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Diapering and Dressing

Published February 26, 2008        by Nicole

You’ll probably feel a little awkward and clumsy the first few times you diaper and dress your baby, but with a little practice, you’ll be handling him with ease and confidence. Use a waist high table of some kind even for a tiny baby so you won’t have backaches. An old dresser with a pad on top will now, but modern changing tables have built-in safety straps to hold your baby when he is old enough to squirm and resist. If you use disposables, diapering is almost automatic: lay the baby on the diaper, fold the front half of the diaper up over the baby and fasten it with the convenient attached tapes. [Those tapes sometimes tear, instead of throwing a diaper away, mend it with masking tape.] To keep wetness from soaking into outer clothing, use disposables with elasticized legs and turn the plastic top of the diaper to the inside. A cloth diaper can be given a figure eight twist at the crotch for both double thickness and a tighter fit. Pin the back of the diaper over the front, slipping one or two fingers between the cloth and the baby’s skin to keep the pin from sticking the baby. Use a pincushion or bar of soap to hold diaper pins [do not use ordinary safety pins, and keep them out of the baby’s reach] Never hold pins in your mouth. Whichever kind of diaper you use, lay an extra one over your baby boy to avoid being squirted while you change him.

The kinds of baby clothes you select for your baby will reflect your own taste and inclinations. Some parents are willing to spend the extra time necessary to iron natural-fiber, woven- fabric because they like the look of a dressed up baby; others opt for simple knit clothing that needs little care. Whichever kind of clothing you prefer, look for garments that will be easy for you to put on and take off the baby-those with few, if any buttons, necklines with large enough openings to fit easily over the baby’s head, and sturdy crotch fasteners that make diaper changing easier.