Useful information on what you will need to change you baby's nappies, tips on changing a nappy and things to bear in mind.
Tips for changing your baby's nappy
Before you begin, gather a few supplies. Make sure you have everything you are likely to need within reach.:
- A nappy
- A changing mat on the floor, or a cloth nappy to place under your baby or a changing station or table.
- Fasteners (if you are using reusable nappies)
- A container of warm water and cotton balls (for newborns or babies with sensitive skin) or a clean washcloth or baby wipes (for older babies or those who aren't sensitive to wipes)
- Nappy rash cream or petroleum jelly (for rashes)
Choose somewhere warm and safe to change your baby's nappy. Babies should never be left unattended, even for a second. Even a newborn might surprise you with his ability to roll.
Changing your baby
Things to bear in mind:
- Either undo the poppers on your baby's sleep suit or vest, or remove the clothes on the lower half of your baby's body. Pull them up so they are out of the way and not likely to get wet or dirty.
- Undo the nappy and use the nappy to clean off anything remaining on his skin.
- Remove the nappy, folding it over as you do so, and place it out of reach of your baby. You may wish to have a nappy bag open and ready to pop it in immediately.
- Wipe your baby's skin using either cotton wool and water or a baby wipe from the front to the back (never wipe from back to front, especially on girls, or you could spread the bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections forward from the rectum). Don't forget the creases in the thighs and bottom.
- Hold your baby's ankles together and lift his legs so that you can slide a clean nappy underneath his or her bottom. If you are using disposable nappies the back part with the adhesive strips should be about level with your baby's tummy button. Bring the adhesive strips around and fasten snugly. Be careful not to stick the tape onto your baby's skin.
- Do up the nappy and secure with tabs or pins as needed.
- Do up your baby's clothes.
- If you find any marks around your baby's legs and waist, the nappy is too tight. Go for a looser fit next time.
- If a rash develops at the nappy's openings around your baby's leg and waist, change the brand of nappy you are using.
- When putting a nappy on a boy, place the penis in a downward position before fastening the nappy. This will help prevent leaks from creeping up above the waistline, especially useful at night time.
- Fold down the waistline of the nappy if your baby's umbilical cord has not fallen off yet to keep that area dry.
- Always wash your hands well after changing your baby's nappy to prevent the spread of germs.