Updated: Mar 15
Diaper stations are so important for making changing diapers easier. No one likes doing it, it smells, it’s gross, and it’s never-ending, so making it more convenient takes a bit of the sting out of changing diapers. A diaper station is a little area you set up around your house in frequently visited rooms that contains everything you need to change a diaper.
How many diaper changing stations do you need?
Think about how you live in your home. Do you spend most of your time in one room, or do you enjoy multiple areas of your home a day? If you like hanging out in your bedroom without a baby, you’ll likely enjoy hanging out in your bedroom afterward. The same goes for any area of your home. You’ll want a diaper station in your baby’s room, or wherever you keep their clothes to make changing easier. You’ll also want one for each room you spend most of your time in. The closer you are to removing a stinky diaper, the better. The good news is, it’s easy to add more diaper stations or get rid of them, too. Set up what you think will work best, and fine tune the plan as you go.
What Should Be at A Diaper Station?
Duh, but pregnancy brain is real, and I’m here to help. There are billions of types of diapers. I wish I could tell you the best diapers in the whole world and you could just buy those and never look back. Unfortunately, every baby is different. Different skin, different butts, different everything. It’s best to find diapers without, or with low-levels of, chemicals like perfumes and dyes. Trust me. Perfume does not help a stinky diaper smell good. Plus, you want to be able to smell stuff because that’ll help you know when your baby needs a change. Keeping them in a dirty diaper causes rashes and a sore butt. No one wants that. I will say the most expensive diapers are not always necessarily the best ones. Often times, the store brands will do just fine. All it has to do is not irritate your baby’s skin and hold in poop and pee. If it doesn’t do one of those things, try another brand. Babies should go through at least 6-8 diapers a day, so you’ll have plenty of chances to try things out. Keep an eye out for my post on cloth diapers if you’re interested. Make sure to check out how to change a diaper in the Bump Up Birth course.
Very important to use wipes, particularly with poopy diaper changes. You need to remove all of the poop so there is nothing left on your baby’s skin. Poop is very irritating to sensitive baby skin. There are also billions of types of wipes, and again, alcohol and fragrance free is better. Once the poop and pee is gone, your baby’s butt shouldn’t smell, so it doesn’t need perfume. Perfume is irritating to sensitive baby skin. A wet, soft paper towel works the same as a baby wipe so whatever fragrance-free wipes you can find are fine. It just has to not irritate your baby’s skin and remove poop and pee. If they don’t do one of those things, try a different brand. Using a wet washcloth will also work if you’re looking to reduce waste. If you’re using a wet cloth, make sure you have a sealable place to store them at each diaper station. Having them stored in an open container will stink up the place. Make sure to toss them in the washer in hot water or use your machine’s sterilization mode daily.
3. Diaper cream.
Diaper cream doesn’t need to be used at every diaper change. Diaper creams prevent anything from touching the skin, but they also prevent anything from leaving the skin as well. Skin needs to breathe. Having it constantly covered in a thick, waterproof coating causes issues with infection and sores. Dry skin causes the same issues. Keeping your baby’s skin healthy all over, including the diaper area is important. Moisturizing your baby’s bottom, especially after a bath is helpful in preventing rashes. There are two types of diaper creams: barrier cream and medicated cream. If you do apply a diaper cream for prevention, make sure it’s a barrier cream and make sure to apply a thin layer so the skin can still breathe. Once a day is probably fine for prevention. A diaper cream with medication in it should be used with care and only to heal a rash. Once the rash is healed, you should no longer use the medicated cream or use it only as long as prescribed. If you see any signs of redness or irritation, clean the area really well and apply a cream until it’s gone. Take note of what you ate, if you changed diaper brands or wipe brands and how long the diaper was on so you can prevent another rash from occurring.
4. Change of clothes.
Sometimes diapers don’t do their job, or they’re pitted against an impossible task like a newborn who hasn’t pooped in a week and finally lets loose. It’s nice to have a change of clothes nearby for whatever inevitable mess comes your way. Zips and snaps are much easier than buttons. Buttons on a wiggly baby are not your friend.
5. Changing pad.
Portable changing pads are great because they are waterproof and easy to wipe up any messes. They’re usually thin, foldable, and fit great in a diaper station. That being said, anything that protects your carpet or furniture from poop will work great, i.e. a blanket or towel.
If your baby is a newborn, they will mostly just lay there (or cry) for a diaper change, but once they get a little older, they’ll be too busy to sit and let you change their diaper. They’ve got lots to learn, after all. Having a small toy that keeps their attention for a minute or two is very helpful. Distraction, distraction, distraction.
7. Hand sanitizer.
It’s best to wash your hands after changing your baby’s diaper, but sometimes that’s not possible. Having hand sanitizer or using a wipe on your own hands can help keep everyone healthy and safe. It may feel like your baby is perfect and could never ever do anything to make you sick, but they definitely can. Keep it clean!
Finally, put it all in a beautiful (or not) container of your choice. A basket that matches your decor, or a Sterilite container you keep in a cabinet are great ways to go. Also, I recommend getting a diaper pail or a nearby trashcan out of nose shot. Of course, diapers smell, so keeping them away from your living space is a great idea.
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