Supplies Needed for a Spica Cast Diaper Change
Diaper changes might be one of the most difficult parts of a spica cast. I knew going into our spica cast journey that it would be a bit of trial and error to figure out exactly how to properly diaper without getting leaks. It takes quite a few supplies, but my husband was able to set up an amazing diapering bin that held everything we needed. That way we were able to grab the bin easily and bring it with us everywhere!
The nurses at Gillette were very helpful. They showed us how they would diaper a spica cast. It was great advice and we were able to take that and figure out what worked best for Willow. One important step before you begin diapering is petaling the opening of the spica cast. We got lucky and the nurses petaled both of Willow’s casts in the hospital for us. Petaling is where you take about 4-inch strips of waterproof tape and line the opening of the cast around the diapering area. You need to overlap the pieces so that the lining of the cast is protected and stays dry. If any of the pieces get dirty or start to peel off you can replace them so it is important to keep the extra tape in the bin.
A few of the other items we always kept in our bin included poise pads. We found that the thinner poise pads fit better into the spica cast. They are able to be tucked into the cast in between the skin and cast. Another important item to keep in the bin is a small flashlight. This allows you to see up the cast in case there is any poo leaks or explosion. It is amazing how much better these little lights help! We also had lots of Moleskin handy so if the cast started rubbing on any of Willow’s skin or the cast felt abrasive we could quickly cover up the spots. Moleskin is sticky, just like a sticker, and can be cut into any shape or size and sticks great to the cast. To cut the Moleskin make sure you have s pair of scissors. They are very useful when cutting diapers and tape too.
We cut newborn diapers in half to fold over and tape to the opening of the spica cast. Once you cut the diaper in half you have to tape the cut edge with paper tape. This ensures that the absorbency beads in the diaper won’t leak out into the spica cast. It is also important to cut off the velcro tabs of the diapers so that they don’t irritate or rub. For Willow’s cast, it took 3 newborn diapers cut in half (6 half pieces) to fully line the opening of her spica. It is time-consuming to cut, tape, and constantly change these little diapers BUT it made all the difference for the cast. Willow never had leaks into the cast and it never smelt because of these little barriers.
It is also important to have 2 different sized diapers handy for the spica cast. The smaller sized diaper gets shoved up in the opening of the spica cast. The larger size goes around the entire cast and holds everything in place. The larger diapers can be reused because they rarely get soiled. Willow’s cast opening was fairly small so we used a size 1 diaper to tuck up in the cast and a size 6 diaper to wrap around the whole thing. Another thing to keep handy in the diaper bin is wet wipes. It is amazing how many more wet wipes you will go through with a spica cast. Especially when there is poo in the cast you will want to use plenty of wipes to ensure the cast is completely clean.
The last thing to keep handy is a hair dryer. You will want one that has a cool setting. After every diaper change, I would blow Willow’s bottom with cold air from the hair dryer. This ensured that the cast is always nice and dry and it helped prevent her from getting any sort of diaper rash.