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How to change a diaper

adult changing a baby's diaper

Key points:

  1. Find your own diaper-changing routine that works for you and your baby.
  2. Prepare essential supplies before changing a diaper for a smoother process.
  3. Choose a safe and clean location for diaper changes.
  4. Maintain hygiene by washing hands before and after diaper changes.

When changing your baby’s diaper there isn’t a right way to do it, you just have to find the right way for you and your little one. Here are some pointers that may help you master the diaper change.

How to change a diaper


Preparation is key before changing a diaper, so make sure that you:

  • Don´t forget your essential supplies. During a diaper change, always make sure you have wipes or baby washcloths, depending on what you use to clean your baby’s bottom. In addition, remember to keep a diaper cream, powder, or petroleum jelly nearby, especially if your little one is prone to rashes. And of course, never forget to restock your diapers; you don’t want to go out in the middle of the night looking for a store that sells your baby’s special diapers.
  • Keep all your diaper supplies close by and easy to access. Sometimes things can get really hectic at home and when it’s time to change your baby’s diaper you may forget the baby cream or even the diapers!
  • Leaving your baby on the changer while you go for a diaper can be risky, even if they have a safety strap on. So always keep everything you need near the place where you usually change their diaper.
  • Locate a clean, secure, and warm spot to change your baby. Safety always comes first when choosing a location for a diaper change! You must select one where your baby won’t fall easily. Try to use a diaper-changing pad, a changing table, or simply lay down a blanket on the floor or a bed.
  • Always wash your hands before and after you change your baby’s diaper. Your child’s hygiene has to be one of your main priorities. Remember that you are cleaning the stool and it can get everywhere. Before you know it, you may even get some on your face! Some pediatricians even suggest that your baby’s hands should be cleaned after you change their diaper. Whether your baby has touched something during the diaper change or not, it’s still a good idea to wash their hands once you’re done.

Here are 10 simple STEPS on how to change a diaper:

  1. Place your baby on the changing table.
  2. Remove their clothes.
  3. Open up a new clean diaper and place it under your baby. The top of the back half should come up to your baby’s waist.
  4. Pull down the front half of the dirty diaper. Note: If your baby is a boy, you might want to cover his penis with a clean cloth so he doesn’t pee on you.
  5. Clean your baby’s front with a damp baby wipe. Note: If your baby’s a girl, wipe from front to back (toward her bottom).
  6. If your baby pooped, grab another wipe and clean their bottom. You can either lift their legs or roll them gently from one side to the other. Make sure you clean the creases of your baby’s thighs and buttocks, too!
  7. Remove the dirty diaper and set it aside. If you followed step one, the clean diaper should be underneath your baby, ready to go.
  8. Before applying rash cream, let your baby’s skin air-dry for a few moments.
  9. Pull the front half of the clean diaper up to your baby’s tummy. Note: For a boy, place his penis down so he’s less likely to pee over the top of the diaper.
  10. Fasten the diaper on both sides with the tabs. The diaper should be snug, but not so tight that it pinches.

Extra recommendations

  • If you have a newborn, avoid covering the umbilical cord stump with the diaper. Instead, fold the front (if it’s a regular diaper) or buy special diapers for newborns that have a notch cut for the stump.
  • When closing the diaper, verify that your baby’s legs are spread as wide as possible. Too much bunching in that area can cause chafing and discomfort for your baby.
  • This is a perfect moment for you and your baby to strengthen your bond, so try to make it fun! Sing songs, blow their tummy, or tickle them!

We all have different ways to change a baby’s diaper, let us know how you do it in the comments below!


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