How to Change a Diaper Step-by-Step

Changing a diaper for the first time can seem daunting. And don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know how to do it, but you feel like you should know-how. You will get a lot of practice having a baby around. The first few times might be a little harder, but you will be a pro in no time. 

Items for a Diaper Change

Make sure before you change your baby’s diaper, you have everything you need close by. 

1. Diapers 

Usually, you only need one diaper at a time. But there are times when your baby will go through multiple diapers at a time. They might poop or pee when you have put on a new diaper. It happens, especially with newborns.

It is a good idea to have more diapers on hand close by to where you will be changing your baby. That way you will never run out. You might want to store the next size of the diaper so that you will be prepared for when your baby has outgrown the current size. Store the diapers somewhere within easy reach for you, but out of reach of your baby. 

2. Wipes

You need wipes in order to clean your baby’s bottom. You can also use a washcloth and water if wipes are not your thing. 

3. Diaper Ointment or Barrier Cream

You need to have one of these on hand in case your baby gets a diaper rash. Most babies get a diaper rash at some point and it is the most common for babies between 9 to 12 months old. (1)

How to Change a Diaper Step-by-Step

How to Change a Diaper Step-by-Step - Smiling Baby in Diaper

Step 1: Lay Your Baby on Back

Remove the dirty diaper. Set aside safely and wrap bundle making tape stick. 

How to dispose of a dirty diaper:

There are different ways that you can dispose of a diaper. Regardless of the method that you choose, you should always put poopy diapers inside of a diaper sack. Which look like small plastic bags that have scents inside of them to minimize odors. 

You can put the diaper inside of a specially made diaper pail which contains the odors inside of them. Or you can use a regular garbage pail. But you need to take out the diapers to the garbage quite regularly to make sure odors don’t become too strong. 

How I dispose of my daughter’s dirty diaper:

At my baby shower, I was gifted an Ubbi diaper pail which is a really good diaper pail. That is what I used until the time I had to leave my abusive husband. I was unable to bring the diaper pail with me and I never got it back. 

So, I got a small regular garbage can with a lid. It does have a foot pedal to open it. But it doesn’t have magical diaper odor containing properties. So, I have to regularly empty it out or the entire room starts to stink. Both methods work. 

Step 2: Clean Your Baby’s Bum

Gently clean your baby’s diaper area taking special care to clean the folds of the skin. Make sure that you wipe front to back. Use wipes or a wetted washcloth.

Step 3: If Baby Has a Diaper Rash

Make sure to apply diaper rash ointment or a barrier cream on the affected area. Do this whether you are changing a wet or a poopy diaper.

Step 4: Put on Fresh Diaper

Lift your baby’s legs and bottom by the ankles and slide a diaper underneath. The tape side should be under your baby’s bottom. The colorful markings should be facing you on the front. Pull the front of the diaper up between your baby’s legs and lay it on their belly. 

Step 5: Fasten Diaper

Lift the two wings of the diaper on both sides and stick the tape found on the wings to the front of the diaper. The diaper should be snug, but not so tight it will cut off circulation. The tabs should be symmetrical with the color-changing line running right down the middle. The leg cuffs should be turned out to prevent leaks. 

How do you Know When It’s Time for a Diaper Change?

Most diapers nowadays have a wetness indicator which is a line that is one color when dry and changes to a different color when wet. 

Other signs that your baby might need a new diaper include:

  • You can smell poop.
  • The diaper is sagging.
  • The underside of the diaper feels bulky. 
  • The diaper feels damp when you put your finger inside of it.

Conclusion – Changing Diapers Like a Pro

The first diaper change might seem daunting. But the more you change diapers, the easier it will become. Soon you will be a pro and can change diapers without having to even think about it. 

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