OMG – How Do I Change a Nappy? By Midwife Zoe

BornOnline’s guide to changing a disposable nappy should give you enough confidence to go forth and change that first nappy. With a bit of practice you will soon become a nappy changing expert and laugh at yourself for thinking you could never do it. When your baby is born, if you are still feeling a bit uneasy about that first nappy change, ensure you ask your midwife to assist you, she won’t mind taking you through the steps.


So How Do I Get Started?

  • Firstly wash your hands with warm, soapy water and dry them thoroughly, or alternatively have a sanitising gel next to your change table if it is easier.
  • Gather everything you need to change the nappy:
    • A clean disposable nappy
    • Disposable wipes (dampen the disposable wipe with warm water) or you can use sensitive wet wipes
    • If your baby has nappy rash at a later stage purchase pharmacy brand ‘Castor Oil and Zinc’ cream. It works fantastically and is a cheaper option than all the fancy brands out there. Or if it is just a little red you can try paw paw ointment.
    • Plastic nappy bag (nappy sack) to use to dispose of your dirty nappy.
    • Have a warm, dry area to lay your baby on for the nappy change. If you are out and about make sure you have a change mat to use. If you are changing your baby on a change table, ensure you have one hand on your baby at all times. Babies of any age can roll off an area unexpectedly. You would hate for your baby to fall.

Now you are ready to get started!

How Do I Remove the Dirty Nappy?

  • IMG_6154Lay your baby on a change mat or towel. Unfasten the tabs on the dirty nappy and fold them over and stick them back on the nappy so they don’t stick on your baby during the change.





  • IMG_6155Pull down the front part of the nappy, if you have a boy you may want to cover his penis with a dry wipe in case he wants to pee on you (don’t laugh, boys seem to love to pee as soon as they are exposed to air – watch out).





  • IMG_6163If there is poo in the nappy, use the front half of the nappy to wipe down and wipe away most of the poo off the baby’s bottom. Fold the front half of the nappy under the baby (clean side up). To do this, lift the baby’s bottom up by holding both ankles with one hand and gently pulling upwards.




  • IMG_6166Now it is time to start wiping. With girls it is important to clean front to back (towards her bottom) to prevent bacterial infections. It is important on all babies to ensure you remove all poo from the baby’s skin, including the leg creases. This process may take 2-4 wipes to remove all the poo.



  • Remove the dirty nappy. Roll it up tightly and use the sticky tabs to ensure it is closed securely.


Ok So How Do I Put a New Disposable Nappy On?

  • IMG_6172Open a new, clean nappy and put the back half of the nappy (with tabs on either side) under the baby. Using the same technique of holding the ankles with one hand and gently pulling upwards, you can place the nappy under the baby. The nappy should come up to the baby’s waist.




  • IMG_6169Pull the front half of the nappy up to the baby’s tummy. If you have a male baby, make sure you point the penis down, so he is less likely to wee over his nappy and up on his clothes.





  • IMG_6170Fasten the nappy on both sides with the tabs. The nappy should be snug, but not too tight that it pinches or the baby is uncomfortable.  Ensure the tabs are sticking to the nappy and not to the baby’s skin.




  • TIP – With a newborn baby, try to avoid leaving the nappy covering the umbilical stump. Once you have fastened the nappy, fold the top part of the nappy down so the umbilical stump can dry.
  • Dress your baby, put the baby in a safe place and then wash your hands with warm, soapy water.

You did it. You changed your baby’s nappy. Well done!

If you are interested in learning about cloth nappies, why not have a read of Alinta’s 2-part series “To Cloth or Not to Cloth…Part 1” and “Part 2”.      


(This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional. All information is written from the experience and knowledge of the person writing the post).