Taking Care of a New Baby Article

Changing Diapers

Hopefully you were able to get the nurse in the hospital to walk you through changing your baby's diaper before you need to do it at home alone.

Not a real problem, though, as no matter how you start, you will get to a point where you can do it with one hand, blindfolded, in under 60 seconds. (We don't recommend you try it blindfolded).

It is important to remember when handling a baby that you only have two arms, and one of them is usually required to hold him, leaving only one arm to reach for things. Make sure you have everything you need close by before placing your baby on the changing table.

This includes baby wipes or warm water and a cloth, a clean diaper, and ointment. Place your baby on a towel or changing pad on a flat surface (a bed, floor, table or changing table).

Especially when using a changing table or any high surface, never turn away, even for a few seconds, without holding her.

Step by Step

Essential steps for changing diapers (disposable) include:

  • Undo the sticky tabs and close them so they don't stick on the baby and you can reuse them to wrap up the dirty diaper when finished.
  • With boys, place the clean diaper low on his tummy and over his penis to minimize the risk that boys present.
  • As you undo the dirty diaper and pull it down, use it to wipe off as much poop as you can. Grab your baby by the ankles, firmly but gently, and lift his bottom up so you have full access to his backside.
  • Either set the dirty diaper aside or fold it under him with the clean side up. With his bottom still in the air, grab a baby wipe and wipe him down.
  • Clean your baby's bottom area thoroughly, using multiple wipes if necessary. If you have a baby girl, be sure to wipe from front to back to avoid wiping poop into her genitals.
  • Pat her dry and dab ointment on any areas that are red.
  • Place the new diaper tab side first under your baby's bottom. Bring it up between his legs and fasten it on either side with the tape tabs. The diaper should be snug, but not tight.
  • For new infants, fold the front of the diaper down so it does not cover his umbilical cord.
  • Roll up the used diaper, refasten the tabs, and stick it in a Diaper Genie (highly recommended by Boot Camp vets.

Veteran dad, Jason, shows you how to change diapers.


Take our website home with Crash Course for Dads-To-Be.

Have something you want to tell us? Let us know.