By Raising Children Network
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Set-up and strip off

Prepare the change table; try to make the process quick but enjoyable for baby; wipe bottom using the dirty nappy.
  • Before changing a nappy, make sure you have everything you need within arm’s reach of the change area. This includes a fresh nappy, baby cream, baby wipes or washcloths, and
    some water.

  • Lie baby down on the change table. If she grizzles, sing her a song or give her a favourite toy to keep her entertained.

  • Undress baby’s bottom half and unfasten the nappy. Cooler air on the skin may cause baby to wee, so be prepared by having a spare cloth ready. Use the front of the nappy to wipe off any poo, then fold the nappy into a tight bundle to prevent any spillage.


Cleanse and apply cream

Wipe the bottom clean; lift the hips to get underneath the bottom; apply baby cream.
  • Gently cleanse baby’s bottom using baby wipes or a damp washcloth. Make sure you get into the crevices but avoid separating a baby girl’s labia to 'clean inside'. Likewise, a boy’s foreskin should never be pushed back.

  • To wipe the back of baby’s bottom, hold him by the legs with your fingers between his ankles and gently lift so his bottom comes slightly off the change table. Wiping girls from front to back will help avoid vaginal infections.

  • Apply a dollop of baby cream to prevent against nappy rash.


Applying the new nappy

Apply a new nappy; wash your hands before touching baby's face; never leave baby unattended on the change table.
  • Open a clean nappy, making sure the fastening tabs are towards the top. Lift baby up by the ankles and slip the nappy beneath her bottom. Fold the front flap up, tuck it firmly around baby's waist and secure each tab. Do not cover the belly button in newborns or make the nappy too tight.

  • Once you've dressed baby, secure him in a bouncer or cot, dispose of the dirty nappy and wash your hands.

  • Remember: never leave a newborn or baby unattended on a change table. They can squirm or roll off in seconds. If you have to take your eyes off baby, keep your hands on.

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  • Last Updated 17-12-2010
  • Last Reviewed 01-10-2009