I have changed thousands of diapers between my two children and all the babies I worked with as a NICU nurse. I have a neat and efficient diaper changing system. I have taught my husband, and he believes other people would benefit from learning my technique as well.
STEP 1: Choose your changing area
- Should be a flat stable surface such as a changing table, a couch, a bed, or even the floor
- Line the changing area with a lap pad, baby blanket, disposable changing pad, etc. for a clean changing surface
STEP 2: Prep all the supplies: diaper, wipes, creams, etc.
- Open up the clean diaper
- Remove 1-2 wipes, keep the rest nearby just in case
- Pre-load the diaper with A&D ointment, Desitin, etc. if necessary. Add 1/2-1 inch strip to the center of the open diaper
- If you are changing your baby’s clothes as well, have all the new clothes within reach
STEP 3: Prep your baby
- Give your baby something to look at or play with (can be a toy, a picture, a mirror, or even your face!)
- Lay your baby on his back on the changing surface
- Remove all clothing covering the diaper area
- Unfasten the Velcro or stickers holding the diaper closed
- Fold the straps onto themselves so they don’t get stuck to anything
STEP 4: Change the diaper Be quick here, you don’t want to get a golden shower!
- Slowly pull the top of the diaper open towards your baby’s feet
- Hold up your baby’s butt slightly by lifting up his ankles with one hand
- Check for poop. If poop is present, gently remove the bulk of it by wiping your baby’s butt with the part of the diaper that was covering his belly. By doing this, you will reduce the number of wipes used to clean him up.
- Tuck the used diaper in half under your baby. All of the poop and pee should be contained inside the dirty diaper at this point.
- Your baby should now be lying on his back with the used diaper underneath him. Why keep the dirty diaper under baby during cleaning? To catch any additional “deposits” your baby might make during cleaning!
- Clean your baby thoroughly with baby wipes. Drop the used wipe on top of the used diaper, and repeat until clean
- For girls, wipe from front to back, using a clean part of the wipe or a new wipe with each stroke
- For boys with foreskin, gently pull back the foreskin and clean gently
- For boys with a fresh circumcision site, apply petroleum jelly after cleaning
- For newborns with cord still attached, squeeze a few drops of alcohol onto the cord stump
- Remove the used diaper and wipes from under your baby’s bottom, set aside (out of your baby’s reach)
- Replace quickly with the new diaper, keeping the fasteners toward your baby’s back
- If diaper cream was pre-applied, rub it onto your baby’s skin with the diaper
- Pull the front of the diaper over your baby’s belly and hold it snug
- Gently open the fasteners from the back and secure them over the front of the diaper
- Re-adjust the fasteners as needed
STEP 5: Replace your baby’s clothes
- Don’t forget to refasten all those snaps and buttons.
STEP 6: Dispose of dirty diaper
- Discard the dirty diaper and wipes in a diaper pail, garbage can, etc. Enclose in a plastic baggie to contain the smell, if desired.
STEP 7: Wash your hands
- If soap is not available, use an antibacterial gel such as Purell.
especially when on a changing table.
I hope this article helps you decrease the amount of time it takes for you to change a diaper. It is all about preparation and expecting the unexpected.
What is your diaper changing technique? Please feel free to share yours in the comments section below.