The Great Nighttime Diaper Change Debate

Being about as far from a parenting expert as one could possibly be, I seek out parenting advice from a variety of sources. Some are family, others friends, and yes, the internet. Twitter has been instrumental in a number of my parenting successes and in building me up when I’m feeling not so confident in my choices.

With help from all these groups I’m usually able to navigate most challenges.

But there is one thing that my parenting sources cannot agree upon. Changing nighttime dirty diapers.

When Eli was really little, I changed his diaper at every nighttime feeding. He was much more bothered by wet diapers then and I was way more neurotic. In the past month or so I’ve transitioned to only changing him when he’s awake. So if we’re having a successful dream feed, I’ll leave the wet diaper on, so far without issue. But poop? Poop I always change.

Until last night.

For some horrible reason, the baby has recently decided that he doesn’t really want to go back to sleep after the feeding between 5 and 7. As a non-morning person, that bit of sleep is my favorite. So this morning when Eli stayed asleep for the 6am feed and pump I was faced with a dilemma. My smell test indicated he had pooped, but he was out. I could either attempt a sleeping diaper change and risk waking him, or I could leave it for the next 2.5 hours and risk a rash.

I’m not proud of it, but I totally picked the latter. And when I changed him at the 9am feeding, I expected a horrible rash and instead found…nothing. The kid duped me. It was just gas. I almost risked waking him up for gas and yet somehow I still feel guilty about my decision.

This is one parenting issue that I can’t find a good answer for. Do you change dirty diapers at night? Or do you prioritize sleep over possible rashes?

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