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Mother changing a baby's nappy.

how often & when to change your newborn baby’s nappy?

1 minutes 51 seconds


There’s certainly a ‘knack’ to nappy changing and it doesn’t always come instantly. Figuring out the logistics of how to keep a baby still, clean them and get a fresh nappy on is hard enough (our nappy changing tips article will help you learn how to change your baby's nappy). But when to do all this can be a bit of a minefield too. So we explain it.

  • 1. How often & when should you change your newborn baby’s nappy?

  • 2. Dealing with sensitive bottoms

1. How often & when to change your newborn baby’s nappy?

‘The first time I changed my baby’s nappy was when a midwife reminded me, quite a few hours after he’d been born,’ says Luisa, mum to Luca, 4. ‘I was mortified because it hadn’t even occurred to me to change him - I was just lying there staring at him! But he was all fine and from then on it was in my head to do it regularly.’

There are so many things to keep on top of when you have a new baby, and nappy changing is just one of them. It’s important to do this regularly though, as the NHS advise that if babies sit in nappies too long, they can develop nappy rash1. While you're here why not check out our newborn baby nappy rash tips to learn how to change your newborn baby's nappy.

These times are generally when you should consider changing your baby's nappy2:

  • After every feed

  • As soon as possible after they’ve done a poop

You’ll know your baby best but as a guide, changing them after every feed, and as soon as possible after they’ve done a poo is best. Once your little one can sleep through the night, well-padded nappies should last 12 hours. If you're having trouble with leaks then check out our baby nappy leaking at night tips article.

2. Dealing with sensitive bottoms

‘I was surprised by how much I hated changing nappies,’ says James, dad to one-year-old Bella. ‘But their little bums are so soft and sensitive, so wiping them all the time then wrapping them up again in these plasticky pants always felt a bit wrong. I think that’s one reason I was keen to potty-train so quickly!’ For more info on this tricky part check out our article on how to wipe a baby girl.

Babies really do poo frequently, plus there’s a lot of cleaning up involved, so it’s not unusual for their skin to occasionally get irritated. WaterWipes biodegradable, vegan, cruelty free and sensitive baby wet wipes can help on this front, they contain 99.9% water and a drop of grapefruit seed extract, making them the only choice for newborn skin.

And finally, just remember – practice makes perfect and before long, you’ll be changing nappies in your sleep! (No, really… yawn).

The reality of nappy changing is very different to the sanitised version normally shown in adverts or on TV, click here to see our Nappy Changing #Thisisparenthood film.

If you now feel more confident about when and how often to change your newborn baby's nappy, then why not check out our other articles for your newborn on our Parenting Community:

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  1. NHS. Nappy rash. Available at: Last accessed 29th April 2021.

  2. NHS. How to change your baby's nappy. Available at: Last accessed 29th April 2021.

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