You'll probably decide before you bring your baby home whether you'll use cloth or disposable diapers. Whichever you use, the baby will dirty diapers about 10 times a day, or about 70 times a week.
Before diapering a baby, make sure you have all supplies within reach so you won't have to leave your baby unattended on the changing table. You'll need:
- a clean diaper
- a fastener (if cloth is used)
- diaper ointment if the baby has a rash
- a container of warm water
- clean washcloth, diaper wipes, or cotton balls
After each bowel movement or if the diaper is wet, lay your baby on his or her back and remove the dirty diaper. Use the water, cotton balls, and washcloth or the wipes to gently wipe your baby's genital area clean. When removing a boy's diaper, do so carefully because exposure to the air may make him urinate. When wiping a girl, wipe her bottom from front to back to avoid a urinary tract infection. To prevent or heal a rash, apply ointment. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after changing a diaper.
Diaper rash is a common concern. Typically the rash is red and bumpy and will go away in a few days with warm baths, some diaper cream, and a little time out of the diaper. Most rashes occur because the baby's skin is sensitive and becomes irritated by the wet or poopy diaper.
To prevent or heal diaper rash, try these tips:
- Change your baby's diaper frequently, and as soon as possible after bowel movements.
- After cleaning the area with mild soap and water or a wipe, apply a diaper rash or "barrier" cream. Creams with zinc oxide are preferable because they form a barrier against moisture.
- If you use cloth diapers, wash them in dye- and fragrance-free detergents.
- Let the baby go undiapered for part of the day. This gives the skin a chance to air out.
If the diaper rash continues for more than 3 days or seems to be getting worse, call your doctor — it may be caused by a fungal infection that requires a prescription.
More from MSN Healthy Living:
- Baby Sleep: Fact vs. Fiction
- Baby poop: What's normal?
- 8 Mistakes Rookie Parents Make
- Bing: Tips for New Parents
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