You will get the hang of nappy changing in the first weeks – but you’ll have your fair share of leaks and lop-sided nappies along the way. And if you have a boy, you can also expect the occasional warm shower!
To get started, follow this step-by-step guide.
Wash and dry your hands (you can use a baby wipe).
Set up a warm, clean, dry, area to change your baby. In the beginning you may use a changing mat, but a towel or clean cloth nappy on any soft, warm surface will work, too.
Prepare your supplies. If you’re using disposables, you’ll need a clean nappy and a plastic bag.
If your baby has or is prone to nappy rash, you’ll also want to have some cream or petroleum jelly to hand.
Changing a disposable nappy: Unfasten the nappy tabs and fasten them back on themselves so they don't stick to your baby, but don't remove the dirty nappy yet.
Wipe away any poo with the nappy, taking care to cover the penis with a clean cloth or nappy if your baby is a boy (for sanitary reasons and to avoid the aforementioned warm shower).
Lift the baby's bottom off the table using the ungainly-yet-effective ankle hold.
Fold the dirty nappy in half under the baby, unsoiled side up.
Use a baby wipe or wet cotton wool to clean your baby's front thoroughly. For a girl, always wipe from front to back, away from her vagina. (This will help to reduce the possibility that bacteria will get into her vagina and cause an infection.)
Lift both of your baby's legs and clean his bottom.
Swap a clean nappy for the dirty one. The clean nappy's top half (the half with the tabs) should go under your baby's rear, and the bottom half should come up between his legs (which should be spread as widely as is comfortable for your baby). Try not to bunch the nappy between your baby's legs - it can cause chafing and discomfort. For newborns, avoid covering the umbilical cord (you can get special newborn nappies with notches cut out for the stump). For boys, tuck the penis down so moisture will be less likely to escape.
Fasten the nappy at both sides with the tapes make sure it's snug, but not so tight that it pinches his skin. Check the manufacturer's instructions for specific tips.
Retape the soiled nappy around the contents, put it in the plastic bag, and put it in the bin. Dress your baby, and wash your hands thoroughly.