Baby Diapering Tips and Tricks

A great diaper is absorbent, fits well, and is comfortable. Sounds simple, right? Well, if you've ever strolled down the diaper aisle, you know that there are as many options as your new baby has fingers and toes. But it’s not hard to find the perfect diaper for your perfect baby when you know what you're looking for.

First, you'll want to determine your new baby's diaper size, which is organized by weight. There are two ways to know when you need to move to a bigger size: your baby weighs more or your baby begins soaking through diapers. The bigger diaper will be capable of handling more waste. Even though he’s within the size three weight range, I recently moved my son Henry to size four because his pajamas pants were damp to the touch every morning. Now that he's in size four, he's perfectly dry.

You’ll also want to purchase overnight diapers. During the day, you should change your baby's diaper whenever it's wet and after every poop, but at night, your baby will probably end up wearing a dirty diaper for longer. Overnight diapers hold more waste for long periods more effectively than regular diapers. They're designed to last twelve hours and work amazingly well!

A soft but absorbent diaper will quickly draw urine away from your baby's skin, keeping the skin dry and less likely to become irritated.

When it’s time to change your new baby’s diaper, the secret to keeping baby happy is distraction! Sing a song, offer a toy, or make funny faces. I've also found that it helps Henry ‘transition’ to diaper changes if I tell him what I’m going to do before I start taking off his pants. And whatever you do, before you start changing the diaper, make sure you have wipes and a clean diaper nearby! There's nothing like trying to contain a wiggling, poopy baby while you search frantically for some wipes...only to discover you've run out.

Trust me, as a new mom, I’ve been there, done that, and somehow survived to tell the tale!

6 New Mom Diaper Changing Tips

Learning how to change a diaper isn't rocket science, but there are a few tricks to making the process a bit easier. Believe it or not, if all the stars align, a diaper change can even be a sweet bonding moment. Until, of course, you realize you've got a smear of poo on your forehead. Here are some tricks I’ve picked up as a new mom:

Tip #1: Gather everything you need, such as a clean diaper, plenty of wipes, and a towel or changing pad to keep the floor from getting dirty. And yes, I said "the floor!" I find it's easier to sit on the floor and change my son. This way, I don't have to worry about him rolling off a changing table.

Tip #2: Tell your baby what you're going to do. Even a newborn can start to learn cues. Say, "I'm going to change your diaper now. Please hold still." Show your baby the clean Pampers diaper. My son responds better to diaper changes when I approach it this way,as opposed to suddenly removing him from fun time and stripping him naked without a word -- how jarring!

Tip #3: Check down the back for poop. The worst thing is being 'surprised' by a really dirty diaper.

Tip #4: Although you're concentrating on the task at hand, it really helps if you can simultaneously distract your baby with a toy, a song, or (as they get older) a request, such as, "Can you sing me the ABCs?"

Tip #5: If it's a poopy diaper, use the front inside to do the initial wipe instead of a disposable wipe. This technique cleans up most the mess in one swoop. Put the dirty diaper out of your baby's reach. As you use disposable wipes to clean up any remaining poop, put the wipes in the center of the dirty diaper. When you're all done with the change, roll up the dirty diaper and wipes, and then affix the tabs across the front to make a ball. This traps all the waste inside and will keep your diaper pail smelling decent for longer.

Tip #6: When boys are little, they may pee as a reflex when their penis is exposed to the air. Prevent this -- or at least, prevent a huge mess -- by putting a washcloth over the penis after you prepare the clean Pampers diaper. Girls should be wiped from front to back to prevent the transfer of fecal matter into their vaginas.

Learning how to change a diaper can be a challenge. To become a diaper-changing pro, just remember: Practice makes perfect!