Diaper Changing Question from a Newbie

Updated on January 03, 2008
S.H. asks from Allen, TX
12 answers

I have never changed a diaper in my life and I am weeks away from our first baby. I have a couple questions. Can I use baby wipes from the start? I read online that
you should use a warm washcloth for the first couple months because of sensitvity etc. That sounds crazy. Can't I just use sensitive skin wipes? Second, do I use baby powder and/or desitine type cream with every change? How do I know when to just change it vs.
using a cream or powder? Any helpful tips would be great! Thanks in advance for your help, S.

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

This doesn't really address you original request, but it is helpful advice.

If you are going to use disposable diapers, it helps if you "flare" the diaper, before redressing. There are ruffles along the edges of the diaper. If they are trapped under the elastic and not flared outward, the contents of the diaper may leak. (Speaking from experience as a first time mom.) So "flare" the diaper!

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N.O.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
Congrats on your new baby!
Yes you can use wipes from the beginning. I highly suggest bringing your own wipes to the Hospital when you deliver because they use the cheapy kinds that made both of my kiddos get a rash early on. YES, the best ones to use are the Sensitive skin for newborns. We used the Huggies sensitive skin for the first couple of months and they were great!
The hospital will provide you with diapers for your baby (while you're in the hospital) and the ones they gave us were the Pampers Swaddlers which are great! Make sure take as many as they'll give you since those diapers really add up! : )
The Swaddlers are super soft and my babie's never had rashes when using them.

Second, don't ever use baby powder and especially don't use diaper rash cream with every diaper change. I've been learning that powder should not be used at all. It's not good for the babies skin and desitin or diaper rash cream should only be used when she has a rash.
Girls are tricky though as newborns, they can get a yeast infection easily which looks very similar to diaper rash and if she gets yeast, she'll need a special cream prescribed by your pedi. If it is yeast, it will not go away with just normal diaper rash cream and it looks very red with tiny bumps.
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by you're not sure when to use cream or when to change her but as long as you know she's wet her diaper, make sure to change it to prevent a rash.
She should be using about 10 diapers a day in the beginning.
Good luck to you and feel free to PM if you have any other questions!
~N.~

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S., as you can see from all the other answers, the best way to go totally depends on you, your baby and your lifestyle. We can all tell you what we do, but it will come down to how your baby does with different ways and how you feel. Don't feel like you need to do one thing because it is right and everything else is wrong. I also had never changes a diaper before I had my son. You'll pick it up in no time at all! In my case, I started out using Pampers Sensitive wipes and they were great for about the first 18 months! Sometime around there, my son did start to develop bad diaper rashes and yeast infections so I have now switched to the warm water method which does seem to help. If your child isn't sensitive though, wipes really are much more convenient. As for diaper cream, I used to use Desitin whenever I saw redness starting to appear and that always nipped it in the bud. There is no need to use it at every change though if there are no signs of irritation. I now use Boudreaux's Butt Paste or a homemade cream that my pedi suggested. Baby powder does seem to be very controversial. The main danger of it is if the baby breathes is in. So if you do use it, be sure to use it sparingly and keep it well away from her face. I do choose to use it after every bath to make sure he is totally dry before putting on his diaper. I think it makes them much more comfortable. Congratulations!

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

S.,
They (Baylor of Dallas) gave me wipes from the very minute she was born. I tried a wipewarmer when I got home-was not impressed, but some people love them! They say now that you should not use baby powder b/c the baby can inhale and cause respitory issues, but who knows...it would be true, it could be a bunch of bull....every baby is different....I use cream only when my daughter looks like she may be getting a rash...she has had 3 in a years time....Don't worry...they will go over all of this before you leave the hospital...especially if it's a girl b/c you are told to only wipe downwards so that you don't give her an infection....I am sure you will do GREAT! Good luck!

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
First, congrats on your upcoming arrival! Second, you will be changing diapers like a pro in no time! My son is 4 months old and we have just now started using wipes because my pediatrician suggested that a newborn a baby really only needs to be cleaned with warm water, so we actually would change our baby by the sink and just use damp paper towels. And while it may sound funny, the nurse practioner in our office suggested running our baby's bottom under the faucet with warm water for the really messy kind of diapers! And it worked! We saved a ton of money in the beginning by changing him by the sink and he seemed to enjoy the water as well. We tried using cheap wipes once and the poor thing got a horrible diaper rash...one that really made his bottom raw and took three days to get rid of. I think the sensitive ones are the best and I would not recommend using cheaper ones, especially any that contain perfumes or unnecessary smells.
As for how often to change, its really going to depend on your baby. In the beginning you will change diapers like crazy, but once you learn your baby's cycle, it will slow down to changes around feeding times, naps and bedtime. As for diaper creams, I only use the cream after a messy diaper, and not after ones that are only wet. If the diaper is really wet, and your baby's skin is wet as well, be sure to either let it air out by leaving the diaper off for a while or use a papertowel as its important for the baby to be dry to prevent diaper rash. In 4 months my kiddo has only had diaper rash once and its when we used the cheap perfumed wipes.
Best wishes on your upcoming little one!

