All About Diaper Changing

As a parent, especially a first-time parent, you find yourself suddenly talking about diaper changing, diapers, poop, pee, diaper creams and rashes ALL OF THE TIME.  Seriously, this subject will start to consume half your day, will replace pillow talk at night and generate a ton of questions.  Is it okay my baby did not poop today? Is it okay my baby pooped six times today?! My baby’s poop looks like mustard, is that normal?!? Is it supposed to smell that way?!?! There are many items you will want to register for in this category alone.  Here is the clean and dirty on diapering. 

Changing Pads

You’ll need at least one changing station in the house, and that means a changing pad.  I actually set up a second changing station on my main level for the first few months since newborns go to the bathroom all of the time, and I was tired of going up and down the stairs.  This changing pad is the usual changing pad.  It’s made of foam and requires a few covers.  I say a few because newborns pee on the changing table all the time, and you’ll be washing them often.

When I was putting together my registry my friend Julie K. suggested this Keekaroo Peanut Changer and I absolutely love it.  The colors can be hard to “match” to a nursery, but it is made of a rubbery material that you can easily wipe down.   I’ll admit that for the newborn stage I would leave a folded hospital blanket or burp cloth on the changer because the cloth helped make cleaning up the constant pee accidents much easier.   

If you are a first-time mom, leaving the house those first few times with a newborn can be daunting.  You’ll probably pack ALL OF THE THINGS just to go to the pharmacy.  That’s normal. You’ll want to be sure to have a travel changing pad.  I like the Skip Hop version, it has two easy storage compartments for diapers and wipes.  It also zips apart if you want to detach the storage pockets from the actual changing pad area which has come in handy a few times.  I also love that it has a wristlet clip strap, because there are sometimes that I am carrying so much stuff that it just doesn’t fit into my diaper bag.  Or, like now, after the second child, I just clip it to my purse because I don’t even know where my diaper bag is.

Wipe Warmer

I registered for this and received it at my shower, but then returned it. Many people say you don’t need a wipe warmer, but I have friends that love it.  I have almost re-purchased it a few times – when the kids have gotten old enough to be bothered by the cold wipes and fight diaper changes.  But honestly, it requires a little bit of weekly maintenance that I wasn’t willing to add to my list (sounds silly, I know, but parenting is all about fitting everything in to the time you have – and that’s not a lot of time). 


There are several factors that go in to what makes a good diaper.  If you are a first-time mom, you are probably thinking “you have to be kidding me” with all the diaper talk. Trust me though, after about four months of newborn diapering, you’ll start to have VERY strong opinions on what diapers you like and dislike – and those opinions will just get stronger as your babe gets older. 

The important characteristics of diapers are as follows: Cost, Fit, Feel, Leak Proofing and Smell. 

Cost: Diapers are pretty expensive.  Like most products, price and quality tend to go hand in hand.  There are some exceptions of course.  I have order ours on subscribe & save on Amazon, and they arrive monthly, and it’s been the most cost effective for the brand I prefer. 

Smell: This is a big one for me because I am sensitive to smells.  I cannot stand it when my child’s diaper smells like urine the minute they pee in it. Poop? Poop always smells no matter what diaper you are using.  Some brands are absolutely more effective at masking the smell of urine.

Leaking: Rarely it’s a urine leak, though it’s possible if the diaper is not put on quite right.  Mostly it’s poop leakage, up the back, out the sides, etc.  Baby poopsplosions are pretty much inevitable (read my favorite story here), but some diapers will fit better than others – and therefor do a better job at holding it all in. 

Fit & Feel: Babies come in all shapes and sizes just like diapers.  If you are finding you are having constant leaks, you may want to try a different brand or size.  Some diapers are softer and more flexible than others, and those I liked specifically for newborns since diapers always feel so big and awkward on those teeny tiny bodies. 

You will definitely want to have some diapers in the house before you have the baby.  In addition to the big brands like Huggies and Pampers, there are a lot of new brands out there that are eco-friendlier and made with “nicer” ingredients.  For us, we’ve been using the Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive diapers.  They seem to fit nicely, tend to not leak for average pees and poops, and have an awesome stripe that turns blue when the diaper is wet.  This stripe is a luxury, but definitely not a necessity – most diapers you will be able to smell that the diaper is wet.  With the pampers, they do a good job of masking the urine smell, so the stripe is useful.  I suggest a box of newborn and size 1 since you won’t know which your baby will need.


My kiddos have sensitive skin.  I mean, sits-in-poop-for-more-than-three-minutes-and gets-a-diaper-rash, type sensitive.   With my first one I used a combination of pampers sensitive wipes and water wipes.  Water wipes have basically no chemicals in them, and I definitely see far less diaper rashes when I use them.  The soap and other ingredients in the regular wipes seem to irritate the skin a bit more.  With my second one I use strictly water wipes.  Pampers has a new wipe called Pure, they do seem to be gentler than their sensitive line, but my favorite are still the water wipes brand.

Diaper Pail

These come in all shapes and sizes.  The Diaper Genie is pretty popular and I think does a little bit better job of hiding the smell of the diapers.  It takes custom Diaper Genie bags and we wanted one that took regular garbage bags so we went with this Ubbi one.

Diaper Creams

Diaper rash is a pain in the butt (pun intended).  You’ll want to try a few creams to see what works best for that tiny bum, but my favorite is Desitin.  The key to preventing diaper rash is keeping those little parts dry.  This may mean more frequent diaper changes in addition to a good diaper rash cream.  Diaper cream can help as it acts as a moisture barrier. 

If you are finding the rashes are taking a while to clear, you may want to try using soft tissues dipped in water rather than regular wipes as the chemicals can irritate delicate baby skin (or try these water wipes I mentioned above). I am no doctor, but from my experience I have noticed the most of the diaper rash creams I have tried do not help heal the rash beyond keeping it dry.  If it seems extra bad, your pediatrician may suggest something stronger or medicated to help kick it.  I use Aquafore quite often and I notice that it helps heal the rash quicker.  Aquafore does contain petroleum products, so if you are anti-petroleum, you will want to skip this one. 

BabyBum Diaper Cream Brush

I call this “The Butt Spatula”, it’s really not a brush OR a spatula.  What it is, is a finger saver.  I hate diaper cream all over my hands, and this allows for a quick and easy application, with far less mess. This is one of those “silly mom gadgets” that people may scoff at- but hey, if it makes my diaper changing experience that much less terrible- I’m all for it.  I actually feel that I can apply the diaper cream faster and more efficiently, and then it just wipes off with a wipe.  Even my husband loves this one.

First time mom with a ton of questions? Try our 101 on Labor post and our Favorite Breast Feeding products list.

Meet Sarah C.

About SarahTBD

A mom trying to survive this beautiful disaster we call life with a family. Some days I rock it, some days I just survive it, some days are rough and some days I can’t get enough. I work part time from home trying to juggle the work hours with the everyday life with two children.