University of Illinois Extension

Diapering &Toileting


When caring for a baby, you will get to change a diaper. Make sure to change the diaper regularly or as the need arises.

To change a baby's diaper:

  • Gather all necessary items (Examples: clean diaper, wipes, baby powder, clean clothes, and diaper rash ointment).
  • Put the baby on the changing table or other flat surface. Fasten the child with the safety restraint if there is one. If not, stay with the baby at all times.
  • Remove the dirty diaper.
  • Lift the baby's hips off the changing surface by holding the baby by the ankles with one finger inserted in between them. If the baby has a messy diaper, wipe his bottom with the corner of the diaper. Wipe girls front to back.
  • What Would You Do?Clean with a damp cloth or wipes. Make sure to clean all creases and genitals.
  • Apply lotion or powder sparingly.
  • Lift baby's hips off the changing table and slide the clean diaper under the baby's bottom.
  • Pull the diaper between the legs and pin or tape into place. If using pins, place your hand between the diaper and the baby's skin to prevent accidently sticking the child.
  • Put the baby in a safe place and put the dirty diaper in the correct container. If the baby is wearing cloth diapers and the baby had a bowel movement, be sure to dump it into the toilet and flush before putting the diaper in the container.


Young children who have recently been toilet trained, still need your help in using the toilet. They may need help in undressing, wiping, washing hands and dressing again. They might also want you to stay with them when they are using the toilet.

Be prepared to help with toileting needs.