Changing a baby’s diaper is a fundamental parenting skill. Figure on ten diapers a day per newborn; that’s 140 a week if you have twins. By the time your little ones are 3 months old, you’ll likely have changed over a thousand diapers! To that end, I’d like to share some diaper changing tips that will let you hit the ground running.
Setting Up A Diaper Changing Station
Choose the Right Diaper Size
Diaper Changing Tips
Save on Diapers by Buying in Bulk
Pack the Perfect Diaper Bag
Usually, you’ll have a diaper changer in the nursery, a concave pad on top of a flat surface. Smooth diaper changes start with a well-stocked and planned out diaper station.
- Plan for safety. It’s rather amusing to see some of the nurseries that people put on Pinterest or elsewhere, you know, with the pad on a slick wooden surface and lots of fragile things within reach. Your babies will slide, kick, and even roll while on that changer. Keep anything fragile or unwieldy away from it. Use a concave changing pad and make sure it’s secure, and use the belt. Don’t leave your baby on the changer unattended; they can easily roll off of it. See also: Babyproofing for Twins.
- Use a head support. A head support like the Boppy Noggin Nest (pictured at right) will help keep your little one comfortable and in place during a diaper change. They also protect tender little heads from the hard edges of the diaper changer’s rim.
- Stock and restock supplies within reach. You’ll want plenty of diapers and wipes, as well as diaper rash cream, Q-tips, and anything else you might need where you can grab it (without stepping away from the changer).
- Consider a wipe warmer. These seem like a frivolous accessory, but I find that a warm wipe keeps the baby happier, and reduces the number of accidents.
Choosing the right diaper size for your baby is so important! You’ll start out in the “newborn” diaper size but likely graduate from those within a few weeks. It all depends on your baby’s size, as measured by weight.
|Baby’s Weight||Diaper Size|
If you’re in doubt, stick to the smaller size diaper. Why? Because the flaps and straps generally can stretch a bit to accommodate the upper weight range of a given diaper, but a diaper that’s too large will have gaps around the legs. Gaps mean leaks, and you don’t want that! Especially when your baby starts to crawl around.
Changing a baby’s diaper is quite straightforward, but may also create some of the most harrowing events of parenthood. Blowout diapers and getting peed on are just the beginning. Here are some tips for minimizing collateral damage.
- Get the new diaper unfolded and ready. These things are hard to open one-handed while you’re trying to wrangle a squirming little one.
- Put the new diaper under the old diaper. This will help catch any “splash damage” and also makes the whole process quicker. Speed is of the essence. Once that cold air hits, your little one’s bladder is a ticking time bomb.
- Make sure the flanges go out. Those loose, plastic flanges that go along the legs should be outside of the diaper. They tend to fold in, which creates a possible leak.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly you burn through diapers and wipes with multiples at home. We’re talking about a box of diapers a week. You can, and should, buy your diapers in bulk. Having them shipped to you is another convenience – you have enough on your plate to worry about going out to buy more diapers! Amazon.com offers Subscribe-N-Save on diapers, letting you buy them on a regular basis (no commitment) with free shipping. As of July 2012, here were the prices by diaper size.
|Diaper Size||Baby’s Weight|
|1||8 to 14 lbs||276 for $47.19||258 for $44.99|
|2||12 to 18 lbs||246 for $47.19||246 for $44.99|
|3||16 to 28 lbs||222 for $47.19||222 for $44.99|
|4||22 to 37 lbs||192 for $47.19||192 for $44.99|
|5||Over 27 lbs||172 for $47.19||172 for $44.99|
|6||Over 35 lbs||140 for $47.19||140 for $44.99|
Wipes are another staple that you can buy in bulk. It kind of sucks to have to store these, but we find places for them – under the twins’ cribs is the current favorite. We refill the wipe warmer every couple of days, and those wipes add up! I do recommend trying a few different brands and styles to find one that you and your multiples like best.
Hard as it might seem in the first few weeks, there will come a time when you’ll want to take your twins out in the world. One thing you’ll need to do that is a well-packed diaper bag. First, see our reviews of diaper bags for twins and make sure you get one that’s BIG enough! We have a whole article on how to pack a diaper bag for twins, but here are the basics for a single-day outing with twins; be sure to adjust for your little ones’ needs and preferences!
- 18-20 diapers
- Stack of wipes 2-3″ thick (usually 1-2 small packs)
- Diaper changing pad
- 2 extra outfits
- 2 sets of pajamas
- 2 receiving or swaddle blankets
- Diaper cream (Dr. Smith’s)
- 4-5 pacifiers
- 2 bottles or sippy cups, filled with pre-measured formula if you’re using it
- 1 unopened bottle of water
- Teething gel (Baby Orajel)
- Bottle of children’s pain reliever and 2 syringes
- 2 packs of travel tissues
- 2-3 children’s books or soft play toys