How to Change a Diaper: Tips, Tricks and Techniques

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Changing a diaper can be intimidating for first-time parents, but with the correct information, you can make it easier. When you are getting close to a full term in your pregnancy, you will want to start practicing changing a diaper with a friend or family member’s child or even a baby doll if you have to! This guide will help you learn how to change a diaper, with tips and tricks on keeping your baby safe, comfortable, and clean through the process.

Gather Your Supplies

Before prepping to change a diaper make sure you have enough diapers and wipes. Make sure there’s also a safe, clean surface ready for you to lay your baby on. You may also want to keep a few towels around in case of any accidents or spills while changing the diaper. Having all of these supplies readily available can help ensure a stress-free and efficient process.


Be prepared with diapers in the right size to ensure a snug fit and avoid any potential leaking. An ill-fitting diaper can easily cause a wet mess, so be sure to check that you have a properly fitting diaper for your baby’s age and weight.


Wipes are always needed whether the baby has pooped or you need to wipe the urine from their bottoms. You can make your own baby wipes or use store-bought ones. A wipe warmer is a nice addition to your supplies – your baby will be very pleased.

Changing Table or Pad

A changing table is nice to have since it will allow you to tend to the baby without having to bend down; plus, all your supplies will have a permanent place. I always used a changing pad and a little container that held all the necessary supplies.

Diaper Cream

Make sure to keep diaper cream on hand if your child begins to show signs of a rash. Keep all creams and lotions out of the baby’s or toddler’s reach.


I always kept lotion near the area where I changed diapers so that I could give my baby’s a little massage after their bottoms were clean and dry. I generally massaged their abdomen and legs to ease tension and promote healthy digestion.

Let’s Change a Diaper!

It isn’t uncommon to have your first child and not know how to change a diaper. My youngest brother had 8 nieces and nephews before his sons were born and had never changed a diaper. Goals, am I right? If you have never changed a diaper before then I am sure that you will appreciate these detailed steps.

Place Baby on a Flat Surface 

Before changing the diaper, it’s best to place your baby on a flat surface like a changing table. Make sure that the surface is safe and secure, and never leave the baby unattended. Make sure to secure your baby with the strap that is attached to the changing pad. I always make sure to keep one hand on the baby if I have to take my eyes off of them – even for a second.

Position Your Baby

When positioning your baby for the diaper change, make sure to place the baby on its back in the center of the changing table – secure the baby on the table with the strap found on the sides of changing pad.

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Remove Soiled Diaper

Carefully and gently remove the soiled diaper from beneath your baby. If available, use a disposable changing pad or towel under the baby for extra protection.

Clean Baby’s Bottom

Place a cleansed and warm washcloth or sponge on the baby’s bottom. Make sure to only use hypoallergenic cleaning products, as some may be too harsh for your baby’s delicate skin. Gently wipe away the soiled area with circular motions, then discard the used cloth or sponge. Finally, allow the area to air dry for a few seconds before applying the diaper. Make sure that any creases in their skin are smoothed out to avoid any discomfort from chafing.

Clean Baby’s Skin with a Wipe or Washcloth 

Clean your baby’s bottom properly. Start with a fresh wipe or damp cloth and gently wipe the baby’s skin, making sure you clean in the creases and folds of their skin. Make sure to get in between the legs and around their bottom. Remember that the diaper change should be as quick and painless as possible for your little one.

Apply Ointment and/or Barrier Cream (if needed) 

After cleaning the baby’s skin, you may opt to use an ointment or barrier cream to protect their delicate skin and help prevent diaper rash. Apply a thin layer of ointment directly onto the baby’s clean skin, be careful not to get any on the fasteners as this will make it difficult for the diaper to adhere properly. If you’re using a barrier cream, such as petroleum jelly or zinc oxide, leave it on until the next diaper change.

Apply Fresh Diaper

Open the new diaper and hold it up at the baby’s waist. Position the diaper so that the adhesive tabs are facing backward and the wider side of the diaper is closest to your baby’s back. Gently lower your baby onto the diaper, carefully making sure that your baby isn’t lying on any creases or folds from this fresh diaper, then press down firmly on both sides to secure it in place. Adjust if necessary, you want a snug but comfortable fit around their waist and legs to prevent any leakage. Lastly, fasten securely with the adhesive tabs.

Cleaning Up the Diaper Changing Area

When you are finished changing your baby’s diaper, move them to a safe location while you clean up.

  • Remove the soiled diaper and dispose of it properly – a diaper pail or a small trash bag that can go into your regular trash can both work.
  • Spray the area down with a baby-safe disinfectant – a mixture of vinegar and lemon works well.
  • Organize the space for the next diaper change and stock up on items like diapers and wipes, if needed.
  • Be sure to wash your hands with good soap for 20 seconds to ensure that all bacteria and other harmful germs have been removed.

In Conclusion

Changing your baby’s diaper can be a little overwhelming if you have never changed a diaper. You may wish your baby was already at the age for potty training. It takes practice, patience, and a lot of love to make it go smoothly. Remember to always keep safety at the forefront of your mind when changing diapers, and never leave your little one unattended on the changing table or a raised surface. Be sure to wash your hands and clean the area well to ensure germs and bacteria will not spread. With the tips above you are sure to become an expert in no time!

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