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How to Change a Newborn’s Diaper

Mastering Diaper Duty: A Step-by-Step Guide for New Parents

by Coterie Team

This article does not provide medical advice. The information on site is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, your child’s pediatrician, or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding your or your child’s health.


Using disposable diapers can make learning how to change a diaper easier. The main difference between changing a cloth diaper versus a disposable diaper is that cloth diapers typically need to be changed more frequently and require an overlying ‘stay-dry’ cover. This cover can add extra steps to your changing routine, and frequent changes means less quality time with your little one.


Newborns usually need to be changed every two to three hours–or immediately if the diaper is filled with solid waste to lower the chance of rashes and irritation.


Getting Started


Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to have the materials you’ll need on hand:



  • A change of clothes for the baby: Leaks happen, so always have back-up options ready.


  • Moistened wipes or cotton balls: Because newborn skin is so sensitive, you may need soft, cleansing materials to gently clean your newborn.

  • Your imagination: Some babies love to wiggle and squirm, so a distraction may be helpful with changing! Play some soft music or keep a favorite toy visible during changing.

Choosing the Right Wipes


Newborn skin is more delicate than infant skin, so the Mayo Clinic recommendsOpens in a new tab. using only water and soft materials, or hypoallergenic wipes without lanolin or alcohol.


Coterie diaper wipes are made with 100% plant-based, biodegradable, plastic-free fibers, and are up to 30% larger than other wipesWe use 99% purified water in our wipes to create a more comfortable and cleansing wipe for your newborn.


Step One: Set Your Baby on a Clean, Safe Surface


We recommend changing your newborn at a designated changing station, using a surface that is concave and soft. At this age, your newborn isn’t likely to roll away but that day comes quickly.


By getting into the habit of changing your little one on a soft, concave surface that slightly cradles your baby, you’re prepared for the day when they start wiggling and rolling.


If you are using a changing table, we recommend strapping your little one in. Never leave your baby unattended on the changing table or other surfaces.


Step Two: Remove the Dirty Diaper


Next, gently lay your baby on their back onto the changing surface. Unfasten the diaper tabs on the front of the diaper, and open the diaper.


Grasp their ankles carefully together in one hand and lift their legs up just enough to get a view of their backside and the contents of the diaper. If there is stool in the diaper, use your free hand and upper half of the diaper to gently move the stool to the lower half of the diaper.


Step Three: Clean Your Baby and Fold the Diaper


Use your Coterie wipe or cotton balls dampened with water to gently wipe away any remaining mess. Apply diaper cream, if using, to the backside of your (clean) hand to warm the ointment slightly. Then, carefully apply the cream in a thick layer around the entire diaper area.


Slide the soiled diaper out from under your baby and set their legs back down. Roll the used diaper up, starting with the messier end, and fold in the diaper wings to secure it once it is fully rolled.


Step Four: Replace the Old Diaper


Dispose the used diaper in a sealed container or diaper pail. If it is not easily available, keep the soiled diaper out of reach from your baby until your baby is no longer on the changing surface.


Open a fresh diaper and unfold the tabs. Lift your baby’s legs by the ankles like in Step Two, and slide the diaper underneath your newborn. The tabs should be spread out on either side. Fold the front of the diaper up over your baby’s lower half and attach the back tabs to the front section of the diaper so that it is snug, but not too tight.


Step Five: Dress Your Baby and Wash Up


Now that your baby’s diaper is fully changed, it’s time to put on some fresh clothes and wash your hands with warm water and soap.


For the best eco-friendly, high-quality diaper with more liquid capacity than other brands, check out Coterie’s The Diaper today!