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How to Change a Diaper Like a Pro!

Katlyn Joy |20, September 2013


You have a secret you are loathe to confess. You have never changed a diaper, successfully at least, in your life. Relax. You are in good company; lots of new parents get their first tries at diapering on their own first child. The learning curve isn't all that steep, but don't expect perfection right away. You are bound to have some leaky ones, some crooked ones and to experience initiation—a nice spray of urine during a diapering if you have a boy.

Diapering in 12 Easy Steps

With disposables, the process is a bit simpler, but depending on the adhesive used, you may only get a couple shots at lining everything up right before the tape gives up.

1. Gather your supplies and prepare your diapering space.
Get a clean diaper or two ready, have wipes or wet cloth nearby, a changing pad or table, and diaper rash cream if needed. Additional supplies may include a clean outfit, depending on how bad the diaper is soiled or soaked, and a soft cloth to cover up a boy while changing him, and a bag to throw the diaper away in. Many people use scented bags for this purpose, but a used plastic grocery bag tied off and tossed after use is more economical. If using cloth, then you'll need to toss the diaper into the pail or if away from home, into a dirty diaper bag.

2. Lay baby on changing area.
If it's a changing table, buckle baby up. If you're doing the diaper change on a bed, crib or floor, then put down a changing pad or a blanket that can be laundered.

3. Remove baby's clothes from at least the bottom.
You may need to remove the entire outfit, depending on the type of clothing and the closures used and the extent of the wetness or soiling.

4. Wiping
Using a wipe or clean wet cloth, wipe the baby's diaper area, making sure especially with baby girls to wipe front to back to avoid causing infection. Be sure to get into the nooks and crannies around those chubby thighs. For a soiled diaper, wipe the worst of the mess with the front part of the diaper that isn't soiled. Then use wipes or a wet cloth as instructed with a wet diaper.

6. Change the diaper
In a swift movement, remove the dirty or wet diaper from beneath baby and slide an opened clean one underneath while holding up baby's rear end in your hand. Sounds like you need a third hand, doesn't it? May seem that way at first too, but soon you'll be handling this like a pro. Make sure you have the taped part of the diaper to the back so you don't put it on backwards.

7. Apply any diaper rash cream to baby's bottom now.
Doctors advise against using powder as it can get into baby's tender lungs. Use a wipe to remove the excess cream from baby and your fingers.

8. Line it up!
Line up the clean diaper so it's on even and not too high or low on baby's bottom. This will take practice too, but you will master it in no time. Pull the diaper through baby's legs, and hold the front section in place with your hand against baby's tummy while pulling up the sides of the diaper from the back.

9. Fasten the diaper.
If using a cloth diaper, you will need to either attach it with Velcro or a diaper pin. If pinning, don't panic, just keep a hand between the pin and the baby's skin at all times so if anyone gets stuck, it's you. For disposables, just get the diaper in the right position and fasten. You want the diaper to fit snugly, but not too loosely or tightly. Too tight and you'll make baby uncomfortable and too loose it can fall off or unpleasant things can fall out.

10. Disposal
Throw out diaper, or toss cloth diaper in pail. If using cloth, you may want to rinse in the toilet first, depending on the extent of the mess. If you used liners, you will have wanted to insert one during the clean diaper placement. Liners can be cloth or disposable so handle accordingly.

11. Dress your child.
If you're lucky, it will be the same outfit as when you started the diaper change. If you habitually let the diaper be too loose, you will have leaking.

12. Wash your hands.
This is a crucial step. You can get yourself and others quite sick if you skip this step.

Related Articles

Diaper Rash

Age by Age Diaper Buying Guide

Rough Allergy Season Is Here For Babies & Toddlers Too

Most Common Baby Rashes

Sun Safety for Babies and Toddlers


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