Changing Your Baby's Diaper

Get everything you need before changing your baby's diaper. Once you start changing, don't take your eyes off your baby even for a second. Babies wiggle and move. They can get hurt or fall in an instant.

To Change Your Baby's Diaper

  • It's best to wash your hands before changing your newborn's diaper. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after each diaper change, too.
  • Lay your baby on a clean surface. Take along a blanket or changing pad when you go out.
  • Remove the dirty diaper.
  • Use a washcloth dipped in clean, lukewarm water. Wash all the area on your baby that the diaper covers. Wipe from front to back to avoid infection.
  • Your baby's umbilical cord stump will drop off in about 10 days. Until then, keep it clean and dry. Tuck the diaper below the cord so that the cord is exposed to the air.
  • Be sure the area around the cord is clean and dry. If it gets dirty, clean the area with a baby wipe. Or dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, and gently clean around the cord.
  • Call the baby's provider if you see pus or redness or if the baby cries when you touch the area. These could be signs of infection.
  • Now put a clean diaper on your baby. If you are using pins, put your hand between the pin and your baby's skin. Do not let the diaper cover up the umbilical cord.

Newborns use about 10 diapers every day. Change them as soon as they are wet. This can prevent diaper rashes. Have a place to put the soiled diapers and washcloths.

These tips were reproduced from the U.S. Department of Education.