Diapering a newborn can seem daunting in the first few weeks. Your baby is so tiny and wiggly and you’re trying to move quickly to minimize fussing and prevent an oops moment! Here are some diapering tips and product suggestions to make changing your newborn’s diaper run as smoothly as possible.

Be Prepared

  • Have your supplies ready and within arms reach: diaper, wipes, ointments, and any extra supplies you plan to use. It is helpful to keep everything in a caddy or basket so all items are in one place. If everything is easily accessible for you then your focus can be on your baby and you can smile, sing, or chat to her as you work.
  • A weighted wipe dispenser is a great tool so you can quickly grab one wipe or more as needed. The OXO Wipe Dispenser does just this. It easily opens and closes with the push of your finger and keeps your wipes fresh. And remember to always purchase unscented wipes.

Diapering Tips & Tricks

  • When diapering a newborn, you will need to be cautious of irritating the umbilical stump until it falls off around week one or two of baby’s life. Most preemie and newborn diapers have a half moon cut out to avoid baby’s belly button area. Even still, be mindful of where the diaper is making contact as you may need to fold down the front waist section to avoid it rubbing this sensitive area. In addition, avoid tight fitting clothing over baby’s midsection until the stump falls off.
  • In the award winning parenting book Newborn 101, Carole states to help avoid a surprise urination slide, “An open clean diaper under your baby’s bottom… before you take off the dirty diaper. Then once your baby is clean, you can simply pull out the dirty diaper and quickly fasten the clean one.” If your newborn does start peeing you can use a wipe, if you’re still cleaning up, or the fresh diaper to quickly cover up.

Baby’s Skin Is Sensitive

  • Be wary of using too many ointments or creams on baby’s skin as they can sometimes have the opposite effect and irritate rather than prevent a rash. A barrier ointment is a great product for routine use on a newborn’s bottom. Aquaphor Baby Healing ointment is an excellent choice for regular use barrier cream as well as EmBeba’s Natural Rash Balm.
  • If you start to notice a rash or irritation on baby’s diaper area, using a zinc oxide cream or paste can be a very effective treatment option. Some popular zinc oxide creams are Desitin Daily Defense, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, and Burts Bees Diaper Rash Ointment which is derived from 100% natural ingredients.
  • An additional tip is drying baby’s bottom with a dry face cloth or gauze pad before applying any ointment increases the effectiveness of the product you are using. A diaper cream applicator can also be handy in ease and cleanliness when applying ointment to baby’s bottom.
  • Lastly, particularly when diapering newborns, change baby often and be thorough with your cleaning. A good rule of thumb is change baby at least at every feeding.  Also, be sure to wipe front to back (particularly with girls) and clean all folds and crevices as best you can.

Diapering Tips Bonus: Changing time is an excellent opportunity to bond with your baby as you are so close to each other during this activity. Being as prepared as possible can make diapering feel easy rather than stressful for you and baby. Happy changing! For additional product recommendations check out these.

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About The Author

Courtney Poirier is a veteran Newborn Care Expert with Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. She has many years of experience with sleep conditioning and coaching in daycare & home settings. Prior to working with babies, she was an elementary school teacher. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their two sons.  One is seven years old and the other is nine years old.