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Diapering 101

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Leaks. Rashes. Blowouts. Who needs 'em?

If you're not careful, there are lots of diaper mishaps that can happen. Luckily, with a little know-how, these common pitfalls can be avoided.
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From birth to toddlerhood, your baby will spend most of her time wearing a diaper! So it makes perfect sense to pay attention to the finer points of diapers and diapering to make sure your little one is comfortable, protected and free to move about. Knowing the diaper basics will help you choose the right diaper and avoid diaper mishaps.

Choosing the right diaper

Shape and fit top the list when it comes to finding the right diaper for your baby. So we've got ideas to help you make sure you're giving your baby the snuggest, most comfy fit.

Start with the right size. Size can play a big role in finding the right fit. But how can you tell if your baby is wearing the right-sized diaper? Leaks, red marks, gaps or a diaper that fits more like a "bikini" pant are all signs of an improper fit. Watch for these tell-tale signs and pay close attention to the weight chart on the package to help you choose the size that's best for your child's age and stage. If your baby is nearing the top of the weight range, it may be time to consider moving up a size for optimal diaper performance.

Then take some time to consider the shape of the diaper. It just makes sense that a diaper should be shaped more like your baby, not like a box. For instance, HUGGIES® Little Snugglers Diapers and HUGGIES® Little Movers Diapers have an hourglass shape that is contoured between the legs. It makes the diaper fit better and feel more natural and gives your baby that carefree comfort to move freely. Some moms say that a more natural-feeling diaper gives a baby the feeling of wearing her favorite thing—nothing at all!

"Our Abby is bursting with curiosity! If her diaper is bulky and boxy, I feel like I'm inhibiting her sense of wonder and discovery," explains Carrie. "We want a diaper that's shaped to fit her — not one of her blocks!"

Stretch can also play an important role in fit and leakage protection. That's why so many moms prefer a diaper that provides all-around stretch. That means stretchy side tabs, as well as a stretchy waistband in the back. It's this all-around stretchy combo that leads to a better fit and great leakage protection. HUGGIES® Snug and Dry Diapers have all-around stretch and unbeatable leakage protection.

Then consider what will be touching your baby's tender skin. Opt for soft and comfy materials, like HUGGIES® Pure & Natural Diapers. It's little details like these that offer added reassurance that your baby has a comfy secure feeling as she wears her diaper.

When you're looking for a diaper with a snug fit, consider these questions:

  • Do I have the right size for my baby?
  • Is the diaper shaped like my baby?
  • Does the diaper offer all-around stretch for a snug fit?
  • Is the material soft and comfy?

Avoiding diaper mishaps

If you've ever experienced a blowout or a leaky diaper, you know that it's something you want to try to avoid in the future. Your baby is uncomfortable and you can be mortified — clean-up on aisle 5!

When a blowout happens, your first thought may be to blame the diaper. But in reality, it might just be that you've bought the wrong-sized diaper for your baby. Size is one of the most common causes for a leak or blowout, followed by improper application (putting it on wrong), especially in those hurried instances.

"We started out thinking that it was a problem with the diaper. A leak here, another bigger one there. I was ready to switch diapers," explained Lisa, mother of 7-month-old Bethany. "But then someone at playgroup gave me the one tip I won't forget: size matters! Turns out it wasn't the diaper, she just was wearing the last of her size 3s. Once we moved up to size 4, leaks and diaper disasters were history."

Once you're sure about size, make sure you've put the diaper on in a way that will prevent leaks. If the diaper looks crooked or is riding up on your baby, it's probably not on right. After each change, you'll want to make sure you're covering all the right spots including the backside and hips. No coverage on these areas means leaks or an uncomfy baby. So check that the diaper is straight and symmetrical, front and back, side to side. Make sure the waistband is falling right at the waist — not too high in front or too low in back or vice versa.

Diaper rash happens — sometimes with even the most attentive diaper-changing schedule. And surprise! Despite its name, diaper rash isn't really caused by diapers. Irritant Diaper Dermatitis (the medical term for diaper rash) is caused by babies' skin being in contact with urine and stool. The acidity, frequency and consistency of the stool, as well as the pH of the urine, all play a role in the development of red, often painful areas on the skin.

Here are some helpful tips on how you can avoid diaper rash:

  • If your baby is prone to diaper rash, use hypo-allergenic/unscented baby wipes like HUGGIES Natural Care® Baby Wipes.
  • Let your baby "air dry" before putting the diaper back on.
  • Use cornstarch to help keep baby's bottom dryer. Note: Avoid baby powder or talc. It can cause a reaction with already-sore skin and can cause lung damage if inhaled.
  • Try a zinc oxide-based diaper cream. This helps prevent the irritants from coming in contact with the delicate skin.

And of course, be sure you change your baby's diapers at regular intervals so there's never prolonged exposure to a wet or soiled diaper. You know the drill, but just as a reminder, some common change times include:

  • First thing every morning
  • After a nap
  • Before bedtime
  • After a bowel movement

It's a good idea to check your baby's diaper every two hours or so to see if it's time for a change.

And if your baby still develops diaper rash, talk to your baby's pediatrician. Some foods and medications can lead to diaper rash, so you'll want to inform her doctor of anything that might be contributing to her irritation.

If you're experiencing diaper mishaps like blowouts, leaks or rashes, consider these questions:

  • Do I have the right-sized diaper for my baby?
  • Does the diaper look symmetrical after I've changed her?
  • Am I changing the diaper as often as I should?
  • Do I need to add a zinc-oxide based diaper cream or ointment to our changing routine?

Your baby's diaper is a big part of her happy, healthy disposition. You KNOW this, by her reaction when it's clearly time for a change! Take some time to think about the basics now, so you can forget about diaper worries and focus on the big stuff as you learn and grow and play together with your little one.

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 271reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I always knew it was time to go up a size when leaks were happening with a normal poop or pee. I love the way huggies feels and fits on my baby. I only wish huggies made pullups :/ October 15, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Good point about size. My little girl actually leaked through her diaper with just pee and we knew it was time to go up a size. Size 2 here we come! October 13, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Great tips! Very helpful for when the baby arrives! Thanks Huggies! September 28, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Interesting and nice to know for future. Well reference info. September 19, 2014
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