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7 Diapering Rules Every New Parent Should Know
  • Changing a baby's diaper is pretty straightforward. Most parents learn their own easiest and fastest technique through experience. However, there are some diaper rules that are better off learning now than later as their consequences can lead to infection, diaper rash, and accidents. Take note:

    1. Wipe from front to back.

    It's to prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI), explained BabyCenter. Remember that bacteria can be found on the skin around your baby's genitals and rectum. Wiping the other way around, meaning bum first, makes it easier for bacteria to get to the urinary tract and cause an infection. 

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    2. Always pat dry before applying diaper rash cream or petroleum jelly. 

    The key to a diaper rash-free baby bum is to keep it dry as much as possible. Rash cream and petroleum jelly work act as a protective barrier between baby’s skin and wet nappy, but you have to make sure the bum is dry before applying it. “If it can lock moisture out, it can also lock moisture in, which defeats the purpose of keeping your baby’s skin dry,” said pediatrician Dr. Ina Atutubo

    Another rule to remember: if your baby already has diaper rash, don’t use petroleum jelly. “It may worsen the condition because it makes the irritated area more moist,” said Dr. Atutubo.  

    3. Always have everything within reach before changing.

    You should already have everything you need — the clean diaper, wipes, rash cream, etc. — before you lay your baby down to change him, especially if you’re changing him on an elevated surface like the bed or table. Always keep one hand on your little one. The same advice should be followed when bathing a baby.

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    4. Don’t cover the umbilical cord stump. 

    Until your baby's umbilical cord stump has fallen off, the area must be kept clean and dry to prevent infections. “Covering the umbilical area keeps in moisture, which is a perfect environment for bacterial growth,” said Dr. Atutubo. It’s the reason why a belly binder or “bigkis” isn't a good idea either.  

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    5. Detergent for cloth diapers should be dye- and fragrance-free. 

    Some babies' skin tend to be very sensitive to the regular detergent that we use, said Dr. Jamie Isip-Cumpas, a pediatrician from Parkview Children’s Clinic in Makati. Just like your baby's bath soap, the detergent for her clothes, including her cloth diaper, should be fragrant-free and does not contain any dyes. 

    “Technically, you don’t need to use fabric softener,” she added, as some can be very harsh and can trigger some babies to develop rashes. “But if the fabric softener doesn’t have a strong scent, is very mild, and doesn’t irritate the baby’s skin then that should be fine.”

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    6. Have distractions for baby.

    It’s not only difficult to change the diaper of a malikot baby, things can quickly get very messy too. Before you begin, have distractions at the ready for your baby, like a small toy he can play with or book to hold. You can also talk and sing to your baby to keep him entertained. Use this chance to bond, mom! 

    7. Always have resealable bags in your diaper bag.

    Diaper changes happen outside your house too. A couple resealable bags inside your baby’s diaper bag ensures that you have somewhere to stash a dirty nappy when there’s no place to throw it out yet. (Remember the diaper that was found hanging on the MRT wiring?) If you’re placing the nappy back in the diaper bag, the seal will keep the stink at bay. See what other essential items you should have in your baby’s diaper bag here.   

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