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For new parents, you’ll probably be amazed how often you need to change your baby. How can something so small product so much pee and poop! But you’ll quickly get the hang of it, and before long changing diapers will be as routine as cleaning your teeth.
However, one thing that’s a little unclear is how far up your baby’s body the diaper should go. Should a diaper go up towards your baby’s stomach and cover their belly button? Let’s take a look at this in more detail.
Should a diaper cover the belly button?
Providing the diaper fits your baby properly, in general it’s not a big issue and it’s not something you should worry about. However, for the first few weeks, you should ensure the diaper is definitely below a newborn’s belly button. Newborn babies have a little piece of cord called the umbilical stump which is still attached to the belly button. You have to wait for this to come off, and then for the belly button to properly form. Only then can a diaper go over the belly button.
How do you know if a diaper is too big?
Although packets of diapers suggest the weight range for each size, sometimes it’s not exact, as babies have different body shapes. Here are three signs the diaper is too big, and you need to drop down a size:
- The leg openings are too big. Your baby obviously needs to move their legs freely, but you don’t want gaping holes which can allow poop or pee to seep through.
- The diaper is too wide around the waist. There shouldn’t be any gap between the diaper and your baby’s waist as this can cause pee or poop to go up your baby’s back or front.
- Diaper hangs too low. If you see the diaper really sagging when it’s not full, then that’s a clear sign the diaper is too big.
How do you know if it’s too small? How tight should it be?
Here are some signs that your baby’s diaper is in fact too small and needs to go up a size:
- Red marks. If you see any red marks around the groin, waist or hips when you remove their diaper, your baby needs a larger diaper.
- Tabs are hard to attach. If you’re using regular disposable diapers (not pull ups), and you find it hard to join the tabs together, then it’s too small.
- Tight waistband. If you slide your finger under the waistband and it feels tight, your baby is probably uncomfortable and needs a bigger diaper.
When should you go up a diaper size?
If you are in any doubt, it’s usually best just to buy a pack of bigger size diapers and just see how you get on. No harm will come of it, and you can always just store them for later if they are slightly too big.
How do you stop diapers from leaking?
Many of the points mentioned above should prevent diapers leaking. Basically you have to use the right size diaper so it fits snugly round the waist. There should be no leg openings either and you need to make sure the cuffs are out (this is a common reason why diapers leak from the side).
However, usually the main reason why diapers leak is because they are too small and you need to go up a size. Bigger diapers can handle more pee and poop and won’t soak through as easily, but they should still fit snugly. You may have to experiment with a couple of different brands until you find the right one for your baby.
How long do you use size 1 diapers?
One common mistake many parents make is to buy too many size 0 diapers, as many babies will quickly outgrow them in the first few weeks. They’ll likely transition to size 1 fairly quickly and you should be fine with this size for around 3 months (months 1-4 of your baby’s first year).
How many do you need?
Considering most babies need between 6-9 diaper changes a day when they are aged between 1 and 4 months, that works out at around 150 diapers in total.
What is the correct way to put on a diaper?
- Put your baby on their back and open up a new clean diaper so it’s ready to use.
- Remove the dirty diaper, put it in diaper sack then place it in a diaper pail (or put it to one side to dispose of after you’ve changed your baby)
- Clean your baby with some baby wipes, making sure you clean between the folds of skin.
- Apply some nappy cream if there is any redness anywhere.
- Lift up your baby by the legs and slide the clean diaper underneath them.
- Bring the front of the diaper between your baby’s legs so it’s up towards their stomach.
- Attach the diaper using the two tabs, ensuring the diaper fits snugly around the waist.
- Turn out the leg cuffs to stop any leakage.
Graham is a father of two who founded Dadometer to share his parenting journey with other moms and dads.