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Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5
by Allina Patient Education
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Usually, you should change your baby's diaper when he eats. If your baby's diaper is wet or soiled between feedings, change it as soon as possible.
You can use disposable diapers or cloth diapers. Decide what is most important to you: environmental concerns, cost, or convenience.
If your baby is going to a day care, check with the day care provider whether cloth diapers are OK.
Gently wash your baby's buttocks and genital area with a diaper wipe or a soft cloth and lukewarm water.
You may use a mild soap, but avoid unneeded chemicals. Wipe from the front to the back.
Wash your hands before and after changing your baby’s diaper.
—You may use an ointment that contains zinc oxide or another barrier cream on your child’s buttocks after washing them. You may buy these products at your pharmacy. Follow the package directions.
—Do not use rubber pants. Try to use newer pants that "breathe" over cloth diapers.
—Add one-half cup of vinegar to the water in the cloth diaper pail and soak the diapers. Rinse them once before washing.
—To wash cloth diapers, use mild soap or baby detergent instead of a strong soap or other laundry detergent. Follow the package directions. Rinse the diapers
two or three times.
—If you use disposable diapers, try to change brands or switch to cloth diapers. Some disposable diapers have powders, which can cause diaper rash.
First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 02/01/2010
Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Medical Clinic - Coon Rapids