How to Change a Cloth Diaper

Опубликовал Admin
24-09-2016, 04:15
3 981
No parent likes the endless cycle of changing diapers. However, if you use cloth diapers you can at least take pleasure knowing that you are making a more environmentally friendly and affordable choice than disposable diapers. You will need to learn a few tricks about how to change a cloth diaper though, and this article can tell you all these tricks.


  1. Determine which type of cloth diaper you need to use. Although where you go from here will depend on the answer to this step, most are actually birds-eye style which need to be folded. There are others that don’t need to be folded and that have a Velcro-layer in the front portion of the diaper that makes it an “easy on, easy off” transition (that needs no real extra folding steps
  2. Prepare a new, clean, fresh, diaper for use. If needed, use a method of folding the diaper so this step doesn't have to be completed later. Babies like to roll around on the changing table, and folding these diapers while they aren’t in the changing area is really needed for safety later.
  3. Decipher if the baby or infant really needs their diaper changed. Although one common trait is the smell of either urine or poop of the child, the fact that the diaper could sag, could become a secondary trait to more easily tell if their diaper needs changing. With children who aren’t expecting you to feel around inside the diaper, you can easily stick your fingers slightly down into the diaper when their diaper is even partially exposed.
  4. Grab a hold of all needed items excluding (for a moment) the baby or infant in question. Place them all in the diaper changing-area so you can grab it all one-handed and in a place where you can keep your eyes completely on the child. Although the diaper should be on hand, other items would include powders and/or diaper rash creams, along with a clean (and potentially newly-washed) rubber pant, a cleaning cloth for any additional urine that wasn't soaked up by the diaper, and some new clothes (if the urine soaked through their rubber pant onto the rest of their bottom half of their clothes).
  5. Make sure to keep an area nearby the changing area where you can place the dirty clothes, which the child will need to be changed out-of. This area may include items to later hold any pants the child wore, along with the diaper (with or without the poop) and the used cleaning cloth and, after changing the child out of it and before changing them back into it if the pant wasn't wet (the rubber pant) for a short time.
  6. Determine where you’d like to change the child’s diaper. Although you can surely change a baby or small infant on a diaper-changing table, some of the bigger children may need other places to be changed such as carpeted floors or some other soft surface. This area will be determined individually by the child’s actions during changing time and never by how they feel when they are being changed internally.
  7. Lay a waterproof changing pad (such as those reusable pads included with most diaper bags) or a Goodnites Underpads on the changing surface to prepare a mess-free changing environment.
  8. Obtain the child and bring them over to the changing area and lay them down on the pad so that their rear end is in the pad's center core. The place you lay them doesn't have to perfectly center with the child’s rear end, but as long as their rear end is on the pad, they should be ready to be changed from here on in.
  9. Remove any and all of the child’s clothes. Only remove clothes that have gotten wet and set them aside. Start by removing items from their changing area on up from their pants to their shirts and top-portion (If the child is wearing a onesie, you will still need to roll that up until it is out of the way of the diaper-area. Use the Ankle Hold Technique as described to hold up the child’s leg while you pull the onesie up and out of the way of the changing area so it too can’t get anymore wet.
  10. Strip the rubber pant that will still impede the cloth diaper on the child. Though a normal piece to help urine prevent a soaking feeling on their clothes, these pants are annoying, and can easily rip in the leg seems if removed roughly.

