How to change a baby’s diaper

Changing a diaper is second nature to seasoned parents, but for those who are about to bring their first child home from the hospital, it can be a daunting task. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult — once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be a pro.


Step 1

Place the baby on the changing table

Gently lower the baby onto the changing table, dresser, or other surface where you’ll be performing the diaper change. Many parents prefer to have the baby facing one way or another so they can use their dominant hand better.

Step 2

Remove any clothes that are in the way

If your baby is wearing a one-piece outfit that zips up, zip it all the way down and gently pull the baby’s legs free. For an outfit with snaps, you’ll only have to unsnap the lower half and then free the baby’s legs. If the baby is wearing pants or shorts, just remove them.

Step 3

Get the new diaper ready

There are many different styles for changing a diaper. The easiest way is to open and spread the new diaper, and then (while lifting the baby’s legs by grasping both ankles with one hand) slide the new diaper under the baby, directly beneath the old diaper.

Step 4

Remove the old diaper

Depending on the type of diaper being used, either unclasp or unfasten the old diaper and pull the front down so you can see how much of a mess there is.

If the diaper is poopy, lift the baby’s legs again (with one hand) and clean the baby’s bottom and surrounding area with baby wipes until the baby is clean. Then remove the old diaper. If the diaper is only wet, it still can’t hurt to give the baby a pass or two with a baby wipe.

Step 5

Fasten the new diaper

Fold the front of the diaper up over the baby’s waist. For cloth diapers, use safety pins or another measure to fasten the new diaper. For disposable diapers, unpeel the strip of adhesive on either side and attach it to the front of the diaper — tightly enough to keep anything from leaking out, but not too tight to cause discomfort or pain to the baby.

Step 6

Redress the baby

Put the baby’s clothes back on, or use new clothes if the old clothes got dirty, and snap or zip them up. The baby now has a fresh, clean diaper, and is good to go (for a couple of hours, at least).

Things Needed
• A baby
• A new diaper
• A flat surface to lay the baby on
• Baby wipes (may not be necessary, but it’s good to be prepared)

Tips & Warnings
• Be ready with an extra baby wipe or washcloth — sudden cold air can make a baby pee without warning.
• Never leave a baby (even an infant) on a changing table, dresser, or other raised surface unattended.
• Always wipe front to back.


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