Baby Care - Changing a Diaper
Ideally, a baby's diaper should be changed both before and after nursing. But until the age of about six weeks, most babies protest loudly and tearfully against anything that delays nursing time. So, provided that the baby has not had a bowel movement, it is better not to insist on a pre-feeding diaper change in the interest of a peaceful nursing session. After the baby has nursed, he or she is generally more cooperative.
Some parents, especially mothers, like to change a newborn baby on their laps; others prefer to use a waterproof changing mat on a bed or a dresser top. The mat should be covered with a soft towel so that the baby is not placed on a cold plastic surface.
No matter how clean the baby is kept, the skin in the diaper area may still become sore and red. When the first signs of diaper rash appear, add extra absorbency by folding a cloth diaper in half and wrapping it round the baby's waist over the clean ordinary diaper. Secure the extra diaper with a diaper pin, like a skirt. During a bout with diaper rash, plastic pants are no longer suitable.
To prevent a cloth diaper from becoming stained, rinse the stools off the diaper as soon as possible. Hold the diaper under running water in the toilet bowl. It should then be put to soak in a sterilizing solution, in the receptacle provided by the diaper service, or in a household bucket.
The parent's hands should be washed thoroughly after a diaper change. It is not appropriate to leave the child unattended for this because some infants will begin to roll over as early as two months. Here again, careful planning is the key in baby care.
The Older Baby. A baby who sleeps through the night may, during that time, soak through an ordinarily folded diaper. Soaking can be prevented to a certain extent by folding the skirt-shaped diaper around the baby's waist. But if the baby moves around the crib during the night (as happens when a baby is about nine months old), the skirt diaper rides up out of position.
To provide a diaper that stays in position and also has plenty of absorbency, fold one diaper lengthways until there are three folds; turn up one end of the diaper to create six thicknesses, and lay the folded diaper inside the kite-folded diaper. This puts eight layers of diaper where it is most needed. Because the diaper is bulky, this method should only be used during the night, not when the baby is awake and active.
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