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Who knew that something as simple as changing your baby’s diapers could raise so many questions? Huggies has tips, advice and guides on how to make diaper time a happy one.

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Healthy Skin at Every Diaper Change

Healthy Skin at every diaper change infographic
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Tips for Making Sure Your Baby Has the Right Diaper

By Jeana Lee Tahnk


When my first baby came into the world, like most new parents, I was completely clueless about everything. I listened intently to the nurses after the birth, studied how they bathed my baby and left the hospital with whatever they put into that big plastic bag.

One of those items, of course, was that starter pack of diapers. Believe me, after changing 10 to 12 diapers a day, you get pretty comfortable after a week or so and you've logged about 100 changes.

I remember running out of that initial pack of diapers and standing in the aisle at my local pharmacy, gazing through a euphoric and sleep-deprived haze of all the diaper options out there. Wait, he's 8 pounds-do I go newborn or do I go size 1? And to add to the sizing confusion, I couldn't figure out why there were different types of diapers under the same brand. What were the differences? This was way before the age of the smartphone, when I could look things up in an instant.

For me, back in the day, it was through trial and error that I figured out what worked when it came to diaper sizing. And after three kids in diapers (one of whom is still in the diaper stage), I feel like I've become pretty well-versed in what works.

Here are my suggestions on how to find the right diaper:

Experimentation: There are lots of diaper styles out there. Get a few packs and see what works the best, what you like and what seems to make your baby the most comfortable.

Recommendation: Ask your friends what diapers they use. Why do they like them? I found that most of my friends ended up picking one brand and sticking with it.

Size of baby: Just like adults, no two babies are the same size. If your baby has super squishy legs or is more lean in the leg, you may want to consider sizing up or down accordingly.

Size of diaper: The weight recommendations are general guidelines, but again, based on fit and your baby's body, you might want to try different sizing. My baby doesn't quite meet the weight guidelines for the size diaper she wears, but I like that they're a little bigger on her and give her a little extra room.

Diaper features: Something I found very important, especially during those first few months when diaper changes were abundant, is having an elastic waistband. So many middle-of-the-night changes were spared from having a full head-to-toe clothing change because of that elastic band in the back.

Aside from your baby, your baby's diapers are something you become familiar with very quickly. You want to make sure that you find ones that you have faith in (no leaks!) and are comfortable with. And when you do, chances are you'll stick with them for years to come-or, at least until your little one is potty-trained.


Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

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Baby with big blue eyes being held by mom

5 Tips for Diapering While You’re Out and About

There is so much preparation involved in taking your little one out of the house. Even a trip as simple as the grocery store requires thoughtful planning. As a parent, you always have to be prepared for the unexpected that could happen when you are away from home. One of those things that will most likely happen while you’re out is the need to change your little one’s diaper. Diapering can get tricky when you aren’t in the comfort of your own home, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are several things I’ve learned along the way while changing three children out and about. Check out my top five tips.

1. Use plastic bags to dispose of the dirty diaper

Wondering what to do with all of those plastic bags from the grocery store? Put them in your diaper bag to use for all of those dirty diapers. Once you are finished changing your little one, place it in the bag, tie it, and then look for a trash can to properly dispose of it. If you don’t have an accessible trash can, you can keep it with you until you do. By tying it securely, it helps to block the odor from escaping.

2. Find a good spot to change the diaper

Look for a restroom for a changing station. If there isn’t one around, I’ve gone to my car before to change the baby in the backseat. If that still isn’t an option, ask someone at your location where an appropriate place would be to change the diaper. I’ve also reclined the stroller seat all the way down to use as a diaper changing station.

3. Buy a portable changing pad

You always want a layer between the surface you are changing your baby and your little one. I always keep a portable changing pad in my car so that I have one on hand when I am on the go. Most diaper bags come with portable changing pads within the bag. If you happened to forget one while you are out with baby, I’ve used a blanket or even my nursing cover for my baby to lay down on.

