of nappies could I use?
You can choose between disposable nappies which you throw away after one use, or cloth/terry nappies which need to be washed after use and can be used again and again. Your choice will depend on your own lifestyle and ideas, your budget and your time.
Cloth/Terry nappies are made from a soft towelling cotton cloth. They are usually standard size and you just fold them and pin them to fit your baby. You will normally have to use plastic pants outside the nappy as they can leak or soak through. Dirty nappies may have to be soaked before you wash them so that they don’t stain. You will have to ensure that you have enough nappies to keep you going while you are washing the used ones.
Disposable nappies are made from extremely absorbent synthetic material. They normally have sticky tabs to close and secure them. They are usually sold in sizes relating to the weight of the baby rather than the age. Is is therefore important to have an idea of how much your baby weighs. In the first few months babies need changing more often so you will need more nappies than later on. You may need about 6-8 nappies a day for the first few months. Used nappies should be disposed of into a covered bin.
What do I use to clean my baby’s bottom?
There are a variety of baby wipes which are suitable for using on a new baby. However in the beginning you could use just cotton wool and water as your new baby’s skin could be sensitive. Buying a large roll of ‘hospital’ cotton wool is much cheaper than bags of cotton wool balls or pleats. You can change to baby wipes later if they suit your baby’s skin.Using a nappy cream after cleaning your baby’s bottom can help protect against nappy rash. A thin film of it is enough around the bottom and genital area.
What do I do if my baby gets nappy rash?
Nappy rash is quite common, most baby’s will get it at some stage. It is usually a red rash or red patches between the cheeks of your baby’s bottom spreading out form the anus. It may be quite mild and cause your baby little discomfort. Using a nappy cream such as sudocream for a few days will normally clear it up. However some nappy rashes can be quite severe and painful for your baby. The skin around the bottom can become very red and shiny with broken patches. It is important to leave your doctor see such rashes as an infection may be present. A prescribed cream may be necessary to clear it up. Leaving off your baby’s nappy for short times between changes will help the healing process and be more comfortable for your baby.
A Step by Step Guide to Nappy Changing.
Step 1 Prepare
- Try to gather all the things you will need before you start.
- Always wash your hands before changing the nappy.
- Place the baby on a flat safe surface, this may be a changing unit, or on the floor or on a bed.
- If you are not using a changing unit, place a changing mat or towel under the baby to prevent staining or leaks.
Step 2 Doing it
- Open or remove the baby’s lower clothing. Sometimes you may need to remove the babies vest or other clothing if they have become wet or soiled.
- Open the nappy, if the nappy is just wet, remove the nappy then use a baby wipe or wet cotton wool to wipe around the babies bottom.
- If the nappy is dirty, use the front part to clean away some of the poo from the baby’s bottom then tuck the front under the baby’s bottom to cover the dirty part of the nappy while you clean.
- Cleaning the babies bottom may be easier if you hold his feet up and away from his/her bottom.
- Use baby wipes or damp cotton wool to clean the baby’s bottom if dirty, always wiping from front to back to reduce any infections spreading.
- Pat the botton dry with some tissue or soft cloth, taking care to dry any little creases of the baby’s skin
- Remove the dirty nappy from under the baby.
Step 3 Nearly There!
- You may wish to put the nappy and wipes etc into a nappy sack or plastic bag before putting it in the bin.
- Place a clean nappy under the baby’s bottom, making sure that it reaches up to the back of his/her waist.
- Smear on some nappy cream.
- Secure the tabs of the nappy.
- If using cloth nappies you will have to fold it correctly and then secure it with pins.
- Make sure the nappy is not too loose or too tight.
- Wash your hands again.
- Dress the baby again