smiling baby in a diaper - how to change a diaper

How To Properly Change A Diaper

When you first become a parent, you will be changing around 10 diapers each day. Over your first year with your newborn, that adds up to over 3,000 diaper changes. If you are going to be doing this consistently, it is important to know what you will need, and how to do it right. Continue reading to learn how to change a diaper.

What Will You Need?


There are two different kinds of diapers that you can use to clothe your baby. The first, and most common is disposable diapers. These are the ones that you buy from the store, and once you have changed it, as the name suggests, dispose of it. If you use these diapers for your newborn, try experimenting with different brands as some might be uncomfortable and cause a rash for your little one.

The other kind of diaper that you can use is cloth diapers. These can be a little more environmentally friendly but are also a little less convenient due to them needing to be washed afterward. If you clean them yourself, wash them separately from other laundry and use a mild detergent. Kids Health states “Don’t use fabric softener or antistatic products, which can cause rashes on babies’ sensitive skin.”


When it comes to the wipes you will use to clean your newborn, there are some things that you are going to need to know. The first being to not use just wipes to clean your newborn. The reason is that if you use too many, you put your newborn at risk of developing a rash. Instead, use a washcloth or cotton balls dipped in warm water and then finish off with a wet wipe. As your newborn gets older and their skin becomes less sensitive, you can switch to only using wipes.


These can be used if your baby is beginning to show signs of a diaper rash. The most common is red, sensitive skin where their diaper is. Your child’s doctor may recommend a certain brand or even prescribe a certain ointment to help with your child’s rash. To use, simply spread some onto the area where the rash is and cover with a clean diaper. Make sure you are using the ointment after you have changed them and use it every time until the rash fades.

Changing Station

A changing station can be anywhere that you normally change your baby’s diaper. Many people have one set up in their child’s nursery. It can be a table that can secure the child or even a mat that you roll out on the floor. Regardless, your changing station should have everything that you need to change a diaper within arms reach. This also includes a trash can nearby for dirty wipes, cotton balls, and diapers.

How To Change A Diaper

When it comes to how to change a diaper, there are some things that you will need to do. The first thing that you need to do is lay your baby on their back on top of the changing station. You then want to remove any clothing that prohibits access to the diaper.

Next, You are going to need to remove the dirty diaper and if you have disposable ones, throw it in a trash can. You can do this by lifting your baby’s legs gently and sliding the diaper out. After that use some of the cotton balls or washcloths to clean them thoroughly. The American Pregnancy Association states “Wiping from the front to back will help prevent spreading bacteria that could cause an infection.”

If the area where you just wiped is red and has a rash, you can then use your rash ointment to soothe the area. Other things that you can use are baby lotion, or baby powder too. Be sure to talk to your newborn’s healthcare provider before introducing a new product.

Before you reapply a fresh clean diaper, let your baby’s skin dry a little. After that, take the clean diaper and place it under your baby and fasten it as you normally would. If it is disposable, you use the velcro straps. However, if you use cloth diapers, you will either have a safety pin or diaper tape to apply to fasten it.  Some cloth diapers also have buttons.

Finally, you can replace any clothing that you have taken off. If their clothing got dirty in the process, grab a fresh pair and put that on. One thing to always remember is to always wash your hands before and after changing to avoid the germs from spreading.


Taking care of a soiled diaper is not hard as long as you know how to change a diaper. The important thing to remember is to have all of your supplies nearby and to never leave your newborn unattended at their changing station. Be sure to also always wash your hands to keep your baby safe. Be sure to also check out one of our previous articles to learn about some Diaper Bag Essentials.