Your Guide to Changing a Baby's Nappy
Although it may seem like an easy task, changing a babies nappy can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before, and as a first time mum you may be wondering where to begin. But not to worry, you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
From a nappy changing checklist to top tips on nappy hygiene, we’ve got you covered with our beginner’s guide to changing your little one’s nappy.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU CHANGE A BABY'S NAPPY?
How often babies need changing completely varies from baby to baby, depending on their skin type and how delicate it is. Some have very delicate skin and need to be changed as soon as their nappies are wet to avoid soreness and redness, whilst others can wait to be changed until before or after feeds.
Newborn babies tend to need changing around 10 or 12 times a day and as they get older, their nappies will need to be changed at least 6 to 8 times a day. Some nappies also have an indicator line that changes colour in response to exposure to liquid. However, all babies need frequent changes and their nappies will need changing as soon as possible after poos to prevent nappy rash, redness or irritation.
NAPPY CHANGING CHECKLIST
Before you begin, wash your hands and make sure you are prepared by getting everything in one place. Our top tip is to invest in a nappy caddy and to keep this in your usual changing area (keeping one upstairs and one downstairs will make life music easier!).
- A changing mat or towel
- Baby wipes
- A plastic bag for the dirty nappy and wipes
- A clean nappy
- A clean change of clothes (for the baby)
- Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment to help protect your baby's skin from nappy rash
A STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO CHANGING A NAPPY
1. Lay your baby down on a soft and secure surface
If possible, the best place to change nappies is on a towel or changing mat on the floor. If you are using a changing table, make sure not to take your eyes off your baby or turn your back - you’d be surprised how far your little one can wriggle! We recommend keeping one hand on your baby at all times to keep them safe and secured.
2. Undo your little one’s nappy
Firstly, take off your little one’s clothes and make sure they are out of the way. One great hack is to fasten your baby’s vest poppers over their shoulder to avoid any messy incidents! Next undo the nappy, if you are using a nappy with adhesive tabs, fold these back so that they don´t get in the way.
Throughout the nappy changing process, talk to your baby, it’s a great opportunity to bond with them and have some special one-on-one time. If your baby wriggles during changes and won’t relax, try giving them a small toy to play with to distract them.
3. Using baby wipes (or cotton wool and water), clean the area by wiping from the front to the back
Remember that whether they have wet their nappy or had a poo, it's always important to clean your baby’s bum gently and thoroughly, making sure you clean inside the folds of skin. When the nappy is dirty, use the nappy to clean off most of the poo, then use the baby wipes to clean the rest.
4. Put a clean nappy under your baby’s bum and dab the skin dry with a soft towel or muslin cloth
If it’s a warm and comfortable environment, let your baby play (or lie) without a nappy for a while to let the skin on their bottom breathe and reduce the chance of nappy rash.
5. Apply a layer of barrier cream to protect your baby’s bottom from soreness and nappy rash
Our Everyday Barrier Ointment can be used freely on a daily basis at every nappy change. Make sure your hands are clean and dry before spreading a pea-sized amount of ointment evenly onto your baby’s skin. If your little one has nappy rash, you can apply Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment at each change to soothe irritation and redness.
6. Secure the clean nappy by fastening it from the back to the front panel. It should be snug, but not too tight
When shopping for nappies for the first time, make sure your nappies are suitable for newborns and stock up on plenty of nappies and wipes in advance, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you get through them!
7. Finally, place your baby in a secure place so you can dispose of the dirty nappy and wash your hands again
Once your baby is dressed and the nappy changing area is all cleaned up, give your baby a big kiss and cuddle and congratulate yourself on your first nappy change!
TIPS FOR DISTRACTING YOUR BABY WHILST CHANGING THEIR NAPPY
Some nappy changes are more difficult than others and sometimes it’s tricky to get your baby to lie still. First of all, take a deep breath and slow down.
- Talk to them, perhaps try telling them what you are doing
- Sing a relaxing song to try and calm them down
- Be silly and pull funny faces to make them laugh
- Give them a toy to play with - this could be a toy that they are only allowed at nappy changing time, to keep the novelty.
- Hang a sensory mobile over their changing area to distract them
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