How to Change a Sleeping Baby's Diaper?

By Shannon Wakeland
A sleeping baby.
A sleeping baby.

A newborn baby may use eight to 10 diapers per day. It is important that parents change these diapers to help prevent diaper rash. A diaper may occasionally need changing while the baby is sleeping. Most parents may not want to wake a sleeping baby. Luckily, changing a diaper while he is peacefully resting is possible. Being prepared and following a few techniques may enable a parent to change a sleeping baby’s diaper without waking him.

Gather supplies needed to change the baby’s diaper. Instead of searching for a specific item during the actual changing, prepare ahead of time. Place diapers, ointment and wipes next to the changing area for a fast and easy grab. Be sure to rinse a few wipes ahead of time under warm water to prevent startling the baby with a sudden cold wipe.

Gently turn the sleeping baby onto her back. This may make it easier to change the diaper while the baby is sleeping. If the baby is sleeping on her stomach, consider rolling her on to the side first and letting the baby adjust to the new position. Once she is on her side and still sleeping soundly, tenderly position the baby on to her back.

Quickly lift the sleeping baby’s legs and place a clean diaper underneath the soiled diaper. Place a dry cloth over the lower half of a boy’s body as a sudden need to urinate may occur. Remove the soiled diaper, roll it up and place it nearby. Use warm cloths and gently clean the baby. Apply ointment if needed.

Bring the front part of the diaper between the baby’s legs and use the adhesive strips to fasten the diaper. Be careful: Do not stick the adhesive tape to the baby’s skin. This may cause the baby to wake. Removing the adhesive tape can be painful and it may be difficult to get the baby back to sleep if he wakes.

Fold down the waistline of the diaper if the newborn baby’s umbilical cord has not yet fallen off. Although it is important to finish the diaper-changing task, it is equally important that the diaper does not snag a loose cord. Situate the clothing back to its normal state without causing too much of a fuss.

Cover the baby with a light blanket if need be. It may be a good idea to play soft music or gently pat the baby to sooth back into a deep sleep. Lift and secure any crib railings. Be sure to pick up the soiled diaper and dispose of it properly.

Tip

Wash and dry your hands before changing a baby's diaper. Use a night light instead of turning on a lamp while changing a sleeping baby's diaper.

Warning

A baby may easily roll off of a changing table or bed. Be sure to keep a gentle hand on the baby at all times.