Should You Wake A Baby To Change Their Diaper At Night

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Every parent knows that the first few months after you bring the baby home are pure chaos. Be it nursing them at odd hours in the night, trying to rock them to sleep every two hours or changing their diapers just as often, nothing is as easy as it seems. Even something as simple as putting your baby to sleep and untangling them from your arms can be a herculean task. But should you do all that just to wake them up in the middle of the night for a diaper change? Newborns frequently urinate during the night, and it may cause them to wake up naturally, or lead to diaper rash if left until morning, so it is imperative that you change their diaper even if they are sound asleep. But, if you are unsure about whether to wake your baby to change, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

Is It Number One Or Number Two?

Is It Number One Or Number Two

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Usually newborns may wet their diapers anywhere around 6-10 times per day, typically an hour or two after being fed. It is important to change their diapers repeatedly as prolonged exposure to urine can change the pH of your baby’s skin and some bacteria and fungus thrive in an alkaline environment. It is important to keep in mind that urine can also lead to chafing and diaper rash. However, if you are feeding your baby on a two-three hour schedule, you can quickly change your baby’s diaper after a feed without waking them, to minimize diaper rash.

The only case in which this wouldn’t apply is if your little one has a blow out, where you will have to change the diaper immediately, even if it’s 2:15 am. This is mainly because feces contain a high level of bacteria that can cause rashes and infections. Not to mention that your baby will be extremely uncomfortable sleeping in a full diaper. But how do you accomplish a diaper change without waking the baby up? Let’s take a look:

How To Change A Diaper At Night Without Waking Your Baby

1. Check The Monitor

Check The Monitor

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If you are going to invest in any baby friendly gadget, this should be on top of your list and we’ll tell you why. The baby nursery monitor is probably the most useful piece of equipment you can buy to keep an eye on your little one at all times. A smart nursery monitor will let you check your baby from your bed to see if they need to be changed, so you can go back to sleep if they don’t. This is a great hack for parents who don’t want to co-sleep but want to keep a close watch on their baby during the tense first few months.

2. Change During A Feed

Change During A Feed

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This might seem tricky but it is a game changer once you get the hang of it. If your newborn is still at the stage where they are waking up every two or three hours to be fed, you might as well go ahead and change their diaper while you are at it. This way you won’t have to wake them up again for a fresh diaper change unnecessarily. They can go back to bed clean and dry and you can go back to bed without having to worry about checking the nursery monitor every five minutes. It’s a win-win situation! Besides, at night, babies are usually only semi-conscious while feeding, so if you are extra gentle while changing them, they may not wake at all and go back to sleep more easily.

3. Choose The Right Diaper

Choose The Right Diaper

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We live in a world that has as many different types of diapers as there are colors on a rainbow, which means that there is a range of diapers solely dedicated for nighttime. These diapers are usually more absorbent than day time diapers. They may be slightly more expensive, but they are also less likely to leak, making nighttime diaper and bedding changes less likely.

4. Don’t Provide Stimulation

If your baby does wake up during the process of you changing their diaper, it is essential that you are as quiet as you can possibly be. This is not the time to play or chat with your baby or move them around animatedly as this will only make it harder for them to go back to sleep. Instead, keep the lights as dim as possible, don’t make eye contact and try to be quick and efficient. This way your baby will drift off to sleep as soon as you put them down again.

Diaper changes don’t have to be complicated and they don’t have to result in a cracky crying baby either. With a few tips and tricks your baby will sleep through the whole process and leave you undisturbed for the reminder of the night. Happy parenting!

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Kezia John

Kezia holds a deep interest in writing about women adapting to motherhood and childcare. She writes on several topics that help women navigate the joys and responsibilities of being a new mom and celebrate every stage of their baby's development. When she is not writing for MomJunction, she sings in a classical Western choir and reads endlessly.