Diapers should be changed when wet to soiled to prevent skin rashes. You may find that changing your baby just before or after each feeding will probably be sufficient to keep him comfortable and prevent diaper rash. Some babies have particularly sensitive skin and may require more frequent changes.
Place the baby on a towel and remove his diaper. Using warm water, wash the genital area gently from front to back, then pat dry with a towel. If the baby has had a bowel movement, fold the soiled portion of the diaper under and wipe the buttocks with cotton or toilet tissue. The baby's behind should then be washed with mid soap and water, rinsed and patted dry. You can apply lotion or oil to the area with cotton, being attentive to skin folds and creases.
Holding his ankles between your thumbs and middle finger (with your index finger between his ankles), raise his hips and slide a clean, folder diaper under hum. The diaper should be folded so that there is an area of extra thickness where it can absorb the most urine - in front for boys and in back for girls. Then pull the diaper between baby's legs and pin it on each other side. Remember to keep your finger between the pin and the baby to avoid pricking him. Plastic or rubber pants may be put on over the diaper to keep outer clothing and bedding dry. However, they may lead to diaper rash or other skin irritations in sensitive babies, and therefore it may be better to use them only when going out.
Wet diapers should be rinsed immediately and placed in a covered pail containing water. A mild soap thoroughly dissolved in the water will help remove stains. Diapers must be washed each day, separately from all other clothes. They should be rinsed thoroughly in at least four changes of clear water to make sure all traces of soap or detergent have been removed. If your baby is subject to diaper rash or has particularly sensitive skin, it may be necessary to boil his diapers to kill any stubborn bacteria. You can also sterilize diapers by adding a diaper antiseptic to the final water rinse. Your doctor may be able to recommend such an antiseptic. If possible, it is best to dry your baby's diapers in the sun, since sunlight destroys many bacteria.
Today, more and more parents use disposable diapers for convenience. Available in a number of sizes and thicknesses, disposable diapers require no safety pins or rubber pants. Although more expensive than cloth diapers, they require no washing and are particularly handy when you travel with your baby.