4. Keep your diaper bag fully stocked

It’s a good idea to invest in a diaper bag that you love, like this Minnie Mouse diaper bag, because you will be using it every day when the baby comes. Every night before I go to bed, I check my diaper bag to see what needs to be restocked. It’s so nice knowing that when I get up in the morning and head out of the house, there is everything already in there and I don’t have to run around the house packing it. I always make sure to have plenty of Huggies diapers and wipes in my bag. Wipes can be used for so many other things other than wiping your baby and can even help you clean your hands once you are finished changing the diaper. I also pack my bag with antibacterial lotion to put on my hands after changing the diaper. Keep an extra set of clothes in the diaper bag for those unexpected moments. I also have diaper rash cream handy for those occasional times that my kids are a bit irritated on their bottom.

5. Get a wet bag

When you have a baby out and about there are so many unexpected moments that can happen. I carry a Bumkins wet bag with me at all times for dirty clothes, shoes, diapers, and more. It’s great waterproof protection that will keep anything that is wet or dirty clear from everything else that you have.

Image : Disney Baby

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Baby sleeping with minnie mouse doll

The Diapers That Helped Us Get a Better Night’s Sleep

My children have always been sensitive sleepers. It always seemed like there was something going on disrupting their nights (and ours!). It’s been an exhausting three and a half years, to say the least.

Our 3-year-old has mostly outgrown sleep problems, though we do occasionally find him trying to sneak into our bed in the middle of the night. Our baby girl, however, has continued to test us.

For a while, she kept waking up in the middle of the night with pee-soaked sheets. We would have to change her diaper, pajamas, and sheets every night. Poor thing was not a happy camper at all.

We had never had this problem with our son, so I asked around for recommendations on a good nighttime diaper. Overwhelmingly my friends suggested Huggies OverNites. These diapers really hold up! When we started using them, Isabel’s sleep began to improve because she was no longer waking up in a puddle. She felt comfortable and dry. And it is SO nice not having to change sheets all the time.

We may still have a wake-up call from our baby girl at 2 a.m. for one reason or another, but at least it’s not because she’s peeing through her diaper!

Image : Disney

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Hug the Mess, Diaper Duty!

Diaper duty! It’s a messy situation but somebody’s got to do it. We know it’s not the most enjoyable aspect of parenting, but it’s a necessary one, so why not make the most of it?

The secret to changing diapers quickly and neatly is to have all your supplies on hand. Then consider it a great time to bond with baby!

As a mom of 12, and grandma of 11, Varda Meyers Epstein, a parenting expert and blogger at Kars4Kids, still loves diaper duty. “For one thing, it makes the baby feel so good. They get to wiggle around and get air on those places after being in a diaper. For another thing their little legs and tushies are so cute. My son is always telling my granddaughter, 'Just wait until Grandma sees those pulkes (Yiddish for thighs). She’s gonna eat ‘em up.'

“Some of them are ticklish and it’s fun to nibble them and watch them laugh,” she says, explaining why she’s always a willing volunteer.

Make diaper changes fun for baby, parents say. Hang something interesting to view at least 12 inches above the changing table: a mobile, photo or poster that you can talk about with baby. Count the ducks in the picture or sing along to the mobile’s music. It’s also a great time to introduce the ABC’s and 1,2,3s.

Keep some toys around just for diaper changing and switch them frequently to keep baby occupied while you’re doing your work.

Brittany Arnold, inventor of Catchie Concepts, found a great way to keep her little ones occupied during diaper time. “I have three kiddos and each diaper time we would grab lotion and rub their feet and arms. They loved it,” she says. “It also helped stop those wiggly legs, allowing us to put on a diaper without a struggle.”

For this special time together, get creative. Many parents make up a song that’s only sung at changing time, or put their own spin on a classic.

“My husband made up an enthusiastic song that he'd sing staccato: 'Let's change your diaper -- whee! -- and everything will be o-kay. We'll get you a dry one, and it will be just fiiiine,'" says Tracy Cutchlow, of ZeroToFive.net. “Our baby would try to join in with the cutest little voice. Or she'd be crying and he'd say, ‘I know I always feel better with a clean diaper.’ He always made me laugh.”

