How to change a nappy

Handy nappy changing tips with easy to follow instructions to keep bottoms dry and rash-free

In Newborn

    2-minutes read

    At a glance

    Gather everything you need before starting                         

    Change wet nappies as soon as possible to prevent nappy rash


    To clean, use cotton wool and cooled boiled water, or fragrance and alcohol free baby wipes

    Thoroughly dry before putting on new nappy

    Preparation and practice are all you need to establish a good nappy changing routine. Remember to never leave your baby unattended at any time. Have everything you need on hand before you start, including: a changing mat and clean towel, a clean nappy, a nappy sack, a bowl of warm water and some cotton wool or baby wipes.

    “Keep a towel to use as a pee teepee when changing a boy’s nappy!”

    • Place the towel over the changing mat and lie your baby on the towel
    • Undo and remove the nappy. If the nappy is full, use it to remove most of the mess. If the nappy is just wet, you can keep it underneath while you clean your baby
    • Clean your baby’s bottom thoroughly with clean cotton wool, dry or dipped in warm water. You could also use fragrance and alcohol free baby wipes. For a baby girl, wipe from front to back. For boys, wipe from back to front. Then dry your baby’s bottom thoroughly with the towel
    • Lift your baby’s legs up in one hand, and slip the new nappy under their bottom using the other hand - the tags go at the back. Bring the front of the nappy up to their waist and fasten the tags
    • Remember to wash your hands after every nappy change to avoid infection
    • Change wet and dirty nappies as soon as possible to prevent nappy rash. How often to change a newborn nappy depends on the baby
    • Baby nappy rash is a common irritation of the skin. Prevention is the best treatment so keep your baby’s bottom clean and dry. Applying a barrier cream can also help. Nappy rash usually clears up after about three days. But if the rash is not improving or causing your baby discomfort, contact your GP or health visitor for advice

    “The sound of my voice seems to help calm my little girl during a change.”


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    Important advice to mothers

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. SMA® Nutrition fully supports this and continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your healthcare professional.