The baby’s skin is very sensitive to irritating factors such as urine, feces or cosmetic products. Frequent diapering is necessary to avoid chafing or dermatitis.
Making the decision to wake the baby to change the diaper will depend on several circumstances. For a mother who has a hard time getting her baby to sleep, it probably does not occur to her to wake up the baby to change her diaper. No one wants to deal with a crying baby upset by interrupting his sleep.
However, if the baby is one of those who frequently suffer from diaper rash, it is very likely that his mother will value more the discomfort generated by the chafing and wake him up to prevent the development of dermatitis.
Awakening the baby to change the diaper: is it the most advisable?
As we have said in other publications: every baby is unique. The most advisable for a baby will not necessarily work for another. Not even among siblings should one rely on using the same formula.
It is up to the parents to determine what the baby’s particularities are . Let’s analyze then the factors that affect the decision to wake the baby to change the diaper.
What is the priority: rest or hygiene?
Undoubtedly, leaving a diaper wet or with feces for a long time is harmful to the delicate skin of the newborn. But at the same time, not interrupting the baby’s sleep is fundamental to its development.
While the baby is awake, there is no problem with changing the diaper, the question resonates within the parents when the baby has fallen asleep. Prioritize what is most advisable for your baby, if rest or hygiene is the key to making the best decision .
Usually, as food reaches the baby’s stomach, it evacuates. This is called the duodenocolic reflex, which was the perfect time to change the diaper. A formula-fed baby will wake up every 3 hours: the baby wakes up, feeds and changes it. Do not wake the baby .
If the baby is fed with breastfeeding, it is usual to urinate and defecate more frequently, as well as feeding more frequently. Therefore there will be more awakenings and it will be the ideal time to change the diaper, without interrupting the moments when you fall asleep.
But my baby already sleeps 6 hours or more in a row! What I do?
The indecision becomes worse when the baby already sleeps 6 or 7 hours in a row. Awakening the baby to change the diaper becomes a concern for parents, motivates many consultations to pediatricians and mothers.
Disposable diapers are increasingly absorbent. There are even versions for the night, manufactured precisely to guarantee the baby’s sleep. A baby that sleeps 6 or 7 hours in a row, you do not have to wake it up to . The diaper should absorb the liquid and stay relatively dry until you wake up the next day.
Simply make sure you change the diaper before going to sleep , that your skin is clean and dry and you apply a good ointment or protective cream to protect the skin from chafing. Ask your pediatrician which is the best cream to apply on your baby’s skin.
If the baby wakes up for nighttime shots, he will usually fall asleep while breastfed. Therefore, waking him up to change it is completely counterproductive . The diaper should stay dry until the next morning and to be changed as soon as it wakes up.
When should I wake the baby to change the diaper?
If the only option for a baby is to use cloth diapers, because the disposable diaper is generating allergies , it is best to change the baby if it defecates or if the humidity is excessive. Unfortunately, you must wake him up or he will wake up while you make the change.
Using a cover between the mattress and the sheet will help isolate the baby from moisture. It could also work to locate a blanket or extra towel between the mattress and the sheet. The fundamental thing is to separate the baby from the humidity to see if it is possible not to interrupt the sleep.
In the case of a baby with diarrhea it must be changed immediately , as the stools are usually acidified and more abrasive on the baby’s delicate skin. Even when a disposable diaper with high absorbency capacity is used, the diaper needs to be changed and with the change it is safest to wake up, with all the inconvenience that comes with getting back to sleep.