Another creative dad, Sean Yokomizo of Daddingly is honest: “Changing diapers was the thing I dreaded most about the prospect of having kids. I mean, cleaning someone else’s poop? Imagine my surprise when I realized that I enjoyed diaper changing time as much as I enjoyed feeding or bath time. It’s one of those few, quiet moments when you’re together with your child and get to know her personality and she gets to know yours. It was a time when we could talk - or at least make noises to each other and play.”

He’d sing a song to the tune of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” with the words: “She’s a poopy baby, drives her daddy crazy with all the poopies in her pa-a-a-ants." And he even wrote a Shakespearean sonnet about diaper changing called “Poopy Pentameter.”

“The thing I liked most about diaper changing time was what I learned about myself as a new father,” says Yokomizo. “You know you’re in love when the things that you once used to dread are the things you enjoy the most."

 Image : Getty

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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.

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 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 & 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® Little Snugglers. 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® Simply Clean® Fragrance Free 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

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toddler siblings sitting in chairs playing

Why I Don’t Mind Having Two Babies in Diapers

Diaper changing tends to be the most maligned part of parenting small children. The sooner they are out diapers, the better, most people seem to think.

But I have been more than happy to have two in diapers for the last six months (and with my first two, I had a four month overlap).

Here’s why I am happy to change two little bottoms for a while:

  1. Less chance of regression.
  2. Lots of toddlers seem to regress after a baby is born and their whole world is turned upside down. I’d rather wait and do it once.

  3. I’m great at changing diapers.
  4. Five years into parenting, I can change a diaper blindfolded! It’s no big deal to add a few extra to my daily changing tally.

  5. I like to be less sleep deprived when I do it.
  6. Waiting a few more months means I’m better rested and more patient with the inevitable accidents. And let’s be honest, potty training does require some patience.

  7. Diapers are so convenient!
  8. No rushing to a bathroom in the middle of a nursing session or when you’ve got a full grocery cart – I can wait until I’m ready to change a diaper without dealing with an accident. When I have a new baby, I’m all about convenience and this is an easy place to get it.

  9. An excuse to let my toddler be my baby a little longer.
  10. I’m in no hurry to make my babies grow up and if they want to wear a diaper a little longer? No problem!

  11. Older children are usually easier to train.
  12. I’d rather wait until they’re old enough to get the hang of it pretty fast and be able to manage the toilet with the help of a potty seat.

Don’t feel rushed about potty-training – you have plenty of time to do it and having two in diapers won’t make your life harder!

Image: DisneyBaby

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Diaper Rash: Everything You Need to Know and Do to Prevent It and Cure It

When you are a new parent, you try your best to comfort your infant at every turn, anticipating his or her needs and keeping baby dry, fed and happy. But then one day you open a diaper to an unwelcome surprise – diaper rash – a red, angry, painful irritation on baby’s tender bottom, making your little one uncomfortable night and day.

Be assured, diaper rash is a common condition that usually clears up with some simple diapering routines. It most often develops when contact with urine and stools irritate baby’s sensitive skin. Thankfully, today’s bottom-friendly disposable diapers from Huggies wick away moisture to keep diaper rash at bay as much as possible.

But sometimes diaper rash happens. It’s common between ages 9-12 months, when baby is still primarily sitting and also eating solid foods, which may change bowel movements. Diaper rash can also be an allergic reaction to diaper wipes, laundry detergent, soap or other elements.

Nurses know how to make baby feel better, so Huggies has teamed up with the mother and baby experts at The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) to share their expertise in infant skin care and offer the best ways to prevent and cure diaper rash.

Diapering tips to promote skin health:

You can help avoid rashes from developing and promote healing when a rash is present, at every diaper change with some simple tips:

  • Always wash your hands before and after every diaper change.
  • Change baby’s diaper as soon as it’s soiled; at least every 1-3 hours during the day and once during the night.
  • Gently wipe or pat baby’s bottom with warm water and a soft, clean cloth or skin-friendly wipe. Avoid rubbing baby’s skin during a diaper change.
  • Always wipe from front to back as you clean baby’s genital area.
  • Allow baby’s skin to air dry before re-diapering.
  • To prevent irritants from coming in contact with delicate skin, apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly if baby’s bottom appears slightly red. Once a rash has developed, apply zinc oxide-based cream with each change until the irritation is gone.
  • Avoid using baby or talcum powder, which can irritate baby’s skin and lungs.

