By Raising Children Network
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Changing disposable nappies: getting ready

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

  • Lay baby down on a changing mat. If she grizzles, sing her a song or offer her a favourite toy. If you’re using a change table, always keep your hands on baby so she doesn’t fall.

  • Undress baby’s bottom half and unfasten the nappy. Have a spare cloth handy in case baby wees. Use the front of the nappy to wipe off any poo, then fold the nappy tightly to stop spills.


Cleaning baby’s bottom

Wipe the bottom clean; lift the hips to get underneath the bottom; apply baby cream.
  • Gently cleanse baby’s bottom using baby wipes, a damp washcloth or wet cotton wool. 

  • To wipe the back of baby’s bottom, hold baby by the legs with your fingers between the ankles. Gently lift until baby’s bottom is slightly off the mat. Always wipe front to back. Pat baby’s skin dry, or leave it to air-dry for a few moments.

  • Put on some baby cream. This can help to reduce nappy rash, especially if baby has sensitive skin. Talcum powder isn’t recommended.


Putting on clean disposable nappies

Apply a new nappy; dispose of the dirty nappy and wash your hands; never leave baby unattended on the change table.
  • Open a clean nappy, with fastening tabs 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. You should be able to fit two fingers into the waist band. Don’t cover the belly button in newborns. 

  • Once you’ve dressed baby, secure her in a bouncer or cot or let her play on a clean blanket on the floor. Then get rid of the dirty nappy and wash your hands.

  • Never leave a baby unattended on a change table. Babies can roll off in seconds. If you have to take your eyes off baby, keep your hands on her.

  • Last updated or reviewed 17-07-2017