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How to Change a Baby Boy's Diaper

By Elizabeth Wolfenden ; Updated June 13, 2017

Not everyone instinctively knows how to properly change a diaper. Many first-time parents and people with a lack of prior experience in baby care become anxious at the very thought of it. The possibility of becoming the target to a stream of urine can make changing a baby boy's diaper particularly intimidating. However, once you learn the process, practice is all that’s necessary to become a diaper-changing pro.

Choose an appropriate place that allows easy access to all the items you'll need. Changing tables work well, but any flat surface will do as long as a changing mat or towel can be placed under the baby to avoid messes. Never leave the baby boy unattended if you’re working on a surface above ground level.

Remove the baby’s clothing to access the diaper area. If the boy is squirming or trying to get away, giving him a toy to play with might keep him occupied and make the entire process easier.

Unfasten the soiled diaper. The way to do this will depend on whether the diaper is cloth or disposable. For cloth diapers, remove the safety pins or unfasten the Velcro tabs on each side that hold the diaper in place. For disposable diapers, pull back the adhesive strips to unfasten the diaper. Do not remove the diaper just yet.

Pull back the front half of the diaper to expose the area that needs to be cleaned, and fold it in half under the baby, clean side up. Because it will take some time to thoroughly clean this area, consider placing a wipe or cloth over the penis as the buttocks and areas around the penis are being cleaned to prevent the baby from making a mess if he urinates during the process.

Clean the entire diaper area thoroughly using soap, warm water and a washcloth, or diaper wipes. It might be necessary to hold the baby’s legs and lift his bottom up with one hand while the other hand cleans. After the baby is wiped clean, apply diaper cream or petroleum jelly, if desired, to prevent or to treat diaper rash.

Raise the baby’s hips to slide the old diaper out from underneath him, and then slide the new diaper in. The back side of the new diaper should be level with his waist.

Point the baby’s penis downward, and then fasten the clean diaper. Pointing the penis downward will prevent urine from leaking above the waistline. To fasten the diaper, attach the ends of a cloth diaper with safety pins or Velcro tabs, or wrap the adhesive strips around to attach to the front of the diaper when using disposable diapers.

Redress the baby, dispose of the dirty diaper and wash your hands thoroughly.

Tips

If the baby's skin seems sensitive to diaper wipes, try hypoallergenic wipes or a wet washcloth.

Warnings

Changing the baby's diapers too infrequently can lead to painful diaper rash. Check the baby at least every hour or two to make sure he doesn't need to be changed.

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