If you’ve ever been curious about how quick your hands can move, try changing a newborn’s diaper at 3:30AM while they scream bloody murder. The piercing shrill in the still night will send anyone into a panic. For me, however, panic quickly shifted into incredible focus and dexterous precision.
I’m telling you, Bruce Lee has nothing on me. Three months with a first time baby and these hands can pretty much karate chop like nobody’s business!
My daughter’s diaper wasn’t the first I’d ever changed but it sure was the most strenuous – at least at the beginning. She was born in May when the weather was incredibly cold and despite using a heater to warm up the room, she still hated having her little body exposed.
I dreaded hearing her scream so it quickly taught me how to reduce her exposure time by making her diaper change as pleasant and swift as possible. Here are some of the things I learnt that will hopefully help new mums out there.
7 Tips for Newborn Nappy Changing
- Be prepared. The last thing you want is to realize that the diapers are in one corner of the house, diaper cream in another and a screaming baby in front of you. So before starting, make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need at your changing station. It also reduces the amount of germs spread around the house.
- Invest in a heater/humidifier. You’ll need to have a heater close by to warm the room up before you undress her and especially if your baby happens to be born during the cold season. I found it would sometimes help calm her down if she was in a warmer room.
- Zipper onesies are your friend. It may seem like an insignificant detail but trust me, there’s a huge difference between doing up 15 buttons and quickly zipping up a onesie at 4am in the morning. It just makes your work that much easier and had I known, I’d have invested in a lot more of the zip-up kind.
- Stock up on cotton wool. Not only is it better for your newborn babies’ skin, it’s also better for your wallet! Because a baby’s skin is much thinner, doctors will often advise you to avoid normal wipes and instead use cotton wool dipped in water or water wipes. To make sure it’s a more pleasant experience for your baby, make sure the water is warm.
- Cleanliness is key. Always be cautious of your baby’s hands and feet touching a dirty diaper. You can wipe down her hands to make sure she didn’t touch anything she shouldn’t have and as soon as your done with the change, make sure to wash your hands too. Also, regularly washing/wiping down the changing pad is important.
- Double Up. One of my best friends taught me this trick and I’ve used it ever since! If you’re looking to minimize the mess (and trust me, it can be messy) place a clean diaper underneath the dirty one before removing the dirty diaper. It will help catch any incoming poop or pee which is something that happens more often than you think!
- Turn it into a bonding experience. From about one month, I started to sing or chat to my baby every time I’d change her. I also made sure I started off the diaper changing process by kissing her little feet and smiling at her so she could associate it as bonding time with mummy. She’s now a lot less fussy whenever her diaper needs to be changed and will often give me a huge smile when I kiss her toes!
Changing a newborn’s diaper may seem like a daunting experience but it really doesn’t have to be. Besides, given how many times you need to change their diapers, you’ll be a pro in no time.
And don’t worry too much about nighttime diaper changes, soon they won’t be necessary so you need not lose sleep over it. Pun intended!