Diapering ABCs

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Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP, Pediatrician
At first, diapering may seem daunting. But with just a little practice, it's as simple as learning your ABC's. Let's get started – step by step.

Mom and Baby
Ok, let’s change your diaper.

Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP, Pediatrician
Whether you choose cloth or disposable, the simplest, safest way to diaper any baby is to have all your supplies within easy reach: Diapers; diaper covers if needed; moist clothes or wipes; ointments or creams; and hand sanitizers for yourself. Five month old Gabriella is our model for disposables. These diapers are thinner and lighter than ever – and highly absorbent for delicate skin. Place the baby on her back, but never turn yours, even with using safety straps. Unfold the new diaper. With one hand, gently but firmly lift your baby's ankles, using the other to ease the fresh diaper underneath; Lower the baby back down and unfasten the old diaper. Now lift baby up again and swipe for stool as you roll the diaper away. Always wipe front to back when you clean your baby's bottom – this is especially important on girls to avoid spreading germs from her bottom to her bladder. Some discharge is normal, protective and should remain. Place the dirty wipes in the old diaper and seal it shut and set it safely aside. Now, center the baby back down on the fresh diaper and close it up, fastening both sides for a fit that's snug and secure. It's much the small drill with cloth diapers, but changing a boy adds an element of danger. Here to help with that is 7 week old Shepard. When you undo the diaper for a boy, it's time to provide temporary cover. This way, in case he decides to go again, you and the walls don't get wet!
Again, simply lift … swipe …and wipe. Apply ointment if
there is redness or rash; switch out the diaper and firmly attach. The last step – cleaning your hands – very important before you pick up that sweet-smelling baby for a well-deserved hug. For WebMD, I'm Dr. Jennifer Shu.