Changing diapers is such an integral part of caring for a newborn baby that we usually expect anyone can do it. But to many new parents, or those just expecting their first baby, changing a diaper can be a little intimidating. So, how do you do it?
The first diaper
Babies start peeing right after birth. The first bowel movement consists of meconium, a sticky substance that developed within the bowels during the pregnancy. This meconium poop usually makes its appearance within 24 hours. If you are lucky, you will still be in hospital and have some nurse change this diaper for you. Meconium is hard to get off a baby's bum, but poops get easier after that especially if the baby is being breastfed.
Most people, these days, use disposable diapers like pampers. These are extremely easy to use, and are very absorbent. The pack will come with instructions on how to put the diapers on, but you won't need those... as long as you remember that the two sticky tabs go on the front. If you go with sposies, you should buy a few packs of the smaller sizes in advance and try which fit best.
Disposable diapers combine well with wet wipes and diaper cream. Although they are absorbent, you should still check whether they are wet or soiled regularly, because the fluids mixed with chemicals do irritate the skin. If the diaper is wet or dirty, wipe the baby's bum and genitals with a wet wipe, and stick it into the used diaper after use. You can then wrap the diaper up and throw it in the garbage. Put diaper cream on your baby before replacing the soiled diaper. Boys can actually pee quite the distance when they are diaperless, so some folks put towels on to of the baby to minimize the damage. Girls who pee when diaperless will just leak onto the surface below.
Cloth diapers are gaining popularity, and modern cloth is a real pleasure to use. If you are interested, see cloth diapers a guide for more information.