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Diaper Changing Essentials

Diapering a baby has changed a lot in the last few decades. Gone are the days when the biggest decisions you had to make were cloth or disposable and whose turn it was. Today’s diaper industry offers an array of styles, features, accessories and gadgets to make the dirty deed easier, cleaner, and more enjoyable.

The first decision you must make is whether you will use cloth or disposable. The following are some questions to ask yourself when deciding how you will diaper your baby:

  • Which one do you feel more comfortable using?

  • Which one fits more conveniently in your lifestyle?

  • Which do you think your baby will be more comfortable in?

  • Which diaper option fits your budget best?

  • Do you have a washer/dryer?

  • Will you have time to wash the diapers?

  • Can you afford a diaper service?

Once you decide which kind of diapers you will use, stock up ahead of time. On average your baby will go through 10 to 12 diapers each day during the first few weeks; that means you will need three packages of at least 50 diapers to get you started. If you plan to go with cloth diapers, you will need six to ten packs (12 diapers per pack) of pre-folded diaper-service-quality (DSQ) diapers.

About 95 percent of parents choose disposable diapers, making the disposable diaper industry a $3.6 billion-a-year business. This means lots of different styles, features, and prices for you to choose from. Despite the vast selection, all disposable diapers fall into three basic categories, each more costly than the last.

  • The basic model is thick, bulky, and relatively inexpensive.

  • The second option is the ultrathin diaper which is often more absorbent, a fraction of the size, plasticized, and easy to fasten with tape closures.

  • The third, best, and unsurprisingly, the most expensive option is premium diapers which are super-absorbent, and have a cloth-like cover and easily re-closable fasteners.

Disposable diapers come in a wide range of sizes, from preemies (for babies under five pounds) up to a size 5 or extra-large for bigger babies and toddlers. The only way to figure out which diaper works best for you and your child is to experiment. The perfect diaper will absorb about four urinations, and keep wetness away from your baby's skin to prevent irritation and diaper rash. It will also fit your baby well enough to prevent leaks at the waist and legs. Keep in mind that size guidelines mean different things to different brands, so some may fit your baby's body shape better than others. The diaper should also be easy for you to work with and afford in bulk. And don't be afraid to try a generic store brand diaper; finding a good one could save you big bucks over time.

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