Newborn Diaper Changing Essentials
When the term “newborn essentials” comes to mind, diapering and changing is generally at the top of the list. You can always wait on the highchair or even the crib, but you’ll be changing diapers from the get-go. Here’s what you need to have on hand from day one:
- Whether you choose cloth or disposable, most new parents find it helpful to have some disposables on hand, at least for the sticky, tar-like first poops and the frequent wet diapers and explosive bowel movements that characterize the early weeks.
- Look for color-changing diapers and/or umbilical-cord cutout diapers for convenient newborn diapering.
- If you choose to buy disposables, have both newborn (or “swaddles”) and size 1 diapers, because you never know how big your baby will be.
- If you’d prefer cloth for environmental and/or health reasons, learn more about your options here.
- If you want to stock up on baby wipes, always make sure they’re fragrance free and made for babies with sensitive skin.
- However, you could really just use some basic cotton squares dipped in warm water before solid foods are introduced.
- Parents concerned about waste and landfill contributions should look into reusable wipes, like this Bottoms Up Reusable Baby Wipes Kit. But like cloth diapers, you’ll be doing enough laundry (what with spit-up and bowel explosions) that you might want to have some disposables on hand as well.
Somewhere to change the baby.
- Whether you have a designated changing table or simply a changing pad to attach to the top of a dresser, it’s a good idea to have a pad that buckles your baby in. To save some money and space, you can always use a portable changing pad (or towel) on top of a bed or couch – but always keep one hand on your baby.
Changing pad covers.
- If you’re using a changing pad, have at least two so that you have an extra if things get a little messy. You can always use a sheet saver (or blanket) to extend the life of your changing pad cover.
Diaper pail and refill bags.
- This is, of course, not a true necessity since you can always throw the diapers in a regular trash bag. However, with five poop-filled diapers a day, you’ll want something to contain the stench. Check out our Babble Best Diaper Disposal Units feature to see our favorite picks.
Hand sanitizer to keep by the changing station.
- It’s a good idea for your baby to have his or her own separate laundry hamper because A) many items will be contaminated with some form of bodily fluid; and B) most parents wash baby clothes in separate fragrance-free, baby-friendly detergent.
- Whether you choose a diaper stacker, diaper bins or diaper baskets, you’ll want somewhere to organize all of your little diapers in easy reach – whether cloth or disposable.
Diapering Basics: Month 1
For a full list of what you should expect in terms of diapering and beyond, check out Babble’s Newborn Survival Guide for week 1. We’ll give advice on things like:
- How to change a diaper – because, believe it or not, many of us never practice that crucial basic;
- What a normal bowel movement should look like in week 1;
- How to care for a newly circumcised and uncircumcised penis; and
- How to treat your baby’s umbilical cord stump.
- We’ll also tell you when you should absolutely call the doctor, how to handle feeding and digestive issues, and how to bathe and groom your little one.
If you’re now in week 2 of your motherhood career (old pros, we assume), there are still always-evolving changes taking place – yes, even in your baby’s diaper:
- Find out why your baby’s poop suddenly has a different consistency and what is normal.
- If you notice a drastic change in your baby’s diaper contents, learn about the different digestive issues to look out for.
- Learn what to expect if you opt to circumcise your baby after you get home from the hospital or birthing center.
And once you get to the last two weeks of your baby’s first month, there will be still more changes as far as diapering goes:
- You might notice that your baby’s bowel movements drastically reduce as his or her digestive system matures, but don’t feel discouraged if you’re still changing five poop-filled diapers a day.
- Continue to read more about changes in his or her feeding and digestive habits, and how they might affect what you’re seeing in your baby’s diaper.