How long should I wait before I change a dirty diaper?

How long should I wait before I change a dirty diaper?

Don’t wait! Acid contents present in the bowel will irritate the skin of your kid. So when the baby wakes up due to dirty diapers, it is better to change the diaper as soon as possible.

In the first few months of babies' life, they urinate almost 20 times a day so it might not be financially possible to change the diaper after every urinate attempt. I have actually heard a parent complaining that her two weeks old boy pooped, she jumped to change him and a few minutes later, he popped again.

However, you should at least change the diaper of your baby every 2 to 3 hours. It does not necessarily mean that you should wake up a baby to change the wet or dirty diaper. 


Some useful hints

  • After changing the diaper must wash your hands. It is better to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer near the point where you perform the diaper change. In this way, you will remain germs free and you will not leave your baby unattended. 
  • If you want to stop your baby from interfering in the diaper changing process, give something your baby to hold. This will distract the attention of your kids. 
  • If you are not using the diaper that is specifically designed for newborn babies, then fold the front side of the diaper this will stop it from rubbing against the healing umbilical cord.
  •  While changing the diapers of little boys it is essential to use a shield. It will save both of you from any possible accident. 
  • Be patient. Sometimes babies may start to crawl. So do this carefully. 
  • The diaper changing process is not too much difficult. You will become an expert in no time. 

How to change the diaper of your baby?

If you have never been around babies before you will find it as a horrible task to change a baby’s diaper. No need to worry about that. It’s a very much easy task and you will be an expert in a few weeks. You should prepare all the supplies that you need for a diaper change process. It is most important by doing this you will not leave your baby unattended. 


What do you need?

  • Wet baby wipes
  • A clean and new diaper
  • Safe places like a table or bed
  • Diaper pad if changing table is not available
  • Burp cloth
  • Baby powder, lotion or rash cream

Step by step instructions for changing diapers

  • Lay your kid down
  • Use safety straps if you are using a changing table. This will avoid your kid from falling
  • Remove the clothes of your baby
  • Open the dirty diaper but do not suddenly remove it
  • You should place a burp cloth on your baby, this will prevent spraying on your or baby’s face
  • Clean the area with wet baby wipes. Wipe it from the front side to the backside. This will avoid the spreading of bacteria. These bacteria can cause infection, especially in little girls. Ensure that cleaning is done properly between the skin folds.
  • Carefully and gently lift the legs of the baby and remove the dirty and wet diaper. Now replace it with a clean diaper. 
  • Now apply any rashes cream or lotion that is suggested by the concerned doctor
  • Pull the front side of the diaper through the baby’s legs hold it gently against the stomach of the baby.
  • Make sure that the diaper is neither too tight nor too loose. You can check by sliding two fingers in front and top of the diaper
  • You have done everything right. Now redress your baby. 

These are the simple steps that you will follow to get rid of the dirty disposable diaper. 

You can also use a cloth diaper

This diaper change will also be performed in the same manner as the disposable diaper. The major difference between these two is how you fold the cloth diapers. The mostly used cloth diaper is the pre-fold. This can be done in multiple different ways. 

How often you should change the diaper of your baby?

It is a debatable question. The time frame for diaper change will be different for day and night. During the day time, it is a simple and straightforward question. It is complicated for night time. There is a strong probability that your baby will spoil the diaper at least once every night. So should you change it or wait for the morning? 

To make things easier when changing your baby’s diaper at night, follow these helpful tips;


If you establish a routine with your baby, she will get used to getting changed at a certain time of night hence will not flinch even when you move her during the diaper changing process. According to Will Wilkoff, M.D, a Maine pediatrician, babies will always admire routines because it calms them. Parents also like routines since it gives them a chance to organize better and set a foundation of rules to follow. 

In most of the cases, when you touch the baby and turn her to change a diaper, she will wake up. However, having a routine to follow will always ensure that she gets back to sleep fast enough. 

Change the diaper in low light

For those parents who don’t sleep in high light, I am sure the baby is accustomed to sleeping when the light is low too. For that reason, you should ensure that the light will not bother her. This means that you can control the light by either using low light lumps or using the phone light. 

Change her at bedtime

Other parents will choose to change the baby a few minutes before they sleep. You will notice that the baby is about to sleep and if she had already wet the diaper, there’s no need to wait for change time at midnight. The best decision here is to change her before she closes her eyes. This is also a nice way of establishing a routine

Can I change the baby without waking her up? 

You would not want to wake up your baby during the diaper change process. Unless the diaper is completely wet or poopy, you can wait and enjoy your sleep as well. It is not necessary to wake your baby up after every time they urinate. Now a day’s diapers are designed in such a way that they are too absorbent that you might not have to change it the whole night. 

When your baby wakes up for feeding, you can change the diaper but after feeding him. Now you can clean them and remove a dirty diaper and put up a fresh one. So that both of you can enjoy a night of good sleep for the rest of the night. You as a mother will want to establish a good bonding connection with your kid. Believe me, the diaper changing process provides you an excellent bonding opportunity. 

You should establish a routine. In this way, you will be able to change the diaper without disturbing the sleep of your baby. If your baby has sensitive skin and you are worried about rashes so it is better to apply rash cream or powder before going to bed. This will help you to enjoy your sleep. If you are changing at night make sure that you are not turning the lights on and walk away slowly to the restroom where you will change the diapers. If you have turned on the lights it will be difficult for you to asleep your baby again. So, the ideal practice to avoid rashes and disturbance in the sleep of your baby is to change the diaper after every 3 to 4 hours. 

These little angels sleep more often which is the reason why you will find yourself asking questions like when to change the diaper and whether to wake her up to change the diapers. Believe me, you don’t have to wake a sleepy baby so that you can change. 

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Sky Hoon
Family Man. He is a family man and married with 1 child. Spent countless nights changing diaper and surprised how outdated diapers are. Nevertheless, there is no solution yet as a parent, just want to research more about diapers.
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