Diapering & Clothes

Diapering can be one of the bigger expenses of early parenthood, and you’ll spend a lot of time changing your baby.

Cloth or Disposable Diapers?

Before you change that first diaper, give some thought as to whether you want to use cloth or disposable diapers. Cloth diapers are better for the environment and your bank account, but they do require more of an upfront investment than disposables do. But, as we all know, nothing beats the convenience of disposable diapers.

If you decide to use cloth diapers, you’ll want to attach a sprayer hose in your bathroom. It’s quick and easy to do and will make clean up much easier.

There is no right or wrong answer here. Look at your values, check out how cloth diapers are so much better than they used to be and consider your lifestyle before making your choice.

What You’ll Need for Diapering

You’re going to need to have a few things on hand before that first diaper change, including:

Make Sure You Have a Diaper Bag

The best diaper bag is an essential piece of gear for whenever you leave the house. It’s your portable diaper changing station. Make sure your diaper bag has a changing pad in it that you can use in public restrooms.

Diaper bags can get filthy after a while. You might want to choose a dark-colored one that doesn’t show the dirt as much, or find a machine washable one that you’ll be able to easily clean.

It’s a good idea for the diaper bag or diaper backpack to have lots of pockets so you can stay organized.

How to Change a Diaper

Grab all your supplies — we’re going to walk you through your baby’s first diaper change.

Here is how you’ll do it:

  • Make sure all your supplies are within arm’s reach.
  • Put your baby gently down on their back.
  • Take off their clothing that is in the way of the diaper change.
  • Remove the dirty diaper by pulling at the tabs on the sides.
  • Lift your baby’s bottom up a bit so you can move the dirty diaper out from under them.
  • Clean your baby’s bottom with a wet wipe, wiping from front to back for girls.
  • Use ointment if needed for any diaper rash.
  • Grab the new diaper and place it with the tabs down under their bottom. Place the front part of the diaper onto your baby’s stomach and fasten the sticky tabs onto that.

Paying Attention to Poop

When you’re changing your baby’s diaper, keep an eye on their stool. As gross as it sounds, you can tell a lot about your baby’s health by the color and consistency of their poop.

The first few poops your baby has can be quite alarming. It can look greenish-black and tarry, causing you to wonder if it’s normal. Don’t worry — it is.

Called meconium, this poop is made up of things your baby ingested in the uterus, like cells, mucus, and amniotic fluid.

If you’re breastfeeding, you can expect yellowish-green, creamy poop for your baby. It might look runny and even like diarrhea. You might even see little things in it that look like seeds.

This is all completely normal for breastfeeding poop. And as a bonus, it doesn’t smell bad.

If your baby is formula feeding, the poop will be more brownish in color and kind of like the consistency of peanut butter. It smells worse than breastfed baby poop.

Diaper Rash

It’s easy to tell when your child has a diaper rash. You’ll see redness and bumps in the diaper region. To take care of that rash as fast as possible, you can:

  • Change diapers as soon as they are dirtied.
  • Put ointment on the rash.
  • Let your baby have some time without wearing a diaper to reduce the irritation.

Potty Training

When your baby is a toddler, they’ll be ready to start potty training. The biggest thing you’ll need for this is a bunch of patience.

It also helps to have pull up diapers and a child-sized training toilet. Let your child dictate when they’ll be ready to tackle this challenge. And remember not to punish them for any setbacks they have — they’re learning as they go along.

Clothes

Your baby will need to dress appropriately for the weather of the season. When you’re leaving the hospital, make sure they wear something that is suitable for the temperature, not just a cute outfit for going home in.

When dressing your baby, use this rule — they’ll be comfortable in one more layer than you will be. Ideally, you’ll have enough baby clothes so you won’t have to do laundry more than once or twice a week. It’s good to have spares in case they are any diarrhea blowouts or frequent leaks.

Make sure your child has an assortment of clothes and other essentials, such as:

  • Short sleeve and legless baby onesies.
  • Long sleeve onesies.
  • Pants.
  • Pajamas or sleep sack.
  • Baby socks, even if they don’t stay on and they drive you crazy.
  • Jacket or coat.
  • Baby blankets.
  • Crib sheets.
  • Swaddling blankets.
  • Burp cloths.
  • Bibs.

When buying clothes, it’s a good idea to get them a little big. You’ll get more use out of them.

