Preparing for nappy changes

Published by Baby Bunting on Sunday, January 27, 2019

One of the first adjustments to make when bringing your baby home is adjusting to nappy changes. Until your baby grows into a toddler or small child and completes their toilet training, nappy changing will be a big feature of your life and theirs.

The first nappy changes

Newborn babies feed frequently and in small amounts. This can result in highly variable toilet habits and anywhere up to eight changes or more per day.

Your baby’s first poos will consist of meconium – the waste product of amniotic fluid and other nutrients that has built up inside them during their time in the womb. Meconium will appear black and tar-like and often won’t smell like poo. This is normal, and once your baby starts breast or formula feeding the appearance, smell and consistency of their poo will change too.

Newborn babies have very delicate and sensitive skin, so it’s important to change them at the first sign they need it. A good routine to develop is to check them after every feeding session.

Cleaning and changing

  • Gently wipe your baby from front to back with wet cotton wool, a damp cloth or disposable baby wipes.
  • Either pat your baby’s skin dry with a towel or allow them to air dry for a few moments.
  • Never leave your baby unattended on a change table or elevated surface.
  • A good habit is to always have one hand on your baby while changing.
  • If your baby is developing any redness or rashes, apply a baby friendly lotion after changing.

Changing tables vs changing mats

Changing tables are fantastic for providing a dedicated nappy-changing station. All your changing items can be kept in one place and many change tables come with side railings or inclines for added safety.

Compared to changing tables, changing mats can be stored away with minimal space requirements, are easy to clean and can be placed down on any surface.

Disposable nappies vs reusable nappies

Disposable nappies have the obvious benefit of being able to be thrown away with your baby’s poo and are ideal for when you’re out and about or if you’re travelling. On the other hand, reusable nappies are cheaper to use and are much better for the environment than the disposable variety.

Stocking up

Because newborns go through so many nappies – and nappy shopping is probably far from your mind once you’ve come home – it’s important to have a decent stockpile at hand. If you account for a baby needing eight changes per day, err on the side of caution and stockpile for at least a week to 10 days’ of nappies, amounting to a minimum of 80.

If you use reusable nappies, have at least three to five days’ worth at anywhere between 25 and 40. You’ll be able to see when your stockpile is running low and you can wash and dry dirty nappies within a few hours. Whichever you choose, just make sure you’re ready – newborns can go through a lot of nappies, and quickly!

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