Changing a nappy: getting started
Before changing a nappy, make sure you have everything you need, like a clean nappy, baby cream, baby wipes or washcloths, nappy liners and water.
Lay baby down on a changing mat. If baby grizzles, sing a song or offer a toy. If you’re using a change table, always keep your hands on baby to avoid falls.
Undress baby’s bottom half and undo the nappy. Have a spare cloth handy in case baby wees. Use the front of the nappy to wipe off poo. Fold the nappy tightly to stop spills.
Cleaning baby’s bottom and putting on a clean nappy
Lift baby’s bottom and gently clean with wipes, a damp washcloth or damp cotton wool. Always wipe front to back. Put on nappy cream.
Cloth nappies: hold baby’s legs up and put a clean nappy beneath baby’s bottom. Follow manufacturer instructions for fitting the nappy. Don’t cover newborn belly buttons.
Disposable nappies: hold baby’s legs up and put a clean nappy beneath baby’s bottom. Fold the front flap up, tuck it around baby’s waist and attach tabs. Don’t cover newborn belly buttons.
After a nappy change: safety and washing
Never leave a baby unattended on a change table. Babies can roll off in seconds.
Once baby is clean and dressed, put baby somewhere safe, like in a bouncer or cot or on the floor. Then get rid of the dirty nappy and wash your hands.
You need to change cloth nappies often. It’s useful to have a clean set ready to use while the dirty nappies are in the wash.
Languages other than English
- Arabic (PDF: 859kb)
- Dari (PDF: 862kb)
- Dinka (PDF: 860kb)
- Hakha Chin (PDF: 821kb)
- Karen (PDF: 845kb)
- Persian (PDF: 859kb)
- Simplified Chinese (PDF: 844kb)
- Swahili (PDF: 825kb)
- Tamil (PDF: 853kb)
- Vietnamese (PDF: 851kb)