Change your baby's nappy whenever required, before, after or between meal times. It is not necessary to change the nappy during the night, unless it is soiled or your baby has a sore or red bottom.

Before you change your baby, have everything you need ready and make sure you have a safe changing area with a hygienic, washable surface.

Nappy changing checklist:

  • A clean cloth nappy or disposable nappy
  • A disposable or washable nappy liner and waterproof cover
  • Plastic nappy grips if using cloth nappies
  • A nappy bucket with a lid to store the dirty nappy prior to washing, or a bag to throw away a disposable nappy
  • Nappy wipes or cotton wool and warm water, plus some un-perfumed soap
  • Barrier cream to act as a protection for the skin, or nappy cream, if your baby has nappy rash
  • A change of clothes in case the old nappy has leaked
  • A distraction for your baby, such as a stuffed toy or mobile

Disposable nappies absorb moisture particularly well, so you may not always be able to gauge their wetness until they're soaked. Check for wetness every couple of hours by testing with a clean finger.

The sensitive skin in the nappy area may react to urine or faces with reddening, or a rash. Special creams are available that form a protective barrier to protect the skin against dampness and inflammation.