Contrary to a popular belief, you don’t automatically possess all the knowledge needed to care for your baby right after he/she is delivered; diapering is one of those necessary skills. Even second and third-time mothers and fathers may still have questions when it comes to diapers for newborns. Here are a few pro tips to help you on your way.
Counting Dirty Diapers
One of the most frequently asked questions about diapers is how many wet and dirty diapers you should expect from your newborn. Counting soiled nappies is one of the best ways to tell if your baby is getting enough to eat. A good rule to follow for the first week is to expect the number of dirty diapers equal to baby’s age. One day old is equal to one wet diaper and one dirty, two days equals two diapers and so on; after the fifth day, you should look for 5 wet and 3 loose stools per day.
Different colors are also completely normal. A newborn’s first few bowel moments will be nearly black and very sticky resembling tar. After the third day, the color should change to a seedy yellowish hue for breastfed babies and a medium green if formula fed. Note: it is not uncommon for breastfed infants to have a higher number of poopy diapers.
When to use cream or powder?
Most pediatricians now advise not to use baby powder or to use it very sparingly. Even the talc-free and cornstarch variety can be inhaled and damage baby’s lungs. Powder should also not be used on the irritated skin as build up can cause rashes to spread.
Rash cream, although much safer should only be applied when needed; using too much could cause the irritation to take much longer to heal. Butt paste, A&D ointment, and Desitin are the most commonly used creams used to treat diaper rash. However, Desitin has been known to have a few side effects and may even be toxic in some cases. If you have a baby girl, make sure to check the ingredients for powder as it may cause yeast infections.
What Kind of Wipes to use?
What kind of wet wipe you choose really depends on your baby’s skin. Although all babies’ skin is extremely susceptible to irritation, and some are more so than others. Heavily scented wipes, though pleasant to the senses, may cause a severe reaction for some infants, even if the package says sensitive. There is a very little difference between cocoa butter and cucumber beside the fragrance, so it is really up to you what brand, thickness, and scent you prefer.
One thing is for sure, you are going to need lots and lots of diapers. If you are using disposable, it is wise to buy multiple boxes of different sizes in advance to save money in the long run. You can also ask for different sizes at your baby shower because babies don’t stay tiny forever. The same goes for cloth diapers. Stock up on different size covers, so you will be prepared if he/she decides to grow overnight. (Which they do!)
Tip: A good way to tell if your infant has outgrown their diaper is by checking how they fit around the legs. If the leg holes seem too tight, it is probably time to bump it up a size.
There is nothing wrong to use diapers for newborns. Just pay attention to the signs of allergic reactions or irritation. As with many areas of parenting, let your child lead the way in which choices are right for them.