OK, so this might seem to be quite a strange guide, as many of you may know how to change a nappy and that changing a nappy is quite an easy thing to do. The fact is that if you have never been shown before, both new mums and dads alike, you will undoubtedly find the whole process a bit of a nightmare. Hopefully I can help.
First things first – How to change a nappy – nappy changing essentials.
In order to change the nappy, you need to have a few things to hand. You will obviously need:
- A pack of baby wipes (read my Tushies review here) – if you don’t have these then you will need some cotton wool balls and some warm water. Please make sure that the water is not too hot by dipping your elbow into it. If it is too hot for you, it will definitely be too hot for your baby.
- A baby changing mat.
- A towel or some tissues to dry your baby.
- A clean nappy – most important.
- Cream for your baby. This is to prevent sore skin from nappy rash or other irritation. There are many to choose from.
- A nappy sack so that you can dispose of the nappy. Many are nicely fragranced so that if you need to take it with you in your baby changing bag, it won’t stink and embarrass you.
- A clean set of clothes. Sometimes the nappy may leak so it is always best to be prepared for the worst.
Where to change your baby?
If you are at home, and for your fist attempts at changing a nappy you probably will be, make sure you use a surface that is of a comfortable height to
prevent back strain. If you have a baby changing unit, this will be perfect. Many mums and dads like to do it on the floor or bed as this will reduce the risk of you worrying that the baby will fall or roll off. Make sure you use the baby mat too as this will stop any fluids from getting onto the bed sheets, carpet etc. It also, very importantly, stops the risk of your baby suffocating if he/she rolls onto their side.
If you are out and about, many restaurants, shops, hotels and shopping centres have dedicated baby changing facilities. This makes life so much easier for you as a parent.
So, let’s get started.
The first thing you will need to do is wash your hands. You don’t want to touch your baby’s delicate skin with grubby hands. This will stop any possible infection. Use a good antibacterial soap that is pH neutral. You can also get travel sprays that are designed for mobile changing too.
You may also want to make sure that the room is warm enough as you don’t want your baby to get too cold, this may take some time initially.
Now for the actual how to change a nappy bit.
Step 1. Undo the poppers on your baby grow or remove the lower items of clothing. Make sure the top half of the clothing is far enough away from the messy stuff.
Step 2. Remove the sticky tabs that hold the nappy in place. Warning – as you remove the nappy your baby might have a pee as the colder air meets their skin. If you have a baby boy, you might find that he will pee all over you. I was told a story about my dad changing me as a baby and I pee’d on his face. My mum still laughs at that.
Step 3. Gently hold your baby’s ankles and lift them up so that you can slide out the dirty nappy. If you precious little one has had a number two, use the cleaner part of the nappy to wipe away any excess that is on their skin. This can take some practice but eventually you will be able to do it with one hand. Be careful not to grip too tightly as you may unintentionally bruise your baby’s skin.
Step 4. Lift the baby by the ankles again and using your warm water or a baby wipe, clean the area thoroughly. Don’t be too hard as their skin will redden easily. Put the soiled cotton wool/wipes with the soiled nappy.
A word of advice. Always wipe from front to back, you don’t want number twos around their delicate genitals. Also, never try to clean under a boy’s foreskin as it will be really tight. This can take a long time to separate so should be left alone until it does.
Step 5. Using your towel or tissue, pat – don’t rub – the baby’s skin until dry. Again, don’t be too heavy handed or you may redden the skin. If the skin breaks, it may lead to infection.
Step 6. Apply some cream. Place a small dollop – I love that word – onto your fingers and gently smear it over the skin. Make sure you have applied it enough. Most creams will be white and when they have been smoothed over the skin enough, will appear transparent so you know you are done.
Step 7. Get another nappy ready. Lift your baby by the ankles and slide the fresh nappy back under your baby. Pull the front of the nappy up and use the sticky tabs to fasten it. To avoid the nappy being too tight, make sure you can easily get a finger in and slide it around the waistband. The legs should be OK as these will be elasticated.
Step 8. Put your baby’s clothes back on and put the dirty stuff into the nappy sack. Put the changing gear away and wash your hands again.
Success. Well done you. You now know how to change a nappy.