Change a Newborns Diaper: Things to Consider


“Hi, my name is Amber. I’m a registered nurse in the mother-baby unit. Congratulations on your new addition. I’m here exclusively with Birthpedia to show you how to do with diaper change on your newborn. 

A couple of things to consider with change a newborns diaper would be – One, that you always wipe from front to back, Two, your newborn is not fragile. You’re going to have to wipe a little harder than expected. Those first few poops called meconium are very sticky, so just be aware. You know as you wipe from front to back, there’s going to be a little bit of force. 

Also, you’re going to have to keep in mind that the umbilical cord that has just been cut or if you’ve chosen to do a Lotus, you have to keep in mind that the diaper is going to need to be folded so it does not rub against that side. 

Also remember, make sure your hands are clean before you start the diaper change. So wash your hands before you’re also going to want to wash your hands right after. So I’m going to go over here and show you how to do this newborns diaper change.

Diaper-Changing Tactics 

So for the purpose of today’s simulation, I’m wearing gloves because we’re in a hospital setting to protect your baby from other germs. As you can see this as a simulation baby. So I’m going to be using that for this diaper change demonstration. So the first thing you’re going to want to do unswaddle your baby, keep in mind, not just boy babies can potentially pee or poop on you during a diaper change, sometimes the added stimulation will actually cause them to go. 

So what I’m going to tell you to do first is I’m going to put the new diaper that we’re going to use under the old diaper now. So may choose to put a cloth if it’s a boy baby over top of the penis just to prevent the urine from hitting them. But if you work fast enough, sometimes you don’t have to.

Get Your Supplies Ready

Um, in terms of wiping the baby and to go ahead and get my wipes here, just make sure you have all your supplies with you at the start of the diaper change. There’s nothing worse than starting your diaper change and realizing that you don’t have any wipes and you’re just left there with babysitting here in their mess. So I have my wipes sitting right here. 

Steps to Change a Newborns Diaper:

Lift your Baby’s Leg

I’m going to start by taking off the security straps on this diaper. I’m going to fold this down. I’m going to lift the baby’s legs up and again, remember babies are not fragile. It’s okay to lift them up. I’m grabbing both feet just to get a good view of the area to wipe. That way you can make sure you don’t leave anything behind. With girl babies, the most important thing is that you wipe from the front to the back.

Clean all the folds

Also, make sure you’re cleaning any folds, so I’ll take my wipe, I start at the very top and work all the way down. You can discard your wipe here or if you have space left on the wipe, you can fold it over and use a clean section. I’m going to take another wipe here. Then a wipe on the side here, making sure I get everything out of these folds and then I’m going to wipe your on the other side, making sure I get everything out of these folds. 

Diaper Setting

Once you see that the area is clean, you can go ahead, remove the dirty diaper, put it on the side, gently place your baby back down. You’re going to pull this front of the diaper up into place. If your baby is brand new, there’s going to be an umbilical stump and or a Lotus that is still attached so you do not want your diaper to rub against this area. If your baby is on the bigger side, you might not have to do anything to the diaper, but if your baby is small, you may have to fold the front of the diaper down like so and secure it under your umbilical cord. 

Adjust the Straps and Test the Fit 

Next, I take the security straps, pull them across and make sure I attach them. Be careful not to attach too tightly because it can cut off circulation, but you want it to be just tight enough that it’s going to stay in place to catch anything that comes out on the next day for a change. I’m going to take the other side here.

Now that is all nice, and secure. As you can see, it’s attached nice and secure here in the middle, but it’s not too tight. There’s still a little bit of room for a tug. We’re going to lay the baby back down, move my supplies to the side and I’m going to go ahead and swaddle the baby. 

How to Swaddle a Baby?

Let’s talk about swaddling. The most important part is that you use the baby’s weight against them. If their own weight is holding them down, they’re more likely to stay in the swaddle as opposed to busting out, um, and getting their arms and legs out. So what I do is I put, make sure the arms are down. I take the first corner across, turn baby on their side and make sure that this piece is under there behind just to make sure that the weight stays down. Then I take this middle part here, fold it up, make sure the arm is down on the other side, turn the baby on this side, take the other part across and then make sure, like I said, right behind the behind and the baby is nice and in place as you see the baby is holding down the sides of the swaddle, keeping it in place so the baby will have a much more difficult time getting out of the swaddle.

Their arms are right beside their sides, nice and comfortable. Um, it’s not an uncomfortable position for them. 

Why is Swaddling Important?

Swaddling is important because it has many different features that are important for a newborn. 

One is security. A baby has been in the womb for nine months and they’re used to being in a nice, snug, warm environment. So when a baby is swaddled, it simulates that feeling of being nice and secure in the womb. It’s also good to have a baby swaddled just for them to learn to sleep on their back. It prevents them from being able to roll from side to side. It keeps them nice and safe and in a nice, good position for sleeping. It’s also good if you know your baby’s had any kind of procedures for pain control. 

Swaddling is great because it makes that baby feel nice, and secure, and warm and loved. Now you can go ahead and pick up your baby, make sure your hand is firmly supporting the back of the baby’s head. It’s going to be a few months before baby can support the head on their own. Now your baby’s all nice and clean. 


Good job. You finished your first diaper change. Keep in mind if you don’t succeed the first time, you can always try again. You’re going to get better and better with time. And again, my name is Amber. I’m here exclusively with Birthpedia showing you all your tips for newborn care.”

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