How to Change a Diaper: Step-by-Step Instruction

Having a baby is full of joy but also can be stressful. And how to change a diaper can be frustrating, however, it is an essential skill every new parent has to master, and there’s no way you can get away from it. You just have to be focus and knee deep in diapers after your baby was born. The good news is this article will show you exactly how to change one diaper, it is super quick, stress-free and without getting covered in pee or poo!

Firstly, it is very important to choose a safe place to change your little one. If you change your baby on a changing table or your bed, please be sure to keep one hand on your baby all the times. Most changing tables have a belt, which you can easily use to lock your baby from tipping over. Regardless your baby is strapped in or not, please don’t take a chance and leave your baby unattended. Babies are extremely active at any age and they can fall over from the table just within a second!


  1. Safe changing area (mat/table)
  2. Clean diaper
  3. Cotton wool balls or Clean cloth or Baby wipes
  4. A bowl of lukewarm water
  5. Nappy/Rash cream
  6. Diaper bag or Extra plastic bag (if you are outside)


  1. Wash your hands, or clean with hand sanitizer or baby wipes.
  2. Place your supplies (above) in your convenient spot, where you can reach directly


  1. Lay your baby down on the back on the flat changing surface (If you are using a changing table, it’s highly recommended to use the safety belts). Place a new clean diaper back half under your baby. The top of the back half should come up to your baby’s stomach. It protects your changing area from getting dirty (however if the diaper is dirty, you might want to leave a towel or reusable pad under your baby instead of a clean diaper).
  2. Unbutton the tabs on the dirty diaper. You can lift your little one’s bottom by gently grabbing the ankles and legs if it’s easier for you at this step. If there are lots of bowel movements existing, you may want to use the top part of the diaper to slightly sweep it towards the end. If your baby is a girl, make sure you wipe from front to back every time so as to prevent any internal infection.
  3. Fold down the front half of the dirty diaper. Make sure you slip the diaper away from your baby and place nearby, but ensure the baby cannot reach out. If it is a baby boy, you might want to cover his penis with a clean cloth so that he doesn’t pee on you.
  4. If there’s poo in the diaper, just use the top half of the diaper to rub the bulk of it off your baby’s butt.
  5. Bend half way of the used diaper under your baby and then wipe it through (This can give a safeguard between the new diaper and the baby’s dirty bottom).  The easiest way to do this is to hold the little legs and feet, then gently bringing upward.
  6. Slowly and softly wipe your baby’s front section with wipes, clean cloth or cotton wool balls, whichever you prefer. If you are using a clean cloth or cotton wool balls, make sure you always clean with lukewarm water.
  7. If there are more bowel movements present, quickly grab few wipes and clean the bottom, repeat this step until it gets cleaned. You can always hold little legs or roll the baby gently from one side to the other. Note the creases of your baby’s legs and backsides also need to be cleaned.
  8. Take your time with diaper changing, never do it in a rush. Always wait until your baby’s skin air dried or you can dry it with a new cloth. This can help prevent diaper rash, and apply the rash cream if needed.
  9. Remove the dirty diaper off and put it aside for now. If you followed previous steps, the clean one should be already placed below your baby.
  10. Tug the clean diaper halfway under your baby’s bellybutton. With a baby boy, again you may need to point the penis down so he’s unlikely to pee on either you or the diaper.
  11. Make sure to spread edge of the diaper so that it can cover any fluid. Please also be sure the diaper is not too tight or loose. Otherwise, your baby is not going to be happy about it.
  12. Close off the diaper and tape the tabs properly. Make sure it’s not so tight and the tabs aren’t sticking to the skin. Lots of diapers nowadays have colourful pattern and marks, such as Disney characters, which normally demonstrate on both front and back of the diaper.
  13. Dress up your baby and then put in a safe place, such as on the ground or in the cot with various toys, make sure keeping your baby busy and entertained, so you have spare time to clean up the changing area.
  14. Fold and close the dirty diaper with the tabs on each side, so the smell and dirty junk are not getting out, then throw it in the bin or diaper bag. Remember always wash changing surface and your hands, this step is very important especially if your baby is sick, it can always prevent contamination.


  1. Check and change your baby’s diaper often (every 2-3 hours)
  2. Clean your baby’s diaper area carefully after changing
  3. If poo is coming out of the diaper, it may upgrade to a bigger size or change another brand of diaper, every baby is different so you may need to adapt the change
  4. Never use perfumed wipes on your baby as baby skin is very sensitive
  5. Gently pat or air dry only after wiping
  6. If your baby has a nappy rash for few days, or if your baby seems to be in a lot of pain, contact your family doctor immediately
  7. Try not to give hard or plastic pants and watch out for skin redness or marks, which can indicate if the diaper is not fitted or your baby is allergic to certain diapers
  8. If you are outside with your baby, always take some plastic or diaper bags, so you have a closed space to put dirty diapers
  9. When you change a diaper for a newborn, make sure you avoid touching the cord until it is completely dried and dropped off, otherwise can create bacteria and cause infection.
  10. Just enjoy! Diaper changes can be fun as well. It offers you an opportunity for a one-on-one time with your baby. Talk to your little one, point out the parts of your baby’s body and explain what you are doing. Once your baby is fully cleaned up, may try to sing a few simple songs, such as “One Little Finger”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” Babies always love music! Or you can just play a bit of peekaboo, share a kiss, and always have a cuddle with your little one before you wrap up.


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