As Muslim adults, there is a Muslim way to clean ourselves when we use the washroom, but what about children? At what age does that ‘rule’ start? Can there be a method on how to change diapers for Muslim parents?
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Growing up, almost everyone around me used baby wipes to clean their infants. That seemed normal to me, and I never questioned how to change diapers. That’s just the way it was.
It changed for me when I was pregnant with my first child. I was trying to decide what wipes were best for a baby. Nowadays, there are hypoallergenic wipes, water wipes, scented, unscented. There are too many options!
Suddenly, a thought occurred to me: are baby wipes considered the Muslim way to clean? When does cleaning with water become obligatory? Is it after puberty? If so, what about the time between? There had to be a system or protocol that I didn’t know.
I sought advice from my elders, who are more learned than I am in Islam. I read through the hadith and asked the question amongst Marjah until my husband and I felt comfortable making an informed decision on how we would tackle this matter in our household.
You might be thinking; why do I need to make diaper changes so complicated? But really, it isn’t. We found a protocol that works for us and it has made our lives so much easier. It has been tried and tested, and I am thrilled to share it with you!
This post is all about how to change diapers without using wet wipes.
I will share with you:
- A hadith on purifying babies after urination
- Our story on how to change diapers without using wet wipes
- The products you need
From the book of Al Kafi, a collection of hadith compiled by Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Kulayni:
It is narrated by Ali ibn Ibrahim, “I once asked abu Abd Allah, Alayhi al-Salaam, about the urine of a child. He (the Imam) said, ‘You must just pour water on it but if the child eats food, wash it clean and a baby boy or girl are the same.” (Al Kafi, H4049, Ch.36, h6)
I then sought guidance from a Marjah to get more clarity. The information I received indicated that a breastfeeding baby or a baby that eats table food must be purified with water after urination or a bowel movement. You may wash it once with Kurr water (water connected to the mains) or by pouring Qalil water (a little water) twice on the najis (unpure) areas. The water poured should be separated from the najis (unpure) area.
We decided to clean our babies from birth with the information above with both Kurr and Qalil water instead of standard baby wipes. This meant fewer chemicals on our babies’ sensitive areas. Since we developed this method, we have never looked back. It works for us!
Our Story on How to Change Diapers Without Using Wet Wipes:
At first, we had our changing table (a must-have item) in the baby area. The first day our baby came home, we realized our error. It was difficult to use water to clean our baby because the changing table was so far away from the washroom. My husband suggested we bring the changing table into the master washroom since the space allowed for it. I thought he was insane. I had never seen that before, but I humored him anyway and we gave it a try. Boy, was I wrong. This was the single best move we could have made!
If the baby had a poopy diaper, all we had to do was hold the baby right under the tap and clean as needed. There was no ‘travel’ from one side of the room to the other. It was a seamless process.
If there isn’t enough room in your washroom to bring a changing table in as a stationary piece of furniture, then I suggest having the changing table right outside a nearby bathroom. This will still make the transition smoother, and I’ll explain exactly how in a bit.
For less messy diaper changes, like urine, we use a water bottle and dry baby wipes to execute the purification process.
It might sound like a tedious process, but it’s actually very convenient. Water is accessible almost anywhere, so filling a leak-proof water bottle isn’t difficult when you’re on the go. Also, the process isn’t much different from changing a baby with baby wipes.
It’s also worth mentioning that this process is hugely beneficial in the potty-training stage. When our firstborn was ready to get potty trained, using water to clean the necessary areas wasn’t a foreign process. This allowed us to focus on the actual potty training without worrying about the additional steps we would have had to introduce if we hadn’t used water from the get-go. This made everything worth it.
Supplies Needed to Change Diapers without using Wet Wipes:
- Changing Table (CA|US): Everyone has preferences based on color coordination, etc., but whatever you choose, I recommend choosing one with wheels that lock so you can push it around as needed. This will make it easy to change locations if you need to.
- Chucks (CA|US): Remember how I said I would explain the smooth transition from changing table to washroom sink? Well, this is it. I would’ve looked at you like you were crazy if you suggested chucks to me before my first baby, but this investment has been a life-saver. Use these as a layer to your baby mat, and if they get wet or dirty, all you need to do is chuck them in the garbage. You can skip cleaning your changing table cover. The chucks are waterproof and keep things clean. If you have the changing table outside a washroom, you can carry the baby to the sink with the chuck underneath and you won’t risk dropping anything on the ground. It’s a win-win!
- Water Bottle (CA|US): You will need this for indoors and travel. I use a spouted water bottle for indoors and a leak-proof water bottle for travel.
- Cetaphil Baby Body Soap: (CA|US): To clean poop off the baby, we use this soap as an extra measure of cleanliness. This isn’t obligatory by any means, but it does allow for a fresh, clean bottom and ensures that we have cleaned thoroughly to avoid residue or rashes. I’ve used Aveeno baby soaps as well, but the Cetaphil brand has always been a personal favorite for sensitive and gentle skin.
- Organic Diaper Balm: This cream is a miracle. At the onset of any redness, I apply this cream, and by the next diaper change, the redness is gone. I have had one baby rash experience, and none of the over-the-counter creams worked well. It led me to research alternatives, and that’s when I stumbled across this cream. The rest is history.
- Dry Baby Wipes (CA|US): These are the wipes you’ll use to dry the baby. You can purchase these on subscription, and you can use them for many other things outside of drying your baby’s private parts.
- Diapers (CA|US): Of course, you can’t forget the diapers. We have tried many different diapers—Seventh Generation, Kirkland, Huggies, and various Pampers types. One thing we found extremely helpful was the wetness indicator on most diapers. Although Seventh Generation diapers are advertised to have fewer chemicals, it wasn’t the best brand for us during our babies’ first year. There was no wetness indicator, and we had no idea if our baby had urinated or not. We found ourselves changing diapers every 20 minutes, and that made an already expensive brand even more expensive. The peace of mind just wasn’t there. Our favorite is Pampers Pure Protection, which is advertised to be made without chlorine and many allergens, and it has the wetness indicator; a win-win for us! I do suggest Seventh Generation once your baby is at least one year old. By then, their urine is noticeable and you will know if you need to change a diaper, so the wetness indicator isn’t necessary.
I trust this post has shed some light on a topic that isn’t a prominent topic of discussion in the Muslim community or online. My goal is to make your life easier by guiding you through the diaper-changing process step by step so you can feel confident and empowered to develop a process for your own baby!
I swear by some of these products and you’ll even find many of these supplies in the newborn essentials list.
This is a tried-and-true method for our family!
This post is all about how to change diapers without using wet wipes.