How do you change a nappy?

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Let’s get you started!

A way to do this from me to you. A few babies at home, and hundreds, if not thousands of nappies later…….. If you grabbed your Dadpad this is what it would say.

It is important to take your turn in changing your baby’s nappy. It’s not as difficult as you may think.

Where to change a nappy

It’s a good idea to have a regular changing place where you can store all the essentials. The safest place to change your baby is on the floor. This will help to keep your baby safe from a serious fall. If you’re out and about and this is not possible, never leave your baby unattended or turn your back whilst changing their nappy. Babies are little wrigglers and you never know when they’ll take you by surprise!

Organise the changing place

You will need:

  • A changing mat or towel.
  • Fresh nappies.
  • Wet wipes or a bowl for warm water and cotton wool.
  • Fresh baby clothes.
  • Nappy rash cream.
  • Something to put the used nappy in (e.g. a nappy sack or nappy bucket).

Are your hands clean? Although you are going to change a messy nappy, it’s still important your hands are clean as babies have delicate skin.

Here we go!

  • Undo the bottom half of your baby’s clothing and put to one side.
  • Undo the dirty nappy. Hold it in place for a moment - babies often have a wee when the cold air strikes their bits!
  • Gently holding your baby’s ankles, lift their bottom and use the old nappy to wipe away the worst of any poo and wee.
  • Put the old nappy to one side.
  • Wipe the whole area covered by the nappy, using either warm water and cotton wool or wet wipes.
  • For girls - always wipe from front to back to help prevent infection.
  • For boys - never pull back his foreskin. It takes months for it to separate from the rest of his penis.
  • Gently lift your baby’s bottom off the mat to check underneath.
  • Pat dry (don’t rub) with cotton wool. If baby is sore, gently put cream on the areas covered by the nappy.
  • If you can, leave the nappy off for a little while. This will give your baby time to kick-about and let their skin breathe.
  • Gently lift your baby’s bottom off the mat again by holding their ankles and slide a clean nappy underneath.
  • Fasten the nappy, but not too tightly. If you are using a cloth nappy (reusable), you will also need to put waterproof pants on top.
  • Dress your baby and give them a big kiss and hug.
  • Place the dirty nappy in a nappy sack (remember: nappy sacks are plastic bags, so never leave them in the reach of your baby), tie it up and put it straight in the bin.
  • If you’re using cloth nappies, flush the poo down the loo and place the dirty nappy in a bucket of nappy detergent to soak.
  • Wash your hands and you’re both good to go!

For further information, visit the NHS Information Service for Parents.

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