I still remember one of my very first nights as a new mom when I made a huge diapering mistake. I’m sure all new parents can relate to some of these common mistakes. You know what they say though? The best way to learn how to change dirty diapers quickly is to learn all the pro tips you can!
One of my twin daughters, Alison, asleep in the pack n’ play at the foot of our bed, starting pooping. I know because all newborns make extremely loud pooping noises.
So, as a dutiful new mom, I sprung out of bed, picked up a few Pampers Swaddlers diapers (which are super soft and awesome for newborns with their mesh liner insert) and Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes which have a perfect soft texture and are perfume-free and hypoallergenic, and began to change her diaper in the diaper changing table insert that came with our Pack n’ Play.
However, you should know this changing table insert listed downward terribly to the center of the pack n’ play (this was before Graco wised up and started putting supports under those things!) which made changing my small newborn even more difficult as she rolled on her side instead of lying flat on her back.
But I knew my daughter had pooped, so I needed to get on with it and change her diaper!
However, this was a mistake.
As soon as I had her diaper off, and was working to get the next one put on, she shot, and I mean SHOT that yellow liquid newborn poop all over my fingers, her legs, and this blasted changing table!
As I began to wipe up this nasty mess from off everything, she did it again, and again. How many more times, I am not quite sure, but it seemed to go on forever! It was terrible!
After a handful of wasted diapers (they had poop all over them), and likely half a package of Pampers wipes, I got her changed into a clean diaper and finally put her back to bed.
The funny thing is that in the morning, my husband was checking her over, and noticed something on her legs… It was poop residue I had missed! In the dim light of our middle of the night diapering fiasco, I guess I missed a few spots!
Wait a little bit to change the wet diaper
My first diapering lesson was learned: when you hear a newborn start making those (loud and hilarious) pooping sounds, do NOT rush to change them. I repeat, do NOT change them immediately! Wait at least five minutes before you change them, or you may get poop everywhere and waste a lot of extra diapers and wipes.
Honestly, this advice is true not just for newborns, but babies and toddlers too. Give them five minutes at least to finish doing their thing.
Since that fateful day as a new mom, I have made a few more diapering mistakes. I want to share them with you in the hopes that you can avoid as much extra mess and expense (and stress) as possible.
11 Diapering Mistakes to Avoid
Diapering Mistake #1. You change your baby’s diaper immediately after it’s soiled.
My story above beautifully illustrates the why behind this mistake.
The Solution?: Wait at least five minutes after you hear or recognize that your child has pooped before changing his or her diaper.
Diapering Mistake #2. You change diapers that are barely wet.
Changing a baby’s diaper frequently is ultra important to help prevent against diaper rashes, but seriously, you will waste a lot of diaper money over your child’s lifetime if you change a diaper every single time it has a squirt of pee in it (poop is a different beast – even a small amount of poop in the diaper can cause serious irritation and redness so always change those and clean baby well after bowel movements).
The Solution?: If you start to change a diaper and realize that it’s still mostly dry, stop, and put it back on your baby. Most diapers only need to be changed every 3-4 hours unless they’ve been pooped in. Pay attention to your baby’s skin as well during this process.
Diapering Mistake #3: You forget to wash your hands after diaper changes.
Besides being kinda gross, making this mistake can lead to you getting sick. Illnesses sometimes transfer via fecal matter, like one of the most common baby viruses: Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. I know that sometimes you are changing a diaper in weird places and may not have access to a sink with soap, or you are wrangling other kids as well, or whatever and it doesn’t happen. No judgments here.
The Solution?: Make it a point to wash your hands with soap and water after every diaper change (or at very least the messy ones) and keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or car if you can’t wash them in a sink. Don’t remember this lesson the hard way. Just make a habit that every time you put a new diaper on your baby, you head to the sink to wash your hands.
Diapering Mistake #4: You didn’t use diaper cream at the first sign of redness.
Baby skin is super sensitive and it can get irritated, red, sore, and inflamed quickly. Sometimes we think because we cleaned up all the mess that led to the redness, the baby is good to go… Sadly, it’s not always the case as they may have more acid poop coming again that day which will only compound the soreness they already have. Babies with terrible diaper rashes suck and are one of those moments that make you cry along with your baby.
The Solution?: Make sure you have diaper rash cream available at every diaper changing station in your house and in your purse or car so you are ready to apply some whenever and wherever it is needed. It’s just a great extra protection. You don’t have to use so much cream but some is good.
Diapering Mistake #5: You didn’t check your diaper bag before leaving the house.
Nothing sucks like being out with your baby, catching a whiff of that stink, heading to the bathroom, opening your diaper bag and realizing you don’t have any diapers, or if you have diapers, don’t have any wipes! This leaves you begging diapers and wipes off strangers (I’ve totally done it), wetting paper towels (if they have any in the bathroom) to use as baby wipes, using toilet paper from the stalls, or leaving your baby in a soiled diaper the entire ride home (or at least until you can purchase what you need from a store somewhere else).