Laundry

Hopefully, you don’t mind doing laundry because you’re about to have a lot more of it to do each week. Babies go through a surprising amount of outfits, burp cloths, bibs, and bedding every week.

You may not want to use the same detergent for your baby as you would use for yourself. It may be too harsh for a baby’s gentle skin. Often, your pediatrician will recommend a baby-friendly formula, such as Dreft.

Related Topics
Ultimate Kids Pants Size Chart (Baby, Toddler, & Big Kids)
Ultimate Kids Pants Size Chart (Baby, Toddler, & Big Kids)
Ultimate Diaper Sizes Guide (Infants to Toddlers)
The Ultimate Diaper Sizes Guide for Your Baby
Ultimate Kids Shoe Sizes Charts (Baby, Toddler & Big Kids)
A Comprehensive Kids Shoe Sizes Chart (And How to Measure Feet)
How to Fold Baby Clothes: We’ve Got You Covered
The New Way to Fold Baby Clothes: A How-To Guide
10 Best Diaper Changing Clutches (2020 Reviews)
Best Diaper Changing Clutches of 2020
10 Best Baby Dresses (2020 Reviews)
Best Baby Dresses for Your Little Princess
10 Best Rompers and Bodysuits (2020 Reviews)
10 Best Rompers and Bodysuits (2020 Reviews)
7 Best Travel Diaper Bags (2020 Reviews)
The Best Travel Diaper Bags to Take on Your Next Vacation
5 Best Diapers for Sensitive Skin (2020 Reviews)
Find the Best Diapers for Sensitive Skin (Cloth vs. Disposable)
7 Best Diaper Bags for Twins (2020 Reviews)
7 Best Diaper Bags for Twins (2020 Reviews)
7 Best Cloth Wipes (2020 Reviews)
Best Cloth Wipes of 2020
21 Clever Ways to Organize Baby Clothes (Tips from a Mom)
Bundles of Joy or Bundles of Mess? How to Organize Baby Clothes
13 Best Toddler Rain Boots (2020 Reviews)
Best Rain Boots for Little Explorers: How to Find the Perfect Pair
Top Tips for Dressing Your Baby in the Summer Time
How to Dress Your Baby in the Summer: An Easy Guide for Comfort in the Sun
Washing Baby Clothes (Ultimate How-to Guide)
The Ultimate Guide to Washing Baby Clothes
10 Best Baby Clothes & Brands in 2020 — No More Naked Babies!
10 Best Baby Clothes & Brands in 2020 — No More Naked Babies!
The 10 Best Baby Winter Clothes (2020 Reviews)
Best baby winter clothes of 2020
How Many Newborn Clothes? Find out What Your Baby Actually Needs
How Many Newborn Clothes? Find out What Your Baby Actually Needs
Selling Your Baby’s Clothes: The Complete How-To Guide
The Best Ways to Sell Your Baby’s Clothes
How to Make DIY Homemade Baby Laundry Detergent
How to Make DIY Homemade Baby Laundry Detergent
13 Best Baby Socks That Actually Stay On (2020 Reviews)
13 Best Baby Socks That Actually Stay On (2020 Reviews)
13 Best Baby & Toddler Pajamas You’ll Love (2020 Reviews)
13 Best Baby & Toddler Pajamas You’ll Love (2020 Reviews)
10 Best Baby Mittens You Can Buy (2020 Reviews)
Prevent Scratches and Keep Fingers Warm With The Best Baby Mittens
15 Best Baby & Toddler Walking Shoes (2020 Reviews)
Best Baby Walking Shoes of 2020
17 Best Baby Onesies (2020 Reviews)
17 Best Baby Onesies (2020 Reviews)
13 Best Baby & Toddler Snowsuits (2020 Reviews)
13 Best Baby & Toddler Snowsuits (2020 Reviews)
20 Best Baby Bows, Headbands, and Hair Clips of 2020
20 Best Baby Bows, Headbands, and Hair Clips of 2020
13 Best Nursery Hampers For Your Baby’s Room (2020 Reviews)
These 13 Best Baby Hampers Won’t Put a Damper on Your Baby’s Nursery
7 Best Cloth Diaper Sprayers (2020 Reviews)
Best Cloth Diaper Sprayers of 2020
10 Ways to Fold Cloth Diapers (Step-by-Step Guide)
A Step-By-Step Guide To Folding Your Cloth Diapers
The Best Cloth Diaper Pails and Liners (2020 Reviews)
