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How to Change Reusable Diapers: 5 Pro Tips

Some time ago a reusable diaper was simply a piece of cotton fabric secured with safety pins. Since then cloth diapers have changed a lot. They come in a variety of types and forms and many parents are choosing reusables for ecological reasons, their low cost, and the comfort for their little ones.

This 5-Minute Crafts guide will explain the basics of reusable diapers and show the basics of diapering, while providing some tips to make things easier for you.

❗ This article is for informative purposes only and can’t replace the recommendations of an expert.

1. Understand the difference between a disposable diaper and a reusable one

  • The comfort of the baby. If diapers are changed in due time — when they are full, the difference between the reusables and disposables is not so big. But reusables may help with potty training: the child will notice the wetness sooner and this may stimulate them to switch to underpants.
  • Convenience. Modern cloth diapers come with thoroughly designed shapes and waterproof elements that help to avoid leakage. They have convenient fasteners that make the changing process as convenient as with disposable diapers.
  • Price. Though reusable diapers require greater initial investments, they are more than 2 times cheaper than disposables in the long run.
  • Influence on the environment. Disposable diapers are produced using wood and plastic, and then they accumulate in dumps. Reusable diapers can be used multiple times, reused for new babies, or sold.

2. Figure out how many reusable diapers you need

There is no absolutely correct number for the reusables you need for your baby. But it is easier to build your diaper stash knowing the approximate figures. It’s good to have 2 or 3 days’ worth of diapers at any given time. This means one should have 36 pieces for a newborn, 24 for an infant, and 20 for a toddler.

The precise amount may depend on the diaper type and your laundry habits.

3. Learn how to prepare for diaper changing

1. Wash your hands.

2. Choose a clean cozy changing place and prepare all the necessities:

  • Clean diaper.
  • Clean diaper cover — just in case, you may not need it if the one the baby is wearing didn’t get dirty.
  • Fasteners.
  • Wet disposable wipes, reusable wipes, or washcloths.

4. Get to know the steps of a reusable diaper changing

1. Lay the baby on a prepared flat surface, unfasten the diaper cover if there is one, and then the dirty diaper. Pull the front half of the diaper down. Then fold it in half under the baby’s bottom. The clean side must be on top.

2. Wipe the baby’s front with a wet wipe or washcloth. If your baby is a girl, wipe from front to back. This helps to avoid infection. If there are feces in the diaper, take another wipe to clean them.

3. Let baby’s skin air dry. If you don’t have time, wipe their bottom dry with a clean cloth. Apply a diaper balm on their dry skin, if necessary. Meanwhile, take away the dirty diaper and dirty diaper cover, if there is one.

4. Slightly lift baby’s legs and bottom and lay down a clean diaper and, if needed, a diaper cover, underneath. The back edges should match the baby’s waistline and the diaper between the legs must be spread as wide as it looks comfy.

5. Use fasteners to close the diaper. If the type of diaper you are using needs a cover, make sure that is not showing from beneath. Then check to see if the cover fits well: a finger should easily slide under the elastic around the legs and waist. You can then dress the baby and go about your day.

6. Clean as much feces from the diaper and washcloths as possible. Then put them into a diaper pail or wet bag and don’t forget to wash your hands.

5. Bonus: Try diapering lifehacks

  • Keep something to distract your baby nearby. If the baby is too active during the changes, a small toy, a mirror, or a picture to look at can help you a lot.
  • If you use the diapers that need to be pre-assembled, keep several of them ready. You may combine this activity with your rest — assemble the baby’s clean diapers while watching TV.
  • To avoid staining you need to soak reusable diapers for one or 2 hours before washing them.
  • Diapering is a good time to communicate with the baby one-on-one. You can sing songs, touch and name the baby’s body parts, and play simple games.
  • Use small waterproof bags if you need to change diapers on the go. Prepare several bags with one diaper and some wet wipes. When the time comes, it is very easy to replace these items with dirty ones.
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