I have an extra diaper that needs to be changed more often than my own.
I’m not alone.
More than half of women surveyed in a new study said they regularly use more than one diaper to keep their newborns’ skin clean and dry, and they often use diapers that contain bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections.
What they don’t realize is that using a diaper that has bacteria in it can be bad for your baby.
Here are four myths about diaper use that could be putting your baby at risk.
Myth: Babies need a regular diaper change.
The truth is, a baby’s bladder is built to absorb liquids, so if you use more diapers, your baby may be at risk for bladder infections.
But don’t worry, most babies’ diapers are completely dry by the time they’re 3 months old.
“It’s really the same as any other type of diaper,” says Dr. Sarah Guttmacher, a professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University.
“If it’s wet or slightly sticky, it’s not going to work.
You can dry it out a little bit and it’s still good.”
And while most babies can handle the amount of diaper use a little more than a full diaper change can bring, not everyone can.
Myth 3: The best diaper is the one that’s least dirty.
The reality is that the more diapers you use, the more bacteria you may have.
But the good news is that your baby will use less.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that babies who wear a diaper every day are twice as likely to have urinary tract infection as those who do not.
“We’re seeing that the amount you put in the diaper matters, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to do better than a baby who hasn’t changed in a while,” Guttmbach says.
“When you use a new diaper, it doesn, too.
But it also does not mean you can just use it every day.”
Myth 4: Baby wipes are for baby wipes.
As Guttmlacher points out, babies don’t need to wipe as much as adults do.
A baby’s skin is much easier to clean, and while they might get irritated if they’re too dirty, they are less likely to be irritated if their diaper isn’t dirty enough.
They can also wipe the top of the diaper without getting wet, which means that they won’t get into their diaper bag.
“The wipes don’t clean the diaper like they’re supposed to,” Gutmbach said.
“They do not get on the fabric.”
So, whether it’s a new washable diaper, a non-waterproof diaper, or a nonperfumed diaper, you can trust the hygiene of your baby’s diaper to be up to snuff.