Before you leave the hospital, your nurses will provide specific education and advice related to diapering your baby born early, especially related to whether your baby has any developmental issues that would affect whether you can lift their legs for diapering. You will likely have learned during baby’s hospital stay that you want to keep a calming hand on baby and avoid lifting your preemie’s legs any higher than what you need in order to slide a clean diaper underneath them.
Position baby’s diaper so that baby’s hips are in natural alignment with baby’s legs aligned with the middle of their body. Choose diapers that are flexible and sufficiently thin between the legs to keep this positioning. Use slow, gentle motions during baby’s diaper change, softly talk and sing to your baby, and make eye contact during your care. Your soft touch and sweet voice are soothing to your baby during diapering.
Your nurses will also advise you regarding super-absorbent disposable diapers and baby wipes designed specifically for preemie infant skin to provide protection for baby’s delicate skin, especially in the diaper area. Since your premature baby’s natural skin barrier isn’t fully formed, extra care is required as preemie babies are more prone to skin irritation and diaper rash than their full-term counterparts.