How to Change a Diaper

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Taking care of your baby’s dirty diaper might seem a little bit intimidating at first. Happily, we can report from personal experience that you’ll probably feel like a pro within the first few days after your baby is born. To help you get the hang of it the first time, though…

Here’s your step-by-step guide for how to change a diaper.

1. Remember, change frequently. Change your baby’s diaper often and immediately after every bowel movement.

2. Have everything ready. Before you start, be sure that all of your supplies are within reach: clean diapers, warm water, baby washcloths, diaper cream/ointment, and a change of clothes for your baby.

3. Always watch your baby. Place your baby on his back on a washable changing pad or towel. Even if it may be months before your baby is able to roll over, keep a hand on him at all times when he’s on a diaper-changing surface. Don’t leave him alone, even for a second.

4. Guard yourself. If your baby is wearing a diaper, remove it. For a boy, place a baby washcloth over his penis to prevent him from using you for target practice.

5. Wipe strategically. If your baby has had a bowel movement, use the unsoiled parts of the old diaper to wipe away as much as possible. Then, using another baby washcloth moistened with warm water, wipe your infant’s diaper area from front to back, being careful to clean inside all the creases.

6. Dry thoroughly. To prevent diaper rash, let the area dry completely before putting on diaper cream and/or a clean diaper. To speed the process, dry with another baby washcloth.

7. Know when to apply ointment. If any areas appear pink and rashy, apply diaper cream or ointment.

8. Put on the new diaper. Lift your baby’s legs and place the back half of a clean, correctly sized diaper under his bottom. For a boy, make sure his penis is pointing downward. Pull the front of the diaper between your infant’s legs and secure the attached fasteners comfortably around the waist.

9. Keep it silly. Try talking, singing or make funny faces to distract your baby as you change him.

10. Wash up. Wash your hands with soap and warm water. That’s it! Now you know how to change a diaper.

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