If you’re a first-time parent, you might be a little stressed about the whole diaper situation. Here are 15 common mistakes to avoid!
1. Not Washing Your Hands
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease can be transmitted through fecal matter, so you’ll always want to use soap and hot water after dealing with diaper messes. If you’re on the go, hand sanitizer is better than nothing, but it’s not a substitute for a proper wash.
2. Buying the Wrong Size
If the diapers are too big, you’re just asking for leakage. If the diapers are too small, they can chafe your baby’s delicate skin. Keep an eye on your child’s physical development and make sure that the baby’s diapers are growing with him or her.
3. Changing Your Baby Too Much
While it’s great to be vigilant about diaper rash, a small amount of urine isn’t going to irritate the skin, so you can safely wait until a bigger job comes along.
4. Changing Diapers on a Bed or Carpet
You’ll want your baby to be comfortable, of course, but soft surfaces can lead to squirmy bodies and big messes. If you don’t want to carry your little one to the nursery for every change, invest in portable changing mats.
5. Not Folding Down the Diaper
The umbilical stump on your baby’s stomach should never be covered by diapers. The pressure and moisture can lead to all kinds of infections. Keep it clean and dry, and let it air out until it’s completely healed.
6. Using the Wrong Baby Wipes
Avoid anything with scents, detergents or chemicals. Look for gentle, sensitive-skin wipes with hypoallergenic properties that can be used without issue.
7. Rushing to Change Your Baby
Let your baby finish his or her business before you start unwrapping the diaper. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because the baby has stopped grunting! Give it a good five minutes before you take anything off.
8. Not Securing Your Child During a Change
Even if you have the best-behaved baby in the world, it only takes a reflective kick or jerk to cause a fall. Keep a gentle hand on your baby’s stomach while you’re dealing with everything below.
9. Not Washing Cloth Diapers Enough
Wet, dirty fabrics can attract everything from bugs to mildew, so don’t let them sit around in the laundry chute. It’s recommended that you wash cloth diapers every two to three days at the minimum.
10. Putting Diapers in the Dryer
Air-drying is best for cloth diapers because it will preserve the fabric and help the diapers last longer. If you want a natural heat treatment, hang them on a clothesline in the sun.
11. Not Keeping Emergency Supplies All Over the House
You never know when a spirited baby is going to decide to unstrap his or her diaper when you’re not looking! Make sure that every room has diapers, wipes, creams, and something that you can use for a changing table.
12. Wiping Back to Front
This is an incorrect method that’s unfortunately prevalent in baby classes and workshops. When you wipe back to front, you’re bringing fecal matter closer to the genitals and risking infections. Always wipe front to back. This applies to both genders.
13. Not Pre-Treating Stains
While it’s true that the fluid fecal matter of newborns is easier to clean than the solid stuff of older toddlers, you’ll still want to pre-treat dark spots to completely remove them from fabrics. You can find stain removers that are specifically meant for baby clothes.
14. Not Using Diaper Cream
This is the easiest way to prevent rashes, especially if you buy a product with zinc oxide or petroleum jelly. They’re great for hydrating the skin without irritating it. You can also use baby powder, but make sure to keep it away from your child’s nose and mouth to prevent breathing problems.
15. Re-Using Dirty Diapers
This might sound obvious, but even dried-out diapers are filled with the bacterial remnants of a bowel movement. Always use fresh, clean diapers for your baby.
There’s more to changing a diaper than just securing some Velcro straps. Avoid these common mistakes to ensure that your baby is healthy, happy and comfortable during changes!