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M.R.

answers from Dallas on

I used Huggies sensitive from the time he was born. My son has always had sensitive skin and still does as me and his father does too.
I have never used baby powder cause the baby powder can get into the baby's lungs and can cause infection especially for the 1st 6 months-1 yr.
As far as diaper cream I Always use aquaphor as a barrier especially when I see the 1st sign of redness along w/aveeno diaper cream which for my son works best. Every baby is differnt and it is your decision on your likes and dislikes.
I have never been able to use any of the cheap wipes or diapers cause he always broke out in yeast infections/rashes.
I am only able to use Luvs, Pampers or Huggies.

Good Luck and I hope this helps.
You will be fine. It all will comes natural.
M.

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J.K.

answers from Dallas on

You can use sensitive wipes, the only thing is sometimes that still breaks out sensitive skin. With my first I had to wet Viva paper towels and use those which is still disposable and you don't have to wash a bunch of poopy washcloths. Also, I used cream only at night before I laid them down for a longer stretch and if they showed any redness I would use it at every diaper change until it cleared. As for baby powder they really are not suggesting that you use it that much because of powder residue is harmful to inhale. The only time I used it on my boys was if it looked chapped between their wrinkles and then I would only use a little and tap it close to the skin so the dust isn't flying everywhere. Just F.Y.I the Budreaux (sp?) Butt Paste is the best for rashes. Good Luck on Baby number 1#.

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M.W.

answers from Dallas on

S.,
I may be a lazy mom, but I could not imagine having to wash so many washcloths! Especially with so much else to worry about with a new baby and getting into a routine. Yikes! We've always used wipies; we used the sensitive skin Pampers wipes for the first couple of months and then used to cheapies from Sams Club or Walmart after that.

I've also always used powder (Johnson's pure cornstarch) and even just regular corn starch (yep, the stuff you cook with) in my girls' diapers. I shake some in every diaper change. They've very rarely had any diaper rash...only when I've been slow to catch poopie pants right away or when my eldest had too much citrus. Only on the few occasions they've had a rash do we use the cream stuff.

Unlike a previous poster, I had to change every time they woke. My youngest hated having pee pee pants and wouldn't go back to sleep if they were the slightest bit wet.

Good luck to you! Wishes for a smooth quick labor.

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L.J.

answers from Dallas on

congrats on the upcoming birth! I used baby wipes from the start with my 4 mo. old. I couldn't imagine using a washcloth for all those diaper changes. Don't be surprised if you change 11 or more diapers a day for the first couple of weeks or so. I knew there would be a lot of diaper changing but it was still beyond what I expected and definitely more poop diapers than I expected. I would use desitin or some type of cream at least every other diaper change until your baby's skin becomes accustomed to the diapers. I didn't use it every time at first and my son got a horrible rash. Oh and I agree with one of the posts that said if you are planning to breastfeed get help!!! I didn't truly get the hang of it until about 6 weeks. I wanted to quit cuz it was hard but i just stuck it out and now at 4 months I am still breast feeding. Take advantage of all the lactation people they send your way. They are really helpful. Good luck!!! I hope you don't have an 18hr labor like I did....epidurals are great (this from a girl who said she wanted natural childbirth....after 10hrs of labor that was out the window :)

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

Congratulations on the little one!

I used baby wipes from the get go and had no problems.

Best of luck!

C.
C. Roeschen
The Trinity Group
Keller Williams
###-###-#### Direct
[email protected]____.com
www.TheTrinityGroup.org

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I used wipes at the beginning. Those first few poo poos will be sticky and the wipes help with that! Be sure to let the baby air dry before you put on another diaper becuase if you trap in the wetness/moisture, you can create a rash. Don't use powders because they will get gunky when she pees. My trick to tell when she is dry is to pat the bottom. Still wet, wait a bit.

Also, when I went back in for my 2-month appointment, her pediatrician told me that I didn't really have to use wipes for pee pee diapers. He said that urine is sterile and is not necessary. I still use them for the #2's of course, but she has not had a rash since she was 2 months old and she's 15 months now! I know that the above is a touchy subject with a lot of moms, so check with your pediatrician for validation.

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

This isn't really an answer to your post, but something I learned with my first baby (I have 3 under the age of 4 now). You don't have to change the baby every time they wake during the night unless they are obviously soaked or soiled. I was nursing and was wearing myself out every night changing my daughter every 2 hours when she woke up. I'm embarassed to say that it took me almost 2 weeks to realize that she could go longer and still be comfy. I had just never thought about it before then. Congrats on your upcoming delivery. Also, if you are planning to nurse, don't expect it to come "naturally". Get as much help as you can from the lactation consultants in the hospital even if you think all is going well. With all 3 of my kids, breastfeeding was the most difficult part of labor/deliver/recovery. I also kept telling myself I would do it only one more day and then I could quit. When the next day came I'd say the same thing again. Mentally, it helped me feel like I had more control and was able to make it 13 mo with the first, 10 mo with the second and 11+ with my most recent one.

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