The Solution?: Make checking your diaper bag part of your “leaving the house routine” and when you refill your bag, put in multiple diapers and wipes. It’s also smart to keep extra diapers and wipes in your car, just in case. This might be one of the biggest diapering mistakes that a lot of moms make.
Diapering Mistake #6: You changed a blowout diaper on a soft surface.
When your baby has an explosive diaper or liquid poo, it is very unadvisable to change their messy diaper on a soft surface like your carpet or bed because it will likely get covered in poop. When you make this diapering mistake, you’ll not only be removing poop stains from their clothes, but poop stains from your carpet or bedding too.
The Solution?: For runny or extra messy poop situation, opt for a hard surface, like your bathroom floor, kitchen floor, or the bathtub. They are much easier to wipe clean and sanitize. A changing pad works great, too.
Diapering Mistake #7: You run out of diapers or wipes.
We’re all busy and forget to pick up things from the store occasionally. Unfortunately, running out of diapers or wipes is extremely stressful as you have to chase diapers from random places around your home until you can head to the store for more: the car, dresser drawers, purses, closets, etc. in order to keep your baby’s bum dry and clean. Or get creative with what you’ll wipe your baby’s bum with. Or run out to whatever store may be open at midnight to buy more.
The Solution?: Always buy large boxes of diapers and wipes and set reminders for yourself to pick up more, before you’re running low. You can order a giant box of Pampers diapers or wipes online directly from SamsClub.com and have them shipped directly to your door or do a Club Pickup to make it easier on yourself.
Diapering Mistake #8: You pay full price for diapers.
Often when we run low on diapers we don’t have the luxury of shopping around for the best price on diapers, which is why avoiding mistake #7 above is so important in order to save money on diapers. You should never have to pay full price for diapers or wipes as stores frequently run sales and manufacturers offer coupons.
The Solution?: Take advantage of diaper and wipe sales and promos as often as you can. Right now you can get an instant savings of $10 when you buy two Pampers products or $18 when you buy three at Sam’s Club or SamsClub.com. Combine those savings with the fact that Sam’s Club offers more wipes and diapers per box than most other retailers, and you are getting an incredible deal!
Diapering Mistake #9: You forget to pre-treat poop stains on baby clothes.
Sometimes we don’t pay enough attention to what has stains on it before we throw it in the wash and don’t check things too carefully before we put clothes in the dryer which can lead to lovely yellow stains on lots of our baby’s favorite clothing items.
The Solution?: Use method #3 in my tutorial on how to remove poop stains from baby clothes. It’s amazing and free!
Diapering Mistake #10: You left the diaper pail unattended in the same room as your baby.
Baby registry lists love to suggest parents buy diaper pails (aka glorified trash cans) to contain all the messy and stinky diapers you change. However, not all diaper pails are made equal and some are way too easy for babies and toddler to tip over, open up, and start digging into… including digging into messy diapers they find inside. Yes. This totally happened to me…
The Solution?: Either put diapers into your regular kitchen trash can (maybe first putting stinky ones into a small plastic shopping bag first) and take that trash out every day or put the diaper pail high enough where little hands can’t get into it. Or buy one that is harder to open.
Diapering Mistake #11: You assumed your child couldn’t remove their diaper.
Almost all babies like to experiment and test out their dexterity by removing the velcro tabs on their disposable diapers. While you may laugh or think it’s cute the first time, it isn’t cute if you have a baby who continues to remove their diaper at every opportunity, taking off their clothes just to get at their diaper, every single nap time. Now imagine you have twin babies who both like to do this…. And don’t assume they won’t test the limits of the “tricks” you may use to stop them.
You’ll soon find out that if your child wants to have a change of clothes or put on dry diapers, they just might try and do it themselves!
The Solution?: Check out my post with 10 ways to stop a baby from taking off their diaper.
I may never forget that first middle of the night diapering fiasco as a new mom, or the many other times I made diapering mistakes over the last seven years, but I am glad they provide me with great stories to tell my children as they get older and want a good laugh.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pampers at Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.
Samantha B. says
After having 5 kids, I can say we’ve been there and done that! Thanks for the helpful article. If you do get bad carpet stains, I seriously couldn’t be more happy with the results I’ve gotten from Chem-Dry! Thanks again!
Chelsea @ Life With My Littles says
Oh my goodness, I agree with all of these!!!!
Save on diapers…1, elimination communication (find video on youtube) and teach potty training when they start to wallk. 2, never buy brand name. I bought walmart brand, and i only spent maybe 700 dollars between 3 kids