How to diaper a newborn | Bitty Baby Basics

Diapering a baby seems pretty straightforward, right? Ask a new parent and you'll find that's not quite the case.

Sure, the basic concept is simple, but how do you know if you've got the right fit, if you're using the right size, common culprits for those pesky leaks and blowouts? And what's the deal with cloth diapers? We're talking about diapering in part 3 of our Bitty Baby Basics Facebook Live video series with our tiny newborn co-host (who had a lot to say this time!) and co-owner Lindsey Hanna.

How to make sure your baby's diaper fits

When checking for fit with a disposable diaper, you want to make sure that the waist is neither too loose nor too tight. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit your finger between the diaper and the baby, but not much else. The legs should have no gaps, and make sure you have fanned out the elastic so that it's not inside the diaper. If you have a boy, make sure the penis is pointed down or the diaper will leak out the top. The gussets in a diaper are the protective barrier and what keeps the poop off of your baby's clothes ;).

It's time to size up when the diaper fits well, but you start to experience leaks and blowouts. With longer, leaner babies you may start to see a bit of "plumber's crack" as they outgrow the diaper in length, and with more chunky babies you might see their bottoms coming out the sides at the leg. When you size up, or if you're between sizes, make sure the diaper is tight around the waist to ensure that there aren't any gaps in the leg.

What's the deal with cloth diapers?

Cloth diaper tutorials abound online, but in our video we give a basic overview of different kinds of cloth diapers available.

All-in-one diapers: The diaper is in one piece, and there's nothing to stuff. It goes on much like a disposable and can only be used once. All-in-ones are available in both newborn and one-size diapers for bigger babies.

Pocket diapers: These diapers have a soft inner layer and can be stuffed with an insert or other absorbent materials. You can find them with snaps or velcro closure, and they are highly adjustable to your growing baby. A standard one-size pocket diaper will last your baby from the disposable equivalent of size 1-2 all the way up to size 6! With a one-size pocket diaper, there are snaps to adjust both the waist/leg and the rise of diaper (how tall it is).

Newborn pocket diapers: A smaller version of the pocket diaper. These will often come with a couple of settings and last from about 8lbs and until 3-4 months old.

Diaper cover: In our video, we show a one-size diaper cover. There is no soft inner layer and you place your baby's diaper directly onto the waterproof layer and against the baby's skin. You can put absorbent material in a cover, or put it over a disposable to prevent blowouts.  Options to go in a cover include an insert made of cotton, bamboo, or charcoal bamboo, prefolds, and flats/flour sack towels. Prefolds and flat diapers can be folded to lay in or folded and fastened onto your baby.

https://youtu.be/aSkPitRQvJk

Prevent Diaper Blowouts

In addition to making sure you have the correct fitting diaper for your baby, there are other tricks to prevent diaper blowouts.

Check out our latest Time Out for one of Abby's favorite tricks for stopping blowouts in their gussets!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-mePAVwGyY[/embed]

So what's with the snaps and velcro?

There are two basic kinds of cloth diaper covers: snaps and aplix (aka Velcro). Both kinds are made of a material called polyurethane laminate (PUL). It is waterproof to prevent leaks onto clothing, and there are one-size diapers on the market with an adjustable fit that can accommodate your baby as they grow. For a standard one-size diaper cover, there are snaps that adjust the rise of the diaper.

prevent diaper blowouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the poop stays in how?

Prefolds, flat diapers, and skin-safe diaper inserts typically go inside of a PUL diaper cover, but there are absolutely zero rules against simply placing a PUL cover over a disposable diaper! In addition to the absorbency of the diaper, the waterproof layer keeps clothes dry, the gussets keeps those poop explosions at bay, and elastic in the back keeps messes contained as well.  If your cover becomes soiled, you can wipe any solids off, wash in the washing machine, and line dry. Line drying is important because PUL can delaminate with excessive heat.

prevent diaper blowouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another fun perk to keeping a diaper cover or two handy is that even if you don't cloth diaper, you can use them for those diaper emergencies when you've run out of diapers but can't make it to the store right away. A cotton kitchen towel will get you through in pinch. Here's what each kind of cover looks like on the baby:

He's a bit furry, but he'll do ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much does a diaper cover cost? Where do I buy?

Cost for a one-size PUL diaper cover can run anywhere from $5-$20, depending on source, quantity, and quality. If you're Facebook-savvy, there are co-ops and resale groups dedicated to cloth diapers. Cotton Babies is a larger retailer based out of St. Louis, and there's always trusty Amazon. If you like shopping local as much as we do, Over the Moon Diapers is Memphis-run and accepts online orders with an option for local pickup. For clothing that's special to you or to save the hassle of a messy car seat on a long trip, utilizing a diaper cover is a cost-effective (and cute!) way to prevent diaper blowouts.

Did you find this trick to helpful? Do you think you would ever purchase a cover like this for yourself or as a gift? Let us know in the comments!