Removal of Old Diaper

  1. Look for and remove any diaper pins that exist on the sides of the diaper. If the diaper doesn't use pins, look for a Velcro fastening taped areas along the top front areas of the diaper. Undo the snaps or unfasten the Velcro tabs a bit but don't take the old diaper off.
  2. Grab a hold of the diaper again with your right hand. Pull the diaper out from the center of the child’s stomach and lay this portion of the diaper on the changing surface so that the diaper has been laid flat out.
  3. Lower the child's legs, but keep your hands on their legs (especially in cases of a wiggly baby). Cover the child’s genital areas with a clean cloth or baby wipe, (especially if this child is a boy). If this child is a girl, you should skip this step as their genitals don't generally lie in a position that is prone to pee in an "upwards stream". (Most people get the gist of what this stream is, when the child catches them and pees without being covered.)
  4. Lift your baby’s legs off the changing surface, as you pull the wet/dirty diaper out from underneath the baby. Use the ankle-hold technique. Make sure the pull isn't forceful enough to fling the potential of poop into other areas of the room.
  5. Lower the child's legs, but keep your hands on their legs (especially in cases of a wiggly baby). Cover the child’s genital areas with a clean cloth or baby wipe, (especially if this child is a boy). If this child is a girl, you should skip this step as their genitals don't generally lie in a position that is prone to pee in an "upwards stream". (Most people get the gist of what this stream is, when the child catches them and pees without being covered.)
  6. Clean the child’s genital area with a baby wipe or wet cloth. Although most diaper-changing companies have these baby wipes for purchase at most grocery stores, if you haven't done so already, you can use a clean and dry area of the old diaper to help absorb the additional urine in their genital areas, but only if you don't have a cleaning cloth around.
    • Use two warm, wet washcloths if you would like to be more environmentally-friendly. Use the first washcloth to wipe off the most dirt, and then use a second washcloth to finish cleansing the baby's bottom. You will do a better job of cleaning and leave fewer chemicals on your baby. Be sure the cloths are laundered well before next use.
    • Place the old diaper to the side. A great place to hold this is on top of the pile with all the other wet clothes.
    • Make sure to keep baby’s genital areas covered with a cloth, as most babies will urinate into the air when exposed to the cooler air in the room and should be covered with a cloth until you are ready to switch to using the clean diaper.
    • Do not slip a clean diaper underneath the child just yet, as doing so at this point may acquire more urine before the remainder of the change is accomplished.
    • Very young babies can even be allergic to hypoallergenic wipes. If they have diaper rash, try cleaning them with a damp piece of cotton wool.
  7. Place a smear of diaper rash cream on their diaper region and/or place some powder down onto their cloth diaper and over their exposed genital region to prepare the area for the next soaking to ensure the skin doesn't hurt the child the next time.

Replacement with New Diaper

  1. Lift the baby's legs once again and slip a clean diaper quickly underneath your child’s rear end, thereby switching the new for the old then lower the child's legs one last time and release your hands from their legs. Position it so that the center of the back of the diaper is about on center with the child's rear center and so that the diaper will reach no higher than the child’s waistline.
    • For those who have prefolded diapers that have a Velcro-closing system, you may need to keep your hand outstretched in the diapers core until the child has been laid back down onto the clean diaper so the diaper doesn't readjust and fold back up while situating the placement of the child onto/into their cleaner and drier cloth diaper.
  2. Fold the diaper up, over and around their genitals until the diaper's top center has met the child’s waistline. You'll need to be able to outstretch your arms, but you shouldn't need a "death grip" on the diaper to bring it up and around. Lay the dry diaper temporarily on the child’s skin so that you can obtain the new pins or get ready to fix up the diaper again.
  3. Flare out and position both sides of the back portion of the diaper a little (if this diaper is of the non-prefolded style). For those who've gotten prefolded diapers, this shouldn't need to be done, but you must be able to hold your unsnapping arm on the child’s diaper for a moment (over top of their genital area on the dry diaper) as you'll complete the next step. The amount of diaper you flare back out onto the diapers sides, will depend on the size of the child’s weight and width of their waistline.
    • Work with only one side of the diaper at a time. Only choose to flare out and work with the child’s one side before needing to flare out the reverse side and work with that one at a time.
  4. Secure the diaper in place with the provided diaper-pins that were obtained from the preparatory steps. Insert the pin using the reverse process as what was used to remove the pin itself. Be sure not to push it through all the layers of the inner diapers' folded layers. Be sure to insert the end of the pins away from the child’s navel/belly button. If you don't want to stick yourself, don't push the pins through all layers of the diaper fabrics.
    • Push the pin from the original location into the one layer of the diaper fabric towards the pin head and around the diaper's pin head notch created in most diaper pins.
    • Snap the diaper pins closed from both sides. Diaper pins are created with an open section in the pin-head. Push the pin around and into the head of the pin’s opening, and push inwards so the pin-head is covering this end of the pin.
  5. Repeat these steps for the opposite side.
  6. Re-cover the child in a rubber pant, as opposed to the one that was previously taken off the child. If the rubber pant wasn't at all wet, you can reuse the pant. However, if it was wet, use a dry one from the pile of other items you'd acquired before.