The Best Cloth Diaper Pails and Liners (Simple, Practical, Odor-Control)
Got Stinky Diapers? How To Effectively Strip Your Cloth Diapers
The Ultimate Guide To Why, How, and When To Strip Your Cloth Diapers
The Know-It-All Guide To Prepping Your New Cloth Diapers
How and Why To Prep Your New Cloth Diapers
Cloth Diapering 101: Your Ultimate Guide to Using Cloth Diapers
Your Ultimate Guide To Using Cloth Diapers
Washing Cloth Diapers: Everything You Need To Know
Washing Cloth Diapers: Everything You Need To Know
12 Creative Storage Solutions For Organizing Your Cloth Diapers
12 Creative Storage Solutions For Organizing Your Cloth Diapers
Bleaching Cloth Diapers — What You Need To Know
When and How To Safely Bleach Cloth Diapers
How Many Cloth Diapers Do You Actually Need?
How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?
How To Get Ammonia Out Of Your Cloth Diapers In 5 Simple Steps
How To Get Ammonia Out Of Your Cloth Diapers In 5 Simple Steps
Treating Diaper Rash: The Ultimate Guide (8 Effective Methods)
Treating Diaper Rash: The Ultimate Guide (8 Effective Methods)
How to Get Free Diapers at Cloth Diaper Banks In 3 Simple Steps
How to Get Free Diapers at Cloth Diaper Banks In 3 Simple Steps
How to Remove Breast Milk Stains from Your Clothes
How to Remove Breast Milk Stains from Your Clothes
Naty Disposable Diapers Review (2020 Edition)
Naty Disposable Diapers Review (2020 Edition)
10 Best Detergents for Cloth Diapers (2020 Reviews)
10 Best Detergents for Cloth Diapers (2020 Reviews)
9 Best Diaper Caddies (2020 Reviews)
The 9 Best Organizational Caddies for Easy Diaper Changes
7 Steps to Use Diaper Cream (Are You Missing One?)
How to Use Diaper Cream (7 Simple Steps)
15 Best Cloth Diapers (2020 Reviews)
The Best Cloth Diapers For Eco-Friendly Mamas
Baby Cries During Diaper Changes (9 Tips to Help You Cope)
Why Does My Baby Cry When I Change Their Diaper?
10 Cloth Diaper Benefits That Will Make You Want to Switch
10 Amazing Benefits of Cloth Diapers That Every Parent Should Know
10 Best Diaper Rash Creams (2020 Reviews)
Best Diaper Rash Creams of 2020
10 Best Baby Laundry Detergents (2020 Reviews)
Best Baby Laundry Detergents of 2020
11 Best Baby Towels & Washcloths (2020 Reviews)
11 Best Baby Towels & Washcloths (2020 Reviews)
10 Best Baby Wipes (2020 Reviews)
How to Find the Best Baby Wipes for Your Baby
4 Simple Tricks to Pack the Perfect Diaper Bag
How to Pack Your Diaper Bag
The Right Way Clean Your Diaper Pail
How to Clean Your Diaper Pail & Remove the Stink
How to Clean and Disinfect Your Diaper Bag Like a Boss
How to Clean and Disinfect Your Diaper Bag
How to Remove Those Pesky Poop Stains
How to Remove Those Pesky Poop Stains
13 Best Backpack Diaper Bags (2020 Reviews)
The Best Backpack Diaper Bags for Toting Diapers In Style
How to Dispose of Dirty Diapers (The Right Way)
How to Dispose of Dirty Diapers (The Right Way)
7 Best Diaper Pails (2020 Reviews)
7 Best Diaper Pails (2020 Reviews)
10 Best Changing Pads (2020 Reviews)
10 Best Changing Pads (2020 Reviews)
12 Best Changing Tables (2020 Reviews)
12 Best Changing Tables (2020 Reviews)
13 Best Diaper Bags (2020 Reviews)
13 Best Diaper Bags (2020 Reviews)
9 Best Pull Up Diapers for Potty Training (2020 Reviews)
9 Best Pull Up Diapers for Potty Training (2020 Reviews)
11 Best Swim Diapers (2020 Reviews)
11 Best Swim Diapers (2020 Reviews)
10 Best Overnight Diapers (2020 Reviews)
What are the Best Overnight Diapers for Keeping Baby Dry?
12 Best Disposable Diapers (2020 Reviews)
12 Best Disposable Diapers (2020 Reviews)