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How to Change a Disposable Diaper

Dealing with wet or poopy diapers is the most thankless job of parenting—but, thankfully, disposable diapers can help you make quick work of it.


  • : Never turn your back or walk away when your baby is on the changing table, even if she’s strapped down or too young to roll over.
  • Step 1: Gather supplies Make sure you have all your supplies within easy reach. Once you start changing your baby, you won’t be able to go off in search of wipes.
  • Step 2: Spread cloth Spread the changing cloth out on the changing table, where your baby’s bottom will be.
  • TIP: Put down a fresh changing cloth after each change so you can skip this step.
  • Step 3: Remove soiled diaper Lay your baby on the changing table and remove her wet or soiled diaper. Set it aside.
  • TIP: Leave the dirty diaper open and within your reach. You can pile used baby wipes in it, then roll the whole thing into a neat, disposable bundle.
  • Step 4: Clean bottom Using as many wipes as necessary, gently clean your baby’s bottom, being sure to wipe from front to back. Be thorough, so there’s no hidden mess left behind.
  • TIP: Boy babies have been known to pee as soon as their diaper comes off. To avoid a soaking, lay a changing cloth over him as soon as possible.
  • Step 5: Slide diaper under Unfold the fresh diaper. With one hand, lift up your baby’s hips slightly; with the other, slide the back of the diaper—the side with the tabs—underneath her bottom.
  • Step 6: Apply diaper cream If your baby has a diaper rash, cover it with a generous amount of diaper cream.
  • Step 7: Fold & fasten Fold the front side of the diaper up and over your baby, and fasten it with the tabs so that it’s snug but not tight.
  • Step 8: Check edges Run your finger around each leg opening of the diaper to make sure the ruffled edges aren’t tucked up under the elastic. This will help prevent leaks.
  • Step 9: Put on clothes Put your baby’s clothes back on or dress her in a fresh outfit if needed.
  • Step 10: Discard & wash Throw away the old diaper and thoroughly wash your hands or wipe them clean with a fresh baby wipe. Then enjoy a post-diaper-change cuddle—she may not smell this sweet for long.
  • FACT: A mom who created a plastic covering for cloth diapers out of a shower curtain went on to invent disposable diapers.

You Will Need

  • A baby in need of a diaper change
  • A changing table or another safe surface
  • A clean changing cloth or two
  • Some baby wipes
  • And a fresh disposable diaper
  • A cream for diaper rash
  • A change of baby clothes

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