After your baby is only a few days old, you’ll be very experienced in changing diapers.
But if this is your first baby, you may want a few pointers when it comes to changing a diaper. These instructions apply to disposable diapers.
Before you start to change your baby, you’ll need to make sure you have everything you need on hand.
You’ll need a place to change your baby, a clean diaper, and baby wipes. You will also need a way to dispose of the soiled diaper, and a place to wash your hands.
Before you start to change the baby, take a look at the disposable diaper. It will have a definite front and back. The adhesive tapes are usually attached on the back of the diaper and come around to the front. The front of the diaper often features some form of decoration.
It could be a fabric like strip to which the velcro straps adhere. There are even special disposable diapers for newborns that have a circular cut out to make room for the umbilical stump. The important thing is knowing which part of the diaper is the front, and which is the back.
Place your baby on a firm, safe surface. It is a good idea if the surface is covered with a clean blanket or towel. This protects both your baby and the surface.
Never, ever leave your baby unattended while you are changing a diaper, even for a moment. Start by removing baby’s clothing so that you can access the diaper. This will vary depending on what baby is wearing.
These instructions assume you are right handed. If you are left handed, just reverse the directions.
Unfasten the diaper and using your right hand, pull the front of the diaper open and place it flat on the changing surface. At the same time, hold baby’s ankles together in your left hand.
Using a baby wipe, or gauze pads and warm water if your baby is still passing meconium, gently clean your baby’s genital area and bottom; wipe from the top down. Be sure to wipe the creases at the top of baby’s thighs.
If your baby is passing meconium, be patient; meconium can be difficult to remove. Fortunately, only the first few stools are meconium. It may be helpful to slightly elevate baby’s hips and pull the soiled diaper forward.
You can place the used baby wipe or gauze inside the disposable diaper once you are finished. Remove the soiled diaper, fold it closed and set it aside with your right hand.
Place the opened clean diaper under your baby, making sure the back is under the baby. Slide the diaper far enough under baby that it is about halfway under the baby.
Release baby’s ankles, then take both hands to gently gather the middle of the diaper between baby’s legs while bringing the front of the diaper up toward baby’s tummy.
Fasten the diaper snugly (but not tightly) using the adhesive strips. If baby’s umbilical stump is still healing, fold the diaper down so that it does not rub against the umbilical stump.
Redress the baby, dispose of the dirty diaper, and wash your hands.This is a process that sounds more complicated than it is. Trust us: after only a few changes, you’ll be a diaper changing expert!