How To: Change a Nappy
Did you know?
How often babies need to be changed can vary widely. Some babies need changing as soon as they wet themselves because they have delicate skin which can become red and sore. Some babies are happy waiting until before or after their feeds. All babies, however, need changing as soon as possible if they have done a poo, to prevent nappy rash.
Young babies may need changing as many as 12 times a day, while older babies may only be six or eight times in one day.
- Prepare your changing area with: a mat or towel; fragrance and alcohol-free baby wipes, or cotton wool and a bowl of warm water; a plastic bag or bin for the dirty nappy and wipes; nappy cream; a clean nappy (and liner/cover, if using cloth nappies); and clean clothes.
- If the baby is wriggly, it may help to use a toy or hang a mobile above the changing area to distract them.
- Clean the baby’s nappy area thoroughly using baby wipes, or cotton wool and warm water. If cleaning up a poo, use the nappy to clean off most of the mess first.
- Be thorough but gentle, making sure you clean inside the folds of skin.
- Girls should be cleaned from front to back to avoid germs getting into their vagina and boys should be cleaned around the testicles and penis.
- Apply cream before putting the new nappy on.
- If using disposable nappies, make sure you don’t get cream or water on the sticky tabs. If using reusable nappies, put a nappy liner in and then fasten the nappy onto the child. Make sure it fits snugly around the legs and waist.
- Roll up and reseal disposable nappies using the sticky tabs, before putting into a plastic bag used only for nappies, tying it up and placing in an outside bin.
- Depending on what reusable nappies you have, they may have to be soaked before washing. Check the washing instructions. They can be washed at 60°C. Wash nappies that are dirty with poo separately from any other washing.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after any nappy change.
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