our everyday life

The Way to Properly Change an Infant's Diaper

by Candice Coleman

Parents will master the art of changing diapers during the first few years of their baby's life. Knowing how to properly change a diaper can protect parents from any unpleasant surprises during diaper changes. It can also ensure that baby's diaper is secured, preventing any leaks later in the day.

Preparing The Area

Changing diapers can be messy work, so preparing the changing area can reduce accidents. If you use a changing table, cover the surface. Never leave a baby unattended for a moment while changing a diaper, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. When it comes to selecting a diaper, know your baby's weight and the size for which your diapers are designed. Diapers that are too tight might leave marks on your baby's skin, while diapers that are too loose can result in leaks. Baby wipes or soft cloths, along with a diaper pail or another disposal container for dirty diapers, will be needed. Gather all of your supplies before you change your baby.

Diapering Your Baby

Open a new diaper and gently lift your baby by the ankles, sliding the new diaper under her bottom, advises Boston Children's Hospital. Ease your baby into a flat position again and release her ankles. Open her soiled diaper and lift her by the ankles again, using the clean side of the diaper to wipe away any feces. Fold the dirty diaper flat, leaving a clean outer side of the diaper beneath your daughter. Use a baby wipe or a cloth to gently clean your baby. Remove the dirty diaper. The clean diaper should remain under your daughter. Fasten the new diaper onto your baby, ensuring that two fingers can fit between her diaper and her stomach.

Considerations For Boys And Girls

The technique of changing diapers can vary depending on whether you are diapering a boy or a girl, according to KidsHealth, a child development site. Parents should push a boy's genitals downward before fastening a new diaper to avoid leaks along the waistline. Boys are also more likely to urinate when their diapers are removed, so placing a clean diaper over the baby's penis may prevent that from happening. Girls are more susceptible to infections, so parents should always wipe babies from front to back.

Additional Help

Changing your baby frequently reduces the risk of diaper rash and other infections, according to Boston Children's Hospital. The first several attempts at changing a diaper will be awkward, but a pediatrician can give you advice on how to make diaper changes more effective. You can also ask your gynecologist, midwife, doula or other medical worker about any classes you can take that will prepare you for raising your baby, including changing his diapers.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images