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Is your baby in cloth diapers?
Do you need to learn how to change this type of diaper?
Why is this important to know even if you use disposable diapers?
Cloth diapers are a great investment for your baby. They can help you cut down on the cost of purchasing expensive disposable diapers, and they can reduce the risk of diaper rash in most babies. Since you can wash and use them again and again, they also significantly decrease the amount of trash you throw away every day.
Of course, changing a cloth diaper is not as easy as changing a disposable one, even though the process is much simpler now than it used to be in the past.
It’s important to understand how to change a cloth diaper so you can give your baby the best chance at avoiding leaks. Even if you use disposable diapers, you should brush up on how to change a cloth diaper in the event that your child gets a diaper rash and needs to go to cloth diapers temporarily.
In the article below, we’ll walk you through the steps required to change a cloth diaper and diaper cover appropriately. Read through this information to learn more about the process and to answer any questions you might have along the way, too.
Read on to find out more about how to change a cloth diaper.
- A baby changing table or another safe location for changing
- Clean cotton diaper
- Optionally, clean cotton diaper cover
- Baby wipes
- Diaper rash cream
- Change of clothes
- And of course—your baby!
1. Start by making sure you have everything you need nearby. Every parent eventually makes the mistake of beginning to change a baby without all the must-haves within arm’s reach, but try not to do this, as it will just make things harder for you!
2. Keep your baby in a secure location, like a baby stroller, crib, or car seat, until you have the diaper changing area set up and ready for her.
3. Place a changing pad down on the table.
4. Lay the cloth diaper out vertically, so that the shorter ends are on the top and bottom of the diaper.
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5. Open the diaper cover and place it alongside the changing pad.
6. Fold the bottom of the cloth diaper up to meet the top, and adjust until it is about the same length from top to bottom as the diaper cover is when it is opened fully.
7. Fold the diaper in thirds, starting on the right-hand side. Fold this side in so that the right side touches the middle of the cloth diaper.
8. Fold the left-hand third over so that it crosses the fold you just made. Keep this nearby, but out of the way for now.
9. Your diaper should be folded into thirds and should still be about as long as the opened diaper cover.
10. Lay your baby carefully on the changing pad.
11. Open your baby’s diaper cover and pull the front part down, leaving the rest of the diaper cover where it is.
12. Fold the dirty cloth diaper in half with the clean side facing out. This will make it easier to remove the mess without smearing it all over your baby. You will probably need to raise your baby’s legs and bottom to remove it.
13. Wipe your baby’s bottom from front to back to clean up any mess or residue. Use the baby wipes for this step.
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14. Check to see if the diaper cover looks clean. If it does, you can leave the old diaper cover in place. If it does not, however, you will need to change the diaper cover next.
15. Slide a folded, clean cloth diaper inside the diaper cover and underneath your baby’s bottom.
16. Rub diaper rash cream on your baby’s bottom as needed.
17. Fold the clean, fresh cloth diaper and the clean diaper cover up and over your baby’s bottom and stomach.
18. In some cases, you may need to fold the cloth diaper so that it is wider in the back and thinner in the front. This will depend on your baby’s size and wetting needs.
19. Secure the diaper cover in place using its snaps.
20. If necessary, dress your baby in clean clothes. If she is still clean, you do not have to change her clothes every time you change her diaper.
21. Throw the dirty cloth diaper into your diaper pail for cleaning later. Throw away baby wipes (do not flush) wipe them with a baby wipe before handling your baby again.
Did you learn something useful about changing your baby’s cloth diaper? This process isn’t a very difficult one, but it does take some practice to get it right. When you have a baby who wears cloth diapers, you may feel frustrated trying to learn how to work with these offers. However, with a little time and effort (and maybe a few rounds of diapering a teddy bear for extra practice), you’ll be able to change cloth diapers like a pro.
But is this really everything you need to know? Are there any ways you can cut down on leaking when you use a cloth diaper and diaper cover? Here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure your baby’s diaper is secure enough to prevent leaks:
- Always check with your fingers to ensure the diaper is snapped securely but not too tightly. You don’t want your baby’s skin to be red or cut by the elastic in the diaper, but you also don’t want the diaper to be so loose that every mess seeps right through. You will need to check the tightness, especially the first few times, to ensure you have it right.
- If you are using a liner in your diaper cover or cloth diaper, position the liner where your baby needs it most. If your baby wets more to the front or to the back, you can adjust the liner to meet these needs. Usually, this will depend on whether or not you have a baby boy or a baby girl, but there are always exceptions to the norm. You know your baby best, so make adjustments as needed.
- Use two cloth diapers doubled up if you have a heavy wetter. Many babies wet through a single cloth diaper and diaper cover easily. If your baby is a heavy wetter or if you’re just a little concerned about the possibility, you can always double your cloth diapers. You might choose to use a liner instead, but this serves more or less the same purpose.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to face whatever might come your way when you practice changing your baby’s cloth diaper. Remember that cloth diapers are a great choice and can help cut down on diaper rashes while reducing your negative impact on the environment at the same time. If you choose to go to cloth diapers, you are sure to be pleased with the results for you and your baby both!