In this article, we will look at how to change a baby diaper and get it right the first time, even if you’re a newbie.
There are many beautiful things about being the parent of a baby. Changing their diaper isn’t one of them, but it comes with the territory.
It’s something you will have to do every three hours or so during the day, and when your baby wakes to feed during the night. Leave it any longer than that, and they will feel uncomfortable, and likely get diaper rash.
There’s no getting around that changing a baby’s diaper can be messy. But, by being prepared, you can get the job done with a minimum of fuss.
Remember, practice makes perfect, and you will have plenty of that in the coming months. The first few times will be the hardest, but you will soon get used to it. When you do, it will be smooth sailing all the way.
Next, we look at how to change a diaper.
Instructions for Changing a Baby Diaper
There’s nothing worse than running out of diapers and having to drive to the store in the middle of the night, so be sure to stock up. Regardless of whether you choose to use cloth or disposal diapers, you can never have too many.
You will also need a stash of baby wipes, powder, rash cream, and a pail to hold soiled diapers. A light blanket will help to keep the top part of your baby warm during cold weather.
A baby change pad or a soft towel to place on the changing surface is a must. It will help to help to protect the changing table so you will have less to clean. If your baby is a boy, a washer will also be required. This is because when a male baby urinates while lying on his back, the urine will spray up into the air. If you don’t have a cloth handy, the spray could hit you in the face or land on your hair.
Before you start, wash your hands in warm soapy water, then dry them. If you don’t have access to a faucet, use hand sanitizer.
With everything in reach, place your baby on a sturdy surface. You could use a bed or even the floor, but you will have to bend to do this. This will quickly become tiring, and it can lead to an aching neck, shoulders, and back.
Changing the diaper on a table is also an option if it is the right height, however; it isn’t hygienic. The best option is to buy a baby changing table. They come in different heights, and the better ones have storage, so everything you will need will be close by. They also have a safety strap, so you will be able to feel more relaxed when doing a diaper change. While the strap is useful, for safety’s sake, you will still need to keep at least one hand on your baby while they are on the table.
Place a baby change pad or a clean towel on the table or bed, open and lay a clean diaper over it. If you are using a disposable diaper, make sure that the side with the tabs is facing down. Some diapers have hook and T-shaped fasteners or two-pronged fasteners onto the diaper’s front. Others have snaps or velcro. The instructions for all are almost identical.
NB: If you are using a diaper that needs pins, be sure to place your fingers underneath the diaper to cover your baby’s skin to prevent accidentally pricking them.
A short video showing how to change a baby diaper
Remove your baby’s clothing then lay them on their back so that the top of the diaper lines up with the small of their back. Unfasten the soiled diaper and fold over the tabs so that they don’t stick to the baby’s skin. Gently lift the baby’s legs by the ankles with one hand.
As you do this, fold the soiled diaper so that the clean part is facing up. Use this to wipe off as much poop as you can, then move the diaper, so it is out of your baby’s reach.
Next, use a baby wipe or a moist cloth to clean the baby. Start at the front, then move to the back, being sure to clean underneath their bottom and in their thigh creases.
Let the baby’s bottom air dry for a few seconds, or dry it with a soft, clean towel. Next, apply powder or diaper rash cream to your baby’s bottom (if required), then slide out the soiled diaper and drop it into a pail.
Lift the clean diaper so that it is between the baby’s legs and the front half is over their tummy with the top at naval height. (If your little one is a boy, pointing his penis downwards. This will help to prevent him from urinating over the top of the diaper.) Lower the baby’s legs.
Use the tabs to fasten the diaper, bringing them up so that they are just beneath the child’s naval. The diaper should be snug, but not tight on their tummy. You should be able to fit your first two fingers into the front of the diaper. Leave ample room between the baby’s legs as a bunched diaper will be uncomfortable, and it will chafe a baby’s delicate skin.
You can now dress your baby, dispose of the dirty diaper, and thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
NB: If your child is a newborn and their umbilical cord stump has not yet fallen off, fold over the front of the diaper so that it doesn’t come in contact with the stump. Alternatively, you can cut out a section diaper or buy disposable diapers that have notches cut out of the front.
Changing a Baby Diaper Summary
Now you know how to change a baby diaper, the rest is up to you. It may be daunting the first few times and it’s not a job you will ever enjoy, but I promise you, it’s not that hard, and you will soon be changing diapers without giving it a second thought.