Diaper Changing Cleanup

  1. Re-dress the child in their applicable clothes. If the child was wearing a onesie, you can remove it if it was in the least bit wet and change it much like a shirt (snapping it at the bottom), or changing the pants and any other items that were wet below the child’s waist.
  2. Set the child off to the side or release them from the changing table. All the remainder of the cleanup steps will need to be performed while the child is off the changing surface, due to safety concerns.
  3. Clean up the changing area. Remove all wet clothes from the pile and place any of the other unused changing supplies back where they were originally found (or where they belong if found in areas other than where they belonged if accidentally misplaced). Place all wet clothes into a wash basket that can be carried to your laundering area as where all your other laundry will go.
  4. Dispose of any poop, by cleaning the cloth diaper inside a toilet. And roll the diaper carefully up into a ball and bring this diaper to the laundering station for further cleanup.


  • If you don't have a changing table, you can use a bed with an old towel spread on it to prevent messes. You can always change the diaper on the floor on a towel as well, and it's safer because the baby can't fall off by accident.
  • Babies don't like to feel exposed. If your baby is upset while you are changing them, you might want to try covering their tummy up with a blanket or sheet.
  • If you need to use powder, use a cornstarch-based baby powder instead of talc. The use of talc has been associated with lung cancer and female genital cancers. Cornstarch-based baby powder is great at attracting and growing yeast so powder-free is best. Also, the scent in some baby powders can cause diaper rash, so avoid added fragrances whenever possible.
  • For the cloth diaper-wearers who are wiggly, it is sometimes easier to put the clean diaper on while the child is in a standing position.
  • Although cloth diapers are much easier on the pocketbook, you may find it easier to keep at least one fresh new package of disposable diapers on hand as well, for those times when all but the current rubber pants are being washed and dried and the current rubber-pant got soiled in some way or you are traveling and the changing times between diaper-changing times will be less seldom. You will obviously need something to use in these instances, but that choice must be up to you!
  • Only use A & D ointment and zinc oxide based ointments like Desitin or some other homemade, organic diaper rash cream if there is a genuine diaper rash.
  • For better results and for improved entrapment of urine, you may choose to use two diapers instead of just the traditional one-layered diaper (also known as a ’’double-diaper’’’ ).
  • Due to the freshness of the cooler air, the child may begin to pee shortly after a fresh diaper has been replaced on them, but don't let this issue stop you from changing the child's diaper again. Let them finish peeing, and change it once again. You’ll notice the wet spot stop growing when the child stops peeing.
  • Try not to leave the baby in a wet diaper for too long. Cloth diapers have been known to hold urine close to the skin for longer periods of time and leaving them in soaked diapers for long periods of time may cause a more-frequent diaper rash as a result. Check your child’s cloth diaper every half-hour to hour, to ensure their diaper is still dry.


  • Both girls and boy babies (boys and girls) will pee when their diaper is off and they get exposed to cool air. To help get this feeling out of the way, pull the front of the diaper down, blow on the diaper area, cover it back up for a little bit, to catch the additional urine. That way the dry diaper isn't instantly soiled once it is closed with the diaper-pins in place.
  • Rinse all cloth diapers well when washing them.
  • Never leave a child on a changing table unattended for any reason. The one second that you leave them there, even if secured down by safety cords on the changing surface could be a life-threatening situation, if the baby is left unattended. Even the youngest, tiniest babies can potentially roll themselves off the table and onto the ground in an instant and sustain very serious or life-threatening injuries. Falling off a changing surface from a high distance is one of the most common - and yet most preventable - infant injuries.
  • Never try to feed the baby while you are changing their diaper, as your baby can choke when they are in this position.
  • Diaper rash and yeast infections look completely different. Diaper rash is red and looks like a sunburn all over the child's skin. Yeast infections are different and look like red freckles on the wearer's skin in the diaper-region. If you suspect your child has a yeast infection, take them to their pediatrician as there are medicines to treat this.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-2 cloth diaper(s)
  • 2-3 diaper pins to be used as the closure item
  • Rubber pant
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper pail
  • Cover-cloth for boys diapers (optional)
  • Zinc oxide/A&D ointment or Desitin (diaper-rash cream/ointment)
Users of Guests are not allowed to comment this publication.