Should You Wake Baby For A Diaper Change?


Any new parent has heard the phrase “rest when your baby rests” countless times. And for the first two months after delivery, a newborn will usually wake and feed every two to three hours. This schedule often differs, depending on several factors, including whether the baby is breastfeeding or formula feeding, sickness, or even room temperature, which is why it’s recommended for new moms to sleep when their newborns sleep. During this period, changing your baby’s diaper is easy because he wakes every three hours. However, when your infant finally starts to sleep through the night, it can be hard to change their diaper because there’s the chance that your baby wakes.

Still, babies frequently pee during the night, and it may lead them to wake up naturally or cause diaper rash if left up to morning. So, should you wake your child for a diaper change or let him keep sleeping? If you’re uncertain about whether to wake your child up to change, here’s everything you need to know.

What To Consider

Changing baby diaper at night
Via Pexels
  • Is it a number one or a number two?- According to New Parent, newborns may wet their diapers six to ten times daily, usually an hour or two after feeding. Prolonged exposure to pee can alter the PH of your newborn’s skin, and some fungus and bacteria thrive in an alkaline environment. Urine may also dry out the skin and cause chafing and diaper rash. However, if you’re feeding your infant on a two to three-hour schedule, you can quickly change their diaper after a feed without waking her to lower diaper rash. But if your baby has a blowout, it is essential to change his diaper immediately, even if it’s at 3 a.m. Poop contains high levels of harmful bacteria, which may cause infection and rashes. Most infants seem visibly uncomfortable after pooping, so if you hear your baby fusing, check to see if he is squirming to get comfortable. If he is, it’s likely that he’s pooped and needs a change.
  • How wet is the diaper?Nanit advises that you let the baby sleep, not unless she is really wet or has pooped. There’s no need to wake your baby every time she pees in the diaper a little. Most of today’s diapers are highly absorbent that your baby may be able to sleep through the night, or as long as they’re able to, even if they’ve wet the diaper. When she wakes by herself, or you need to wake her up for a feeding, you’ll have a shot to clean her up and put on a fresh diaper. Until then, rest easy. You need as much rest as you can get.
  • What type of diaper are you using? – Most recent disposable diapers are highly absorbent, drawing moisture away from the baby’s skin to lower the risk of diaper rash and keep your child dry and comfortable. And even though newborns pee frequently, they don’t produce significant urine amounts. So, it may be safe to leave the diaper on and change it first thing in the morning. However, if the diaper is too small or too big, it may leak, prompting you to change the baby and bedding. Buy the right size diaper for your child’s weight to avoid waking him for a change. Also, according to Today’s Parent, wetness is only an issue if you’re using cloth diapers, which don’t absorb the moisture as disposables do. That’s why even parents who use cloth diapers forgo them at night. It’s also advisable to apply a barrier cream at night to protect your baby’s bottom when there are long stretches between changes. Apply the ointment generously, so it creates a barrier protecting your baby from urine and feces.
  • How sensitive is your baby’s skinSome babies have more sensitive skin than others, making them more prone to diaper rash. If your baby suffers from eczema, frequent rashes, or has allergies, you should change her diaper during the night to lower the chances of developing a diaper rash.

RELATED: What To Do If Baby Needs A Diaper Change In Public & You Have No Diapers​​​​​

Changing Your Baby’s Diaper

How to change baby's diaper without waking him
Via Pexels
  • Put on a fresh diaper before bedtime– Change your baby’s wet diaper before she goes to sleep. That way, she can go longer without needing a change.
  • Change them during their feed– If your baby still wakes every 2 to 3 hours, act preemptively by getting into the habit of changing his diaper before a feed. That way, you know he’s going back to bed with a relatively dry diaper, and you won’t risk waking him up if he nods off as he feeds. You can also change them after the feed since babies are usually semi-conscious during feeds. So, if you’re gentler while changing him, he won’t wake.
  • Do not provide stimulation– If your baby is still sleeping, you can clean her up without totally waking her. Keep the room quiet and the lights low, and move calmly and slowly to prevent her from waking.

Sources: Nanit, New Parent, Today’s Parent,

This Dad’s Trunk Diaper-Changing Hack Is Pure Genius

This Dad’s Trunk Diaper-Changing Hack Is Pure Genius

With clean changing stations hard to come by, a dad decided to take matters into his own hands and created one in the trunk of his car.

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