Changing a nappy, also known as a diaper, is an important skill to learn as a new parent. It might seem a bit intimidating at first, but don’t worry! With a little guidance and practice, you’ll become a pro in no time. In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of changing a nappy, making it easy for you to understand and follow along. So let’s dive in!

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin changing a nappy, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. These include:

  • Clean nappy
  • Baby wipes or a soft cloth
  • Nappy rash cream (if needed)
  • Disposable plastic bags or nappy bin
  • A changing mat or a clean, soft surface

Step 2: Prepare a Safe Environment

Find a comfortable and safe place to change the nappy. It could be a changing table, a bed with a changing mat, or a clean towel spread out on the floor. Make sure the area is free from any hazards and that you have everything you need within reach.

Step 3: Lay the Baby Down

Gently lay the baby down on their back on the changing table surface. If the baby is older, you can engage them by talking or singing softly to keep them calm and distracted during the process.

Step 4: Undo the Dirty Nappy

Carefully unfasten the tabs or snaps of the dirty nappy. Be cautious as you open it, as it may contain urine or feces. If it’s a disposable nappy, fold the tabs back so that they don’t stick to the baby’s skin. If it’s a cloth nappy, use a safety pin or snap to keep it in place temporarily.

Step 5: Clean the Baby’s Bottom

Use baby wipes or a soft cloth dampened with warm water to gently clean the baby’s bottom. Remember to wipe from front to back for girls to avoid spreading bacteria. For boys, be mindful of their genitals and clean gently. If the baby has a diaper rash, apply a thin layer of diaper rash cream as directed by the instructions on the cream.

Step 6: Place a Fresh Nappy

Now it’s time to put on a clean nappy! Slide the clean nappy under the baby’s bottom, ensuring that the back is high enough to cover their bottom completely. If you’re using a disposable nappy, unfold it and fasten the tabs snugly but not too tight. If it’s a cloth nappy, secure it with safety pins or snaps.

Step 7: Clean Up and Dispose of the Dirty Nappy

Fold up the dirty nappy and use the tabs or snaps to seal it shut. Place it in a disposable plastic bag or a diaper disposal system to contain any odors. If you’re using a cloth nappy, put it in a sealed bag or container for laundering later.

Step 8: Dress the Baby and Wash Your Hands

Once you’ve disposed of the dirty nappy, help the baby get dressed. Pull up their pants or put on a onesie, ensuring their comfort. Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water to maintain good hygiene.

Changing Girls

When cleaning the baby girl’s genitals during a nappy change, remember the following:

  • Wipe front to back: Always wipe from the front (the urinary opening) to the back (the anus) to prevent the spread of bacteria from the bowel to the urinary tract, which can cause infections.
  • Be gentle: Use gentle, downward strokes with a baby wipe or a clean cloth to clean the folds of the labia (the skin around the vaginal opening). Avoid using excessive force or scrubbing, as the area is sensitive.

Changing Boys

When cleaning the baby boy’s genitals, consider the following:

  • Be mindful of the penis: During cleaning, handle the penis gently and avoid pulling on the foreskin if it hasn’t fully retracted.
  • Clean around the genitals: Use baby wipes or a soft cloth to clean the area around the penis, including the folds of the scrotum. Be careful to clean any residue left on the testicles or penis after removing the dirty nappy.

Nappy Rash

Nappy rash is a common condition characterized by redness, irritation, and soreness on the baby’s bottom. It typically appears when a baby has not had their nappy changed for long periods of time. To prevent or treat nappy rash, make sure to:

  • Change nappies frequently: Regularly check the baby’s nappy and change it as soon as it becomes wet or soiled. Prolonged exposure to urine or feces can increase the likelihood of nappy rash.
  • Clean the baby’s bottom gently: Use baby wipes or a soft cloth dampened with warm water to clean the baby’s bottom during each nappy change. Avoid using harsh soaps, fragrances, or wipes with alcohol, as they can further irritate the skin.
  • Pat the skin dry: After cleaning, gently pat the baby’s bottom dry with a clean towel or let it air dry before putting on a fresh nappy.
  • Apply diaper rash cream: If the baby has signs of nappy rash, apply a thin layer of diaper rash cream as directed by the instructions on the cream. This can create a protective barrier and help soothe the irritated skin.


Changing a nappy may seem like a challenging task at first, but with practice, it becomes easier and more comfortable. Remember to always prioritize safety, cleanliness, and the baby’s comfort throughout the process. As you gain experience, you’ll become more confident and efficient in this essential caregiving skill. So, keep practicing and soon you’ll be a nappy-changing expert!

About Author

Jaimie is a mother of two lovely children, aged 3 months and 3 years, who resides in the beautiful city of Brisbane. She cherishes spending quality time with her family and thoroughly enjoys the joys and challenges of motherhood. Jaimie's life revolves around her little ones, and she takes pride in being an involved and caring mom.