The day that a new baby arrives home from the hospital is a day filled with joy and challenges for new parents. One of the first challenges that parents have to tackle is diapering. To complicate issues further, new parents may not be aware that there are differences between boy and girl diaper care. Knowledge of these differences can make a difference between a happy baby and a dirty, wet baby. Worse, failure to be aware of and apply the different diapering procedures could result in the development of an infection in the baby or in the occurrence of a wet parent.
How to Wipe a Girl
One of the most important differences between diapering a baby girl and a baby boy is that girl's genitalia must be cleaned in a certain manner or she can develop a urinary tract infection due to the introduction of fecal matter into the vagina or urethra. Baby girls must be changed promptly after a bowel movement so that faeces do not move into the vaginal area. Secondly, when wiping the fecal matter from the rectum area, special care must be made to make sure that fecal matter isn't wiped into the vaginal area. This is best achieved by wiping in the direction of front to back, or from vagina to rectum.
Circumcised Boys Have Special Needs
If a little boy has been circumcised, the care of penis requires special attention during diaper changes. This is because the circumcision wound takes time to fully close and until it is completely healed, the introduction of faeces onto the penis can cause the circumcision wound to become infected. To avoid the contamination of the penis with faeces, use a different wipe to clean the penis than is used to clean the rectum. Alternatively, clean the penis first and the rectum next with the same wipe.
How to Wipe a Boy
When cleaning any boy, circumcised or not, it is important to cleanse the area near the base of the penis prior to bringing the wipe into contact with any area containing fecal matter. Special areas of a baby boy's anatomy that must be cleaned include: the skin folds under the scrotum, groin area and buttocks.
How to Prevent Being Urinated On
It is more likely that a boy will pee on a parent during a diaper change than a girl. To prevent this from occurring, when changing a baby boy's diaper, keep the penis covered as long as possible. This can be achieved by simply keeping the diaper unfastened on top of his penis or by laying a clean wipe or diaper cover the penis between changes. The reason that boy's penises should be covered as long as possible is that they have a tendency to urinate during diaper changes and if not covered the pee may spray into the diaper changer's face. It's important to quickly diaper a baby boy before he pees on the diaper changer. Once diapering is complete, take care to point the penis in a downward direction in order to avert urine leakage.