Whether you use cloth or disposable diapers (or a combination of both), change them often to keep your baby comfortable and help prevent diaper rash. Newborn babies can use 10–15 diapers every day.

To change your baby’s diaper:

  • wash your hands
  • place her on a safe, flat surface
  • take off the dirty or wet diaper
  • clean her diaper area with a warm, wet, soft washcloth or baby wipe (for information about how to clean your baby's genitals)
  • dry her diaper area to help prevent diaper rash
  • put on a barrier cream and a clean diaper
  • dispose of the used diaper and wash your hands

To keep your baby safe when diapering:

  • always keep one hand on her—even newborn babies can move
  • use safety straps (if there are some) when changing on a table or raised surface
  • keep all pins and creams out of her reach
  • don’t use lotions, perfumed diaper wipes or creams (except barrier creams for diaper rash), since they may irritate her skin


Diaper changing area

You and your baby will be spending a lot of time in the diaper changing area. Here are some tips for keeping this area clean.

  • Make a separate area for diapering only. If you can, set it up near a sink and away from areas where food is prepared, stored or eaten. Clean the area often.
  • Remove stool from the diaper and flush it down the toilet.
  • Put soiled washcloths, cloth diapers and clothing in a covered diaper pail. Wash them often.
  • Put disposable diapers in a designated covered diaper pail or garbage and empty it often. Keep soiled diapers out of the reach of children.
  • Wash your hands after changing your baby’s diaper.
  • Diaper rash

    If your baby has a diaper rash, you can use a small amount of a zinc-based cream. Talk to your pharmacist about which cream to use. For information about diaper rash.
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