How To Use A Cloth Diaper
How Often Should I Change My Baby
Babies should be changed often -- every two hours or so. Bacteria begin to form as soon as a child wets or soils, and leaving a diaper on a baby for prolonged periods can not only produce irritation but compromise the skin to the point of serious infection. The chemical dryness of disposables has produced a great lowering of standards in baby care because parents are led to believe that as long as the diaper feels dry, it's all right to leave on. It isn't! Dry does not mean clean, and the urine absorbed by the chemicals used in disposables stays right next to a baby's skin. (As do feces, which are a tremendous breeding ground for noxious bacteria.) Chemicals are not a substitute for the attention babies need, and "set-and-forget" diapering is not healthy.
To Fold A Diaper
Step 1:Prefold diaper. Dotted lines indicate thick center panel.
Step 2:Fold up bottom third of diaper. For newborns, fold up bottom half, shortening fold as your baby grows.
Step 3:Fold left side panel over thick center panel.
Step 4:Fold right side panel over, tucking it under the first folded side panel. This locks the sections together for a neater look and a better fit.
Step 5:Open overlapping back section. Place baby on diaper with the wide top section centered at the baby's legs. Close in between the legs.
Step 6:Bring the wide back ends of the diaper over the baby's hips and pin to the front section. Ease the pad section wider as necessary to comfortably encircle the baby below the nave. While pinning the diaper, insert your finger between the baby and diaper for baby's protection. Pin as the illustration shows.
Have all the diaper-changing items by your side, as well as your napkin and safety pins. Place a towel, protective cloth diaper, or changing cloth over the table. If the baby is on table from which he or she could fall, don't leave or take your attention from the baby, even for a second. Always keep one hand on the baby. If no safe place is available, make certain that someone holds the baby at all times.
If your cloth is rectangular, fold it into a square. Fold the square in half, into a triangle. Arrange the triangle so the top tip points away from you. (Fold #1)
Fold the top tip down to touch the base of the triangle (Fold #2). Now your triangle looks like its tip's been cut off. Bring in the outside tips to meet the middle tip (Folds #3 and #4). This will create a rectangular shape.
Pin the three tips in the middle, leaving a big hole on the top and two smaller holes on the bottom on opposite sides. Always keep your hand between the skin and the diaper to avoid sticking the baby.
Bring the baby over to a sturdy, flat, clean surface. Lay out the diaper so that the outside tips are closer to the baby's belly button, and the top tip is closer to the baby's knees. Insert the baby through the big hole and guide the baby's legs through the little holes on the sides. Adjust the pins.
Make sure you have everything you need accessible on the changing table or in the diaper bag. During the early months of infancy, diaper changing can take place as often as hourly during a baby's waking hours. Frequent changing and care will help prevent diaper rash.
Wash and dry your hands thoroughly and remove jewelry that can scratch the baby's skin.
Your job can be made much easier if you can keep the baby entertained long enough to keep still while you do the changing. Either you or someone else can create the diversion, or a mobile above might also do the trick. A stuffed toy within sight can help, or perhaps a toy when the baby gets bigger. But keep the changing accessories out of baby's reach - and thus out of his or her mouth.
Place a towel, protective cloth diaper, or changing cloth over the table. If the baby is on table from which he or she could fall, don't leave or take your attention from the baby, even for a second. Always keep one hand on the baby.
With a warm washcloth or diaper wipe, wipe girls from front to back, and boys from back to front. A good idea here is to keep a fresh diaper draped over a baby boy's penis (as a defensive measure!) while changing him.
If you used water or pre-moistened wipes, you'll want to pat the baby dry. Then use diaper ointment, if indicated, or dust the diaper with cornstarch.to an equal height, usually from one to two inches up.
Place the clean diaper underneath the baby. Bring the bottom half of the diaper up through the baby's legs. Aim a boy's penis downward into the diaper to prevent wetting his shirt.
When using cloth diapers, pin the diaper, always keeping your hand between the skin and the diaper to avoid sticking the baby. The diaper should be tight enough to protect leaks but not so much that it irritates the baby's skin.
Put any formed stool into the toilet. Cloth diapers should be rinsed and tossed in a tightly covered diaper pail until wash day. If not at home, place in a plastic bag until you get home. Change any clothes or linens that require it. Wash your hands one last time.