The ultimate guide for new dads on changing your newborn's diapers

The ultimate guide for new dads on changing your newborn's diapers

Know how to change a diaper is one of the essential skills for parenting, but we often don't learn how to do it. This step-by-step breaks it down for you.

More questions cropped up the closer it got to the due date. “Will I be a good father?“, or “how will we cope financially?”

Not to mention the more practical issues. I remembered I have no idea how to change a diaper.

It’s normal for new fathers to have all these doubts and concerns around raising a child. The good news is that it gets a lot easier the more time you spend just being a dad!

One of the first things to get under your belt is learning how to change a diaper. Your wife might seem like a natural, but she also learnt it from somewhere. 

It takes a bit to get used to with all the stuff going down there. But once you do it a few times, it’ll be second nature to you.

Follow this step by step guide to safely change your baby’s diapers.

7 steps to change a diaper for new dads

1. Get all your gear on hand

changing a diaper

Get your things in place before you get to work! | Image source: iStock

I remember the first time I tried to change my daughter’s diaper. While holding her, I got a whiff of something pungent – she did a number two. Wanting to change her diaper quickly, I put her down gently, and then my mind went blank.

Take it step by step, dad! When you’re not used to changing diapers, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

The first step is to be in position. Prepare wet wipes, warm water, cotton balls, cloths, fresh diapers, clean clothes, and diaper cream. As long as they’re within arms reach, you’ll be fine.

This is a proactive step, so you can do this way before the baby is out or when your little one is asleep.

2. Lie your baby on his back

changing a diaper

Before you fully unfold, remember to place a new diaper underneath first! | Image source: iStock

When it’s time to change, lie your baby on his back on the changing table.

Take off both straps and carefully unroll the front half of the diaper down.

While your baby won’t be able to roll over on his/her own until a few months later, keep your hand on your baby to prevent him from moving.

It’s not safe to leave your baby alone on the changing mat unsupervised.

3. Place the clean diaper beneath the dirty one first!

Before you get to clean up duty, put a clean diaper underneath your baby.

It’s hard to predict if your little bundle of joy will decide to relieve himself/herself when you’re in transition.

Try to distract your little one by singing or talking with him/her.

Also, it can help to place a cloth over your little boy’s private area in case he decides to go.

4. Wipe from front to back

changing a diaper

Don’t wipe back to front! Remember: it’s front to back! | Image source: iStock

Now that your fail-safes are in place, it’s time to clean up.

With your wet wipe or washcloth, clean your little one’s groin area from front to back.

This minimises the chance of your baby contracting a UTI.

If you’re cleaning a newborn, you might be cleaning up meconium. Newborn stools is a black, sticky substance, which is very different from when your little one is older.

Use warm water and a washcloth to effectively clean newborn poop.

5. Dry off your baby

Use a dry cloth to wipe down your baby after you’ve fully cleaned all the mess.

Keeping your baby dry is important to prevent diaper rash. It’s also important to dry off before applying diaper cream.

Bear in mind that your baby’s diaper area doesn’t need that much cream. Apply it lightly, dads!

6. Seal the new diaper

changing a diaper

You’re nearly there! Fold the diaper forward and seal it | Image source: iStock

You’re nearly there, dad!

You’ve cleaned up and dried up your baby. Now you need to seal the deal!

With one hand, lift both of your baby’s legs up. Then pull the front of the diaper between the legs.

Lower your baby’s legs and place the straps down to securely close the diaper.

7. Throw away the dirty diaper

The last step is to safely get rid of the soiled nappy. Simply roll it up and use the velcro strap to keep the diaper closed.

Tie up the nappy in a small bag and throw it away. Don’t forget to wash your hands.


There you have it! You’ve successfully changed your baby’s diaper! Well done, daddy. With more practice, you’ll become quicker and more efficient. Within a week, you’ll be able to change a diaper with your eyes closed (but we don’t recommend it!)

Find this guide useful? Share with your friends who are going to become parents!

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Written by

Vinnie Wong

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