How to Change a Nappy

 Changing your baby’s nappy may seem challenging at first. However, once you understand its basics, it becomes second nature.  Your newborn may need changing for about 12 times a day for the first few weeks. This might just be all the practice you need to perfect the skill. Read more on your baby’s first 24 hours of life. 

 Let’s learn some tips on how to go about it successfully. 

Getting Organized

 Before you embark on changing your baby’s nappy, it’s important that you wash your hands. Thereafter, get in place everything you need. These may include:

  • A changing towel
  • Warm water
  • Cotton wool 
  • Baby wipes
  • A plastic bucket for the dirty wipes, nappies, or cotton wool
  • A diaper rash cream for your baby’s skin
  • A clean nappy
  • Clean outfits

Note that the best place to change your baby’s nappy is on a towel or changing mat on the floor. 

How to Clean Girls

Changing a girl’s diaper is different from how you would their male counterparts. For one, her urinary system is internal, thus more exposed unlike a boy’s. Using two fingers, separate her vaginal lips and wipe from front to back using a clean, moist or damp cloth or cotton wool. 

How to Clean Boys

While baby boys require less cleaning requirements than girls, their skin is also delicate. Swish the water around while gently rubbing your baby’s skin. Note that you don’t need to rub his bottom. Ensure that you thoroughly clean the scrotum and penis from any trapped poo.

Avoid using soap or fragrance products on your baby as these may affect the natural balance of your baby’s skin.

Tips for changing your baby’s nappy

The following steps are essential in changing a nappy:

  1. Wash your hands 
  2. Undress him
  3. Unfasten the dirty nappy
  4. Clean him up
  5. Dry him
  6. Apply barrier cream
  7. Put on a clean nappy
  8. Dress him up
  9. Wash your hands again

Using Cloth Nappies

If you’re using reusable nappies, it’s important to limit the influence of nappy rash on your baby’s skin. Ensure then that you:-

  • Change your baby’s cloth diapers quite often
  • Use nappy rash cream as a preventive measure
  • Also, ensure the cloth nappies are dry to prevent the possibility of a secondary infection on your child’s skin.

Using Disposable Nappies

The use of disposable diapers may cause rashes on your baby’s skin. Therefore, ensure your baby’s bottom is well cleaned and dry.

Learn more about Nappy Options.

Interacting with Baby During Diaper Change

Nappy changing times offer the opportunity to teach your baby about hygiene. Therefore, it is good to create a positive nappy changing routine just like bath time. You may also get into simple play activities such as singing. You’re bound to make nappy change an interesting experience!


Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019 

Sources: careforkids, emmasdiary, rch

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