Sunday, May 8, 2011

tutorial: diapering a {spica cast baby}

When people see Juno in her Spica cast, the first thing they ask is "What happened to her??"

The second thing they ask is "How do you put her diaper on??"

It's really not as hard as it seems!

We use a size 4 diaper on the outside of the cast to hold everything in place. This diaper doesn't get dirty or wet, so we reuse it for several days until it starts pilling. When Juno is wearing a onesie, I don't bother with an outer diaper. You can also use a cloth diaper cover for extra cuteness (like this one)
At the hospital, they lined the edge of the cast opening with moleskin. As soon as we got home, I covered it with duct tape. Moleskin soaks up moisture, eww!! Duct tape protects the cast and is wipeable.

Pull the inner diaper out of the cast on the front.

After I pull the inner diaper out, I flip Juno over on her tummy and pull it out the back.

Toss the inner diaper and use a blow dryer on a COOL setting to dry off the cute little bum and any cotton batting that might have gotten wet.

Prepare the new inner diaper by tearing the velcro tabs off both ends and opening it up all the way. We use a size 1 for the inner diaper, which is what she would normally wear.

With the baby still on her tummy, start stuffing the new inner diaper into the cast. I start in the middle and push it up as high as I can.

Push the sides of the diaper in as far as you can go, spreading the "wings" of the diaper out. During the first few days, I made the mistake of not spreading the wings out and we had some leakage issues. But ever since I started spreading the diaper out more, we haven't had problems.

Tuck the diaper under the edge of the cast, all the way around.

Flip the baby over and tuck the front sides of the diaper under the cast, reaching as far as you can to each side. If your baby has incisions on either side, be very gentle for the first week until it has started healing.

Once the inner diaper is tucked in all the way around, close the outer diaper like you normally would.

We haven't had any problems with leaks and she usually wears the same inner diaper for 10-12 hours at night. We also have her crib mattress tilted up at one side so that the urine runs down into her diaper and not up her back.

Now, as far as dirty diapers go... so far, so good. But I have read that a wipe wrapped around a rubber spatula is GREAT for cleaning down the back of the cast!


  1. Her little bum hanging out the back of that cast is SO dang cute I want to pinch it!! You are such a freakin rockstar Mom!

  2. Just a comment from a random searcher of spica cast tips...THANK YOU! I couldn't help but go back and read about your journey through dysplasia. Our little one will go into a spica in a month and reading about others' experiences has been theraputic. Plus, your kiddos like BYU, so how can this not be positive therapy for me? Thanks for your tips on diapering (and your realistic perspective in the face of a tough trial!).

  3. My 2 1/2 year old little boy was just put in a spica cast yesterday after breaking his femur. Your post helps us SO much more than the nurses could even tell us yesterday! Thank you for sharing your story!


    1. Monica how long did your son have the cast on for a broken femur,

  4. Ali and Monica--I'm so glad that this post has helped you! Diapering in a spica cast is so overwhelming and it's surprising how little the nurses can tell you. Thank goodness for the internet!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. We are preparing our little 14 month old for surgery next week to correct her hip dysplasia. This post helped this worried mama more than you know. God bless!!

  6. Kendra--Good luck! I hope that everything went well with your little one. I think the anticipation is worse than the actual cast, so hopefully you are all adjusting. There's a lot of great info out there!