Perhaps one of the most dreaded aspects of parenting is changing a baby’s nappy. This smelly ordeal is an often feared, but vital part of parenthood. 

Whether it's your first time or you are a seasoned nappy changer, our team at Little & Brave understands how changing a baby’s nappy could be challenging and might intimidate you. Well, we’re here to put your worries to rest – know that with just a little bit of practice and patience, you will quickly become a pro.

In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of changing a baby’s nappy, so you can ensure that your little one stays clean and comfortable. Changing a baby's nappies is not solely about keeping their bodies clean, but also ensuring their comfort and preventing any skin irritation or infection. It's an essential part of your baby's daily routine, and it can be a bonding experience for both you and your little one.

Before we dive in, remember that it’s just as important to clean your baby fully whether they have wet themselves or done a poo.

With that, let’s begin!

Step 1 – Gather the Supplies

Before you start changing your baby's nappy, gather all the supplies you need. You will need 

  • a fresh nappy, 
  • wipes, 
  • a changing mat, 
  • and diaper rash cream if necessary. 

Having all the supplies in one place will save you time and make the process smoother. You could also opt for eco-friendly nappies that are free of harmful chemicals and are better for the environment and your little one’s delicate skin!

Step 2 - Prepare Your Changing Area

Once you have gathered all your nappy-changing supplies, choose a clean, sanitized, and flat surface to change your baby. A changing table is ideal, but you can also use a bed, couch, or even the floor. 

Begin by spreading the changing mat over the surface, ensuring it is clean and dry. Make sure to keep your supplies close by and within arm's reach.

If you're using a changing table, keep an eye on your baby at all times. Never walk away or turn your back as some may try to wriggle away when you're changing them. You could give them a toy or use a mobile to distract them… But make sure you have an eye on them the whole time.

Step 3 – Remove the dirty nappy

Before you start changing your baby's nappy, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to help prevent the spread of germs.

Now it's time to remove the dirty nappy. Open the tabs on the dirty nappy and gently lift your baby's bottom by holding their ankles. Use the front of the nappy to wipe any excess poo and urine away. If the nappy is soiled with poo, you can use the back of the nappy to wipe it away. Then, fold the dirty nappy and set it aside. Consider using a diaper pail for disposable diapers filled with poo: A diaper pail is the best place to store dirty diapers until garbage day.

If the wee nappy you’ve just removed is one of our compostable ones, you don’t need to throw them out! Simply head over to our comprehensive page on how to compost wee nappies and enrich your garden!

Step 4 – Cleaning time

Now it's time to clean your baby's bottom. Use the baby wipes to clean your baby's bum thoroughly. Always wipe from front to back, especially for girls, to avoid any risk of infections. You can also use warm water and cotton wool if you prefer. Make sure to dry your baby's bottom thoroughly before putting on a fresh nappy.

Step 5 – Finishing up!

Once you have cleaned your baby's bottom, it's time to put on a fresh nappy. Open up the clean nappy and slide it under your baby's bottom, making sure that the back of the nappy is higher than the front. Bring the front of the nappy up between your baby's legs and fasten the tabs securely. Make sure that the nappy is not too tight, and that there is enough space for your baby's legs to move freely.

If your baby is a boy, take an extra second to make sure that the nappy is positioned in such a way that leaks can be avoided. When placing the diaper under the baby's bottom, make sure you pull the diaper high enough to prevent leakage. Raise the back portion slightly higher than the front portion and then fasten the tape diagonally downwards. You can also apply diaper rash cream if necessary. 

If you find that your little one struggles with nappy rashes, consider reading our comprehensive Guide to Preventing Nappy Rashes! Little & Brave’s eco nappies are made of natural fibers and are softer and much gentler against your baby’s sensitive bottom.

By minimizing or eliminating the chemicals in materials close to a baby’s skin, you reduce the number of chemicals that absorb into your baby’s body, lowering the overall chemical contact for your little one. Remember – chemical free is irritation-free! 

Finally, dress your baby in clean clothes, and dispose of the dirty nappy and wipes in the diaper pail. 

Psst… Remember to wash your hands thoroughly once you have finished changing your baby too!

The Bottom Line

We know, we know – changing a smelly nappy may seem daunting, but with practice and patience, it can become a routine task for any caregiver. 

Remember to always prioritise the safety and comfort of the baby, use the appropriate materials and techniques, and dispose of the dirty nappy properly. Changing a nappy is a necessary part of caring for a baby and a chance to bond and connect with them. With these tips and tricks, we’re certain you’ll become a confident and skilled nappy changer in no time at all within the house or even when you’re out with your little one.