How to Diaper with Cotton
After having talked with customers for the past 40+ years, regarding diapering, we've come to realize that there is no right or wrong way to diaper. Different techniques work for different babies. We recommend, however, that you begin your diapering by following the instructions for the "basic fold" and branch out from there, if necessary. It's been said that learning to diaper is like tying your shoes, it takes a couple of tries to master the task but once learned, it's a piece of cake.
The Basic Fold
When changing a diaper, it is helpful to use a changing table. It puts your baby at the right height and angle. If you don't have a changing table, diaper at the baby's side. This will give you a better angle than diapering at the baby's feet and it also makes it easier to control a wiggling baby. For newborns, the twist fold is often used.
Step 1 (for Boys)
For boys, slide the diaper under the baby. Fold the diaper down 2-3 inches by the baby's legs. The diaper should come to the baby's waist in the back and below the navel in the front.
Step 1 (for Girls)
For a girl and for newborn boys, fold the diaper down 2-3 inches at their back and then slide the diaper under the baby. The diaper should come to the baby's waist in the back and below the navel in the front.
Fold the diaper in at the left side seam line.
Fold the diaper in at the right side seam line (make sure the fold is even with the seam; this will help with containment). This forms the "poop trap."
Pull the diaper up between your baby's legs. Make sure it stays below the navel by at least 1/2 inch or more. As the baby grows it should be an inch below.
- Insert your index finger inside the far side of the fold of the diaper you brought up between the baby's legs and pinch your thumb down on the top. Right hand
- Pull the far side snuggly up across the middle and pinch it there with your left thumb. Take your Snappi Clip and snag the side of the diaper. Keep tension on the snappi clip with your right hand.
Move your left hand to the middle. Right hand - Pull the snappi down in the middle and attach the middle grabber.
- Insert index finger in the loop on the closed side and pinch with the thumb on top. Right hand
- Pull the closed side of the diaper up snuggly across the middle and pinch it under your left thumb. Pull the closed side of the Snappi over the flap and place the grabber. Give one more tug on the middle Snappi to add more tension in the middle. The Snappi should be in the shape of a Y, not a T.
The "Twist" Fold (Customer Created)
The Twist is helpful to use for newborns if you are concerned about bulk. It also works well as an alternative for diapering boys. Rebecca of San Francisco writes, "Eight years ago I learned to diaper my first boy with a method called "the twist". If I hadn't learned it, I might have given up on cloth diapers, but this method keeps them on the baby and keeps leaks at a minimum. It creates a "pocket" in back and extra padding in front."
Extra bulk between a newborn's legs helps their continued post-birth hip development. It is not uncomfortable and has no short or long term effects.
Start with the diaper open and flat on a Velcro wrap. Fold it down either in the back or front so the diaper comes to the baby's waist in the back and below the navel in the front.
Cross your arms and pick up the closest corners to you in each hand. (With babies at the wiggling stage, do the twist with one hand while the other hand holds the torso of your child.)
Uncross your arms as you bring the diaper up through the baby's legs. (If the diaper comes up to the belly button, fold it down to 1 inch below the navel to focus absorbency down low where it is needed.)
Close the Velcro wrap around the diaper. (You may want to further secure the diaper with a Snappi clip). Then put on the diaper cover.
Checkpoints for Great Containment
- Make sure there is no diaper sticking outside the diaper cover at the waist or legs. Tuck any protruding cotton inside the cover.
- Make sure the diaper is on snug around the legs. Cotton will naturally loosen as baby moves.
- Secure the diaper with either the Snappi Clips or Diaper Pins. This will not only help with containment but also with air circulation since you won't need to put the diaper cover on as tightly.
- The diaper should stop well below the baby's navel. This will put the cotton where it's needed.
- Check the baby regularly. There is no substitute for a clean diaper.
- If you need more absorbency, you may be ready to go to the next diaper size. Please contact us to make this change.
Changing "Flip-Over" Babies
All babies, at some point, learn to roll over during changing time. At first you will feel great excitement that your child has learned this developmental feat. However, it might turn into a problem for your diaper changing time. Here are some tips. During changes, make sure your baby is horizontal to you and, if possible, on a changing table. Use your left hand (if you're right handed) to gently hold your baby's tummy or both legs at the ankles while cleaning. Never take this hand off the baby. It should always be in control of the baby until you are to the point of attaching the Snappi Clip. Use special toys, books, games and songs during changes to keep your baby occupied. Communicate with your baby that this is a time to be still. As your baby grasps the concept of being still, it will help in multiple other situations. If you allow your baby to be "in charge" during diaper changing times, they will insist on this authority at many other points.
If you are struggling with a squirmy baby, you may be interested in the Hulabye Happy Changer.