How to Change a Diaper
Now you're ready to go! You have all of your supplies within one-handed, easy grasping distance and you are prepared to take the next step. Follow these steps and you should be all set!
- Remove the dirty diaper by unfastening the side tabs. Pull the diaper away quickly before your baby has the chance to get a hold of the opened tabs -- you'd be amazed at how firm their grasp is already!
If you have a boy, make sure to quickly cover his penis with a towel or the clean diaper. A quick rush of cool air will be just enough stimulation to make him start to urinate. If that happens, the quick diaper change could turn into a much longer process.
- With the pre-moistened wipes, wipe away all of the remaining poop and urine. You want to make sure the area is completely clean, as both poop and urine can be as equally harsh on a newborn's sensitive skin.
If you have a girl, make sure to always wipe from front to back. You don't want to push any germs into such a sensitive area and one that can easily trap bacteria.
- Put a dab of anti-diaper rash ointment or petroleum jelly onto the completely clean bottom. This will provide your baby with a gentle barrier of protection for the skin the next time they poop. It's always better to prevent diaper rash regularly than to deal with an irritated and possibly infected bottom.
If you have a boy and he has been circumcised, cover the tip of his unhealed penis with a dab of petroleum jelly. This will prevent the raw wound from sticking to the dry diaper. It will also help the healing process.
- With one hand, gently lift both of your baby's legs by grasping the ankles together and pulling them up. With the other hand, slide the back of the opened, clean diaper under the bottom. (The back of the diaper has the sticky tabs on either side.)
- Pull the front of the diaper up between the legs and over to be fastened with the sticky tabs. If you have a boy, make sure to point the penis down to prevent leaks when he urinates.
- Fasten the sticky tabs. For all newborns, until the umbilical cord stump falls off, be sure to prevent the diaper from covering or irritating that area. To do so, fold the front of the diaper down while fastening the tabs, or purchase diapers that are designed with a cut-out for the umbilical cord stump.
- Re-dress your baby. Until the umbilical cord stump falls off, you should not dress your baby in any of the "onesie" style one-piece outfits yet, as it could irritate the area and/or prevent airflow from reaching the wound, slowing down the healing process.
- Toss the dirty diaper and wash your hands.
With a newly clean and comfortable baby, you are good to go! Believe it or not, there will come a day when you can do this in the middle of the night with your eyes closed. Until then, stick to the steps and watch out for the mid-change pee!