How to Change a Cloth Diaper | Tips and Advice

How to change a cloth diaper

Changing your baby’s cloth diaper for the first time can be daunting. So, you’ll probably put your baby in several lopsided or bunched-up nappies in the first couple of times. However, practice makes perfect! While there’s no right way to change a cloth diaper, here are the suggested steps to get you started.


how to change a cloth diaper

Always clean and dry your hands before a diaper change. After that, you need to set up a clean area to change your baby’s diaper. And, if you’re not using a changing table, consider using a blanket or changing mat on the floor.

Supplies for a Cloth Diaper Change

  • Clean cloth diapers.
  • Cloth diaper fastener like Snappy or safety pins.
  • A clean baby washcloth with warm water.
  • Cream or ointment if your baby is having a diaper rash. Also, make sure to select suitable cream for cloth diapers, since standard rash creams are difficult to wash.
  • Cloth or disposable liners.

Changing a Cloth Diaper: Step by Step

how to change a cloth diaper

Put your baby in your diaper change area. Unfasten the dirty diaper and pull down the front half. If your baby is a boy, you might want to cover his bottom area with a clean cloth, so he doesn’t pee on you. Also, if there’s poop in the diaper, use the front half of the diaper to wipe the bulk of it off your baby’s bottom.

Fold the dirty diaper in half under your baby, start cleaning. To do this, lift your baby’s bottom off the table by grasping both ankles with one hand and gently lifting upward.

Clean your baby diaper area with a wet cloth. If your baby’s a girl, you should wipe from front to back to help keep bacteria from causing an infection. Let your baby’s skin air dry if you have time. Otherwise, pat dry with a clean cloth. Remove the dirty diaper and, if it got soiled, the diaper cover. Set them aside.

Place the clean diaper underneath your baby so that the back edge is in line with your baby’s waist. Pull the front half up to your baby’s tummy. For newborns, position your baby so the back of the diaper is higher than the front. You don’t want the fabric to irritate the umbilical cord stump. Many newborn diapers and diaper covers have a snap or fold may rub against the umbilical cord

Fasten the cloth diaper. Some come with built-in snaps or tabs. Prefold and flat diapers require fasteners or pins. Be sure the diaper is snug. Once the clean diaper is on, place the outer cover over it. Fasten the cover with its tabs or snaps. Dress your baby and put them in a safe place.

Remove the poop from the cloth diaper. A sprayer is a useful tool for getting rid of the poop as much as possible. Put the dirty diaper and wipes and dirty cover, if there is one in your diaper pail or hanging wet bag. Also, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after changing your baby’s diaper.

Tips and Advice for Cloth Diapers Change

  • You should change diapers frequently to avoid diaper rash. It’s especially important to change your baby’s diaper as soon as possible when you notice a big mess.
  • Keep distractions handy. If your baby fusses during changes, give your baby a small toy to play with while you take care of the business.
  • Stock up on clean diapers or plan to wash them often enough so you won’t run out of clean cloth diapers.
  • Diaper changes offer a chance for some special one-on-one time. Talk and sing to your baby, pointing out the different parts of your baby’s body and explaining what you’re doing. Once your baby is cleaned up, try to play a bit of peekaboo or share a kiss before you wrap up.
  • If you change your baby on an elevated surface such as a changing table or bed, be sure to keep one hand on your baby at all times. Whether your baby is strapped in or not, don’t leave your baby unattended for even a second. Babies of any age can squirm off the table unexpectedly.

Whether it’s a prefold, pocket style or all-in-one cloth diaper, the above steps are suitable with whichever type of cloth diapers you use. Also, you can modify these steps and develop your own diaper change method if it’s more convenient. Let us know more about your diaper change experience in the comments!