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Newborn Must Haves Part One - Diapering

By Kimberley Fernandez - CLD, CCCE

Kimberley has been working with pregnant and new families in their birth and postpartum journey since 2006, and currently teaches virtually as well as offering pre-recorded classes through her teaching portal "The Birthing Room"


Newborn Must Haves - Diapering

Newborn Must Haves - Diapering

This week we are going to tackle what you will need to diaper and dress your baby. These may seem like no brainers but lets add some tips and tricks in there too. Diapers You may think babies will use a ton of diapers, and you aren't wrong, but they won't use a ton of newborn sized diapers. Those diapers will fit babies "up to 10lbs" and that is pushing it. So if you have an 8lb baby, they gain weight quickly in the beginning so they won't be in newborn diapers for a long time. So stocking up on newborn size diapers, especially if there is a sale won't be practical. I would start with 3 packages of newborn diapers (not cases) and if there is a sale and you have space to store, pick up some size one diapers as well. Wipes Consider what you will want to use for wipes. Commercial brand wipes can contain chemicals. If you want you can also use:

  • Dampened baby wash cloths (Definitely have a bunch of those on hand at your changing station

  • DIY wipes with wet paper towel. Cut a roll of paper towel in half, add to a used wipe container with water and any essential oils you are comfortable using and voila, homemade wipes.

  • Commercial brand "water wipes". These will have less chemicals and can be more convenient to use and dispose of.

For any wipe you chose, have a baby face cloth on hand to dry baby's bum really well before applying the bum cream as residue left behind can cause a rash. Baby Bum Cream You will need to have some type of barrier cream between baby and the black sticky nasty poop you will have in the beginning. Once the poop changes to the eventual yellowy thinner poop you don't necessarily need to use barrier cream anymore, unless baby is particularly sensitive to wetness on their tender skin. Options for bum cream include:

  • Vaseline - just make sure you clean and dry off baby's bum really well, the vaseline will adhere anything left behind to baby's bum and it could cause a rash.

  • Organic baby bum balm - these will be better for baby's skin but can also come with a higher price point. And give you will be changing baby's bum 6-8 times a day, the costs can add up.

  • Coconut oil - this will be more organic, easier to use than other oils and can make clean up for poopy diapers easier. You may also use coconut oil for other things as well, including flaky skin and cradle cap. Just keep on the look out for any allergic reactions such as a rash and discontinue use if you are worried.


Water Proof Change Pad In the early days, you may be changing baby wherever you happen to be in your house. So have in your multiple diaper stations around the house a water proof pad to lay baby down on. Even if you think baby has finished their business, sometimes as soon as the diaper is opened up and air hits their parts, they may pee again. Tip - Before opening the diaper use a cold cloth or wipe and run it across baby's belly just under the umbilical cord/belly button and wait a minute. This can often get baby to pee again. And don't think, just because you have a baby without a penis, that you won't get peed on. Baby boys will pee this way 👆 Baby girls will pee this way 👉🏻 Used Diaper Bin It's very common to purchase or be gifted a "diaper genie" and these will require expensive bag cartridge replacements. If you are exclusively feeding baby from your body, you won't have to worry about smell until baby starts consuming solids. Which means you may be able to get away with just a simple small green bin pail. You will need to empty it once every day or two but it will mean less expense for replacement bags. If you live in the GTA or an area that will pick up your green garbage weekly, that is usually where diapers will be put. They don't do anything special with them but it means you won't be keeping old diapers around for two weeks. More Tips For Diapering

  • As mentioned, if you live in a multilevel home, consider creating diaper stations around the house to limit your movement especially in the first few weeks of recovery.

  • Remember to open up the front as well as the back of the diaper and have the frills on the legs opened up too to prevent leakage

  • Always wipe from front to back and clean the urethra with a clean part of the cloth to prevent UTI's

  • DO NOT USE - Baby powder or cornstarch as these can be a suffocation hazard if inhaled by baby.

  • Consider placing a baby wash cloth over baby's genitals once the diaper is opened to prevent you getting peed on. A wash cloth will work better on baby boys than a "pee pee tee pee" which will often just make great rockets and not prevent you getting peed on.

Consider having a toy handy or colourful / geometric pictures near by to distract baby while you are changing the diaper.

  • Talk to baby while you preform this task. Tell them what you are doing. In the beginning baby's hate this (they hate it later too but for other reasons) and it can feel like torture to them. Use a calming voice as you walk them through the process to make the whole situation seem less irritating to baby. And that means they will cry less.

I've attached a video to show you just what you need to do to diaper your newborn.

For more information about Newborn Care, check out my virtual online workshop that covers everything from what baby will look like to dressing baby, baby hygiene, sleep, soothing and more.

Infant Care Class


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