Get everything you need before changing your baby's diaper. Once you start changing, don't take your eyes off your baby even for a second. Babies wiggle and move. They can get hurt or fall in an instant.
To change your baby's diaper:
- It's best to wash your hands before changing your newborn's diaper. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after each diaper change, too.
- Lay your baby on a clean surface. Take along a blanket or changing pad when you go out.
- Remove the dirty diaper.
- Use a washcloth dipped in clean, lukewarm water. Wash all the area on your baby that the diaper covers. Wipe from front to back to avoid infection.
- Every time you change a diaper, clean your baby's umbilical cord. Use a cotton swab that you have dipped in rubbing alcohol. Squeeze it so that it is almost dry. Gently clean off the sticky stuff around the cord where it touches your baby's tummy. The cord will fall off by itself in five to 10 days. Your baby may cry when you touch the wet swab to the cord. Be gentle. Check with your doctor if your baby cries at other times when you touch the cord. Check with your doctor if the skin around the cord is red.
- Now put a clean diaper on your baby. If you are using pins, put your hand between the pin and your baby's skin. Do not let the diaper cover up the umbilical cord.
Newborns use about 10 diapers every day. Change them as soon as they are wet. This can prevent rashes. Have a place to put the soiled diapers and washcloths.
For more information about dads and their baby's first year, get The Everything® Father's First Year Book by Vincent Iannelli, MD, which is published by Adams Media and is now available at your favorite bookstore.
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