How to Change a Diaper

New baby

How to Change a Diaper – Basic? Yes. Intuitive? Not always.

Most of my practice is made up of young moms and dads, new parents that are coming in me in the first few shell-shocked days. Moms are exhausted, sore and emotional. Dads are exhausted, emotional, and usually downright terrified. Welcome to parenthood!

It may seem intuitive enough, but changing a diaper can actually be a very daunting task. We are not used to cleaning up the poo of others! Many new parents are terrified of hurting their new baby. Of course, they are fragile. But for anyone who has watched a delivery knows: newborns are not nearly as fragile as they look. They are resilient little things, and very flexible.

Diapering does not need to be scary, and you are very unlikely to hurt your baby by changing him or her. You’ll get the hang of it quickly and be ‘one-handed’ changing like a pro in no time! I can easily change a newborn bum and a toddler bum at the same time, in the dark, without my glasses on.

Mad skills J.

Diapering does not need to be scary, and you are very unlikely to hurt your baby.

You need a little preparation and planning. Please remember to wash and dry your hands in advance, as well as afterward. Use a warm, clean area to change your baby. A changing table and pad is great, or a table with a towel is great too. Remember to have your clean diaper, wipes or clothes and any creams you may need, on hand and close by.03

Be sure to have one hand on your baby at all times. You never know when your baby will decide to roll for the first time. For our eldest, Dylan, this was at 6 days of age! On video no less!

So always have your hand present in case they decide to move.

Quick diapering tips:

  • Change diapers often to avoid rashes. Most diaper rashes are caused by moisture being in contact with the skin.
  • Familiarize yourself with the difference between contact dermatitis and yeast diaper rashes. They are treated differently. (More on this in the video!)
  • Distract! If your baby is distracted, he or she will be more likely to lie still and stay safe. I keep a box of toys on my change table and switch them up frequency. My kids love when I sing to them during changes as well.
  • Keep many diapers close-by. Babies go through them so quickly! The worst thing is to run out of handy diapers in the middle of a poo changing. Mess!
  • Poo leakage? It may be a sign you should go up a size. Read the box; it’ll tell you what weight is most appropriate for that size diaper.
  • When outside the house, take with extra plastic bags so you have somewhere to throw those dirty diapers. And check out our diaper-bag essentials list too!

Dr. Dina Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Written By: Dr. Dina Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.

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