Should You Change Diapers Before or After Feeding?

Balancing Comfort and Sleep for Both You and Your Baby

by Coterie Team

This article does not provide medical advice. The information on site is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, your child’s pediatrician, or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding your or your child’s health.

Picking the perfect time to change newborn diaper at night can be tricky! On the one hand, you never want your baby to be cold or wet, and you must change soiled baby diapers as soon as possible. On the other, choosing a bad moment can disrupt your baby's sleep–as well as your own–and mean losing out on some precious rest.

The best advice from parents is to change your baby before feeding. While that may seem counterintuitive, as there is the potential your baby will use their diaper once they are full, it is also very common for babies to find feeding time soothing, helping them drift off as they relax.

Ultimately, the right routine will depend on your preferences, family, and what makes sense. You could also change your baby after a feed during the day when they begin to be more alert, but opt for a pre-feed change at night.

Expert Tips for Peaceful Diaper Changes

Babies become great communicators early on, and paying attention to cues is a great way to know when your baby needs to be changed. Fussing, crying, and waking up outside their normal routine may indicate that your baby's diaper is full.

Newborns are a little different because they need changing more often and will often not yet have the ability to express discomfort or to wake up when their diaper is damp. While most moms and dads want to avoid waking up a sleeping baby, you should follow your intuition if you feel like your baby needs to be changed. Lifting them gently onto and off of their changing mat and speaking to them in a soothing, quiet voice might be enough to keep them comforted and sleepy until they are clean and dry.

It is also worth remembering that every baby is different. Some babies are always hungry by feeding time and will become distressed while waiting for their feed during a change; others will be reluctant to feed if they feel any discomfort or dampness. Selecting a high-performance diaper that actively prevents moisture from sitting against your baby’s skin is a perfect solution, where you can decide when and where to change your baby without any concern that a slightly wet diaper could cause irritation.

When Is the Best Time to Change My Baby’s Diaper?

First-time parents often assume they should change a diaper the instant it becomes wet. While this may be fine, it can mean interrupting sleep, bonding time, and play. It can also cause frequent trips to the restroom during a day out or setting your alarm at intervals during the night if your baby doesn't tend to wake up naturally.

There are several reasons parents might feel tempted to change a diaper more often than necessary:

  • Concerns about leaks and blowouts, meaning you need to change your baby's outfit and bedding
  • Worry that a damp diaper will increase the possibility of diaper rash and irritated skin

If you have an excellent-quality diaper you trust to help retain liquid, keep your baby's skin dry, and prevent leakages, you don’t need to wake a sleeping baby unless they have a soiled diaper.

Can I Use a Diaper Subscription to Reduce Changes?

Using a diaper subscription can ensure you have a ready supply of diapers on hand when you need them. It can also mean you can depend on your diaper to work more effectively.

Are diaper subscriptions worth it? A premium diaper might cost more than a cheaper alternative, but the cost-efficiency is that these products are designed to work hard, often replacing multiple products in one, and helping you avoid unnecessary changes.

The Diaper from Coterie is made from apparel-grade material with superb absorbency and moisture-retention properties, eliminating the need for continual changes, excess waste, extra wipes, diaper creams, and even more laundry on your hands.