Changing diapers is one of those things that every new parent WILL do, guaranteed. It’s a rite of passage of sorts. Changing a disposable diaper is one thing, but changing a cloth diaper is another. That’s why we wanted to share some basic instructions with you so we can make you a cloth diapering changing champion!
Find a Solid Surface: You’ll want to designate one spot in your baby’s room for diaper changes. A diaper changing table is great, but will require you to buy one and strap your baby in for every change. A cornered off area on the floor is free and doesn’t require you to strap your baby in for each diaper change.
Organize Your Space: You’ll want your stash of cloth diapers and wipes ready to go and near your designated changing spot.
Prepare Diapers and Wipes: If you have pocket diapers, you’ll want them stuffed, sized correctly (one-size diapers can be sized to fit your baby snugly as they grow) and ready for use. If you use reusable cloth wipes, you’ll want to make sure the wipes are pre-moistened.
Set up Diaper Sprayer: If you’re going to be changing cloth diapers a lot, we suggest you invest in a diaper sprayer toilet attachment. This way, if baby has soiled diapers, you can rinse them off over the toilet which ensures less staining and better washing results.
Invest in a Diaper Pail Liner or Hanging Diaper Bag: You’ll want to have a dry storage container to store diapers between washings. We recommend a washable, reusable diaper pail liner or hanging diaper pail versus plastic bags. This way you just throw the diapers and the pail liner into the wash together – no waste!
Talk to Your Baby: Tell her that you’re going to change her diaper. Make faces and smile at her. Believe it or not, diaper changes are a good time to bond with your baby since it’s just you and her in the room.
Remove Soiled Diaper: Gently take off your baby’s diaper. If it’s messy, you may want to fold over the diaper so you have a surface that you don’t mind getting dirty as you clean your baby’s bottom. Infant boys tend to pee when exposed to air, so you may want to cover him with a wash cloth so you don’t get splashed.
Clean Baby: You’ll want to wipe girls gently front to back. Make sure you wipe both boys and girls even if s/he only urinated. You want the baby’s bottom to be clean and smell fresh. If you use reusable cloth wipes, be sure the wipes are moistened before rubbing it on baby’s skin. If possible, use warm water and wipe softly to avoid irritation. If using disposables wipes, opt for natural or chemical-free wipes to avoid irritating baby’s bottom.
Put Soiled Diaper to the Side: You’ll want to focus on changing your baby, so simply set aside the soiled diaper and wipes until your baby is dressed.
Secure New Diaper: Slide the new diaper under baby and fasten on top. Most modern cloth diapers come with snaps or Velcro to make changing your baby easy to do. You want to make sure the diaper fits snugly in the waist and leg casings. If you have a one-size cloth diaper, make sure the diaper has been adjusted properly. If you have sized diapers, make sure you size up when the time is right.
Dress Baby: You’ll want to dress baby and put her in a safe spot so you can move on to disposing of the diaper. You’ll need both hands for this.
For wet diapers only…
Put Diaper in Pail: For wet diapers only, you can simply put the dirty diaper in the diaper pail. If you have a pocket-style diaper, you’ll want to remove the insert before washing both the insert and outer shell.
For soiled diapers only…
Rinse over Toilet: You’ll want to use your diaper sprayer to rinse solid soiled diapers over the toilet. Once they’re rinsed well, flush the toilet and store the dirty diaper in your diaper pail.
Congratulations! You’re officially a cloth diapering changing champion. It wasn’t so bad, was it?
Sure it takes a few extra steps to change a cloth diaper, but consider it the cloth diapering world’s gift to you. Think of it this way. Most of us are so busy that a few extra moments of alone time with our baby can only be a good thing. Plus, you’re saving money and doing what’s best for Mother Earth. A win-win for everyone!