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How to Diaper a Baby

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Diapering a baby isn’t rocket science and new parents quickly get used to this task since their baby provides them with a lot of opportunities to practice. 5-Minute Crafts is ready to guide you step-by-step through the process of changing a diaper to help you avoid the most common mistakes.

Before you start, make sure you have everything you may need at hand.

  • Clean diapers in the correct size
  • Cotton balls, washcloths or wet wipes, and a basin filled with warm water: Pediatricians don’t recommend using chemical wet wipes until the baby is 2 months old to prevent possible skin irritation. You can just clean the baby’s skin with warm water and cotton balls or washcloths.
  • Ointment to prevent skin irritation (optional)
  • A change of clothes for the baby (if the clothes the baby is wearing get wet)
  • A changing table or a changing pad

Make sure you have all the things you need within arm’s reach. You should never leave the baby alone when you’ve put them on a raised surface like a changing table or a changing pad.

You should always wash your hands before diapering the baby.

Step 2: Remove the soiled diaper.

  • Lay the baby on their back and unfasten the diaper. Make sure you always keep a hand on your baby to prevent them from rolling over.
  • Gently hold the baby’s ankles in one hand and raise your baby’s bottom to remove the diaper. Start with folding the diaper underneath the baby. Make sure that the clean side of the diaper (the exterior part) is on top. If there’s a lot of poop, you can wipe some of it with the diaper when folding it.
  • Slide the diaper away and put it out of your baby’s reach.

Step 3: Clean the baby.

  • Take a wet cotton ball, washcloth, or wet wipes and clean your baby’s diaper area. Always wipe from front to back to prevent infections. Make sure you’ve cleaned the area thoroughly. You may have to lift the baby’s bottom again to clean it even more.
  • Pat the skin dry and apply an ointment to prevent irritation if you need to.

Step 4: Put on a clean diaper.

  • Put a fresh diaper under the baby and close it by pulling up its front part and securing the tabs. Make sure you don’t fasten the diaper over the umbilical cord clip unless you’re using special diapers for newborns.
  • The diaper should sit tightly so there won’t be any leaks, but it shouldn’t leave any marks on the baby’s skin. Do a simple test — if you can place 2 fingers between the diaper and your baby’s waist, everything is good.

Step 5: Clean the changing table.

  • Shake out all the fecal content from the diaper into the toilet, wrap up the diaper as shown in the picture above, and dispose of it.
  • Clean the changing table and thoroughly wash your hands.
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