Always follow the ABCDE’s of preventing diaper rash:

  • Air:
  • Allow baby’s skin to air dry for as long as possible between changes and regularly give baby some diaper-free time.

  • Barrier:
  • Zinc-oxide diaper cream and petroleum jelly provide a barrier between the diaper and urine or stool while your baby’s damaged skin heals. Use at every diaper change in infants who develop rashes frequently.

  • Cleanse:
  • Always wipe gently and pat when cleaning baby’s diaper area—never rub while cleansing baby’s skin. Irritant-free wipes may be more effective than warm water when cleaning stool.

  • Diaper:
  • Many experts no longer recommend cloth diapers, which expose baby’s skin to irritants, like urine and stool. Thanks to the protective advances in diapering technology, disposable diapers like Huggies Little Snugglers and Little Movers are recommended to help prevent diaper rash.

  • Education:
  • Notice when and how your baby experiences diaper rash so you will be aware of any patterns. If baby continues to develop diaper rash, talk to your baby’s pediatrician or nurse.

Just remember, diaper rash is seldom serious. With care, it usually clears within 3-4 days. If it doesn’t go away within 4-7 days, or gets worse, call your baby’s healthcare provider. Otherwise, baby – and parent -- should begin to feel better soon. Get more health and parenting advice from AWHONN nurses at Healthy Mom & Baby.

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baby lying on back in diaper

Where Do You Keep Diapers?

Every parent knows that carefully-stashed diapers can be a real lifesaver. Moms share their secret hiding places—and smart storage tips.

Diapers on board:

 "I keep several diapers and a small pack of wipes in my car's glove compartment. When I forget to refill my diaper bag—often!—or end up with a ton of unanticipated errands, I'm always thankful for that extra stash."
—Jessica M., mom of one, Puyallup, Washington

Basket case:

"I have diapers everywhere. They’re even in the den, stored in a chic wicker basket under the coffee table, which blends in with my décor. I also have a couple in every bag I own since you never know which one you'll decide to grab. It's good to be prepared."
—Jessica L., mom of two, Anchorage, Alaska

Short stack:

"When my kids were newborns, I stashed diapers in the pretty fabric diaper stackers my mother-in-law made. I’d keep them there until the kids got older and started pulling them out and tossing them all over the room—at which point I’d hide them in their dresser drawers!"
—Rebecca G., mom of three, Clinton, Mississippi

BYO!

"There are going to be situations where you don't want to lug a diaper bag around, like tailgating. I skip the diaper bag and just stuff a couple of diapers in a big purse with a travel pack of wipes and a couple of small toys."
—Amy W., mom of one, Metairie, Louisiana

One step ahead:

"For whatever reason, both of my daughters like to go to the bathroom right after I pull them out of the tub. I used to have floor accidents before I could get a diaper on them, and got tired of washing the rug. So now I keep diapers in the bathroom vanity and get them wrapped up as quickly as possible!"
—Megan C., mom of two, Waynesville, North Carolina

Show ‘em off:

"This may sound weird, but I really like the way diapers look when stacked in a neat pile. White, crisp, clean—they just fit the décor of my nursery. I keep two stacks on the shelf beneath the changing table. It’s so convenient; I can just grab one while keeping a hand on my baby. Between the two stacks of diapers, I keep a cute little bunny that my mom gave me when I was a kid, so the shelf looks designed, like something you’d see in a catalog. I love it!"
—Christina E., Pearl River, New York

Floor plan:

"I always make sure that there are diapers on both floors of our home—I keep some in my daughter's room, and some in the pocket of her playpen downstairs. There's nothing worse than having to run up or down a flight of stairs in the middle of a change."
—Amanda P., mom of three, Jacksonville, Florida

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Diaper Guide 101

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