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What to expect

Changing nappies is something that most new mums and dads are a bit worried about. The idea of cleaning up poo from a wriggly, little baby while you take off the dirty nappy and put on the clean one can seem pretty impossible. The good news is that newborn baby poo doesn’t smell too bad and by the time they’re on the move (and their poo gets smellier!) you will be really quick and good at it.

Should I use baby wipes?

With a newborn baby, it’s really important that you keep everything as simple as possible. Warm water and cotton wool are the best things to use in the first weeks.

If you do decide to use wipes, wait until after the first few weeks because baby skin is very delicate and you don’t want to set up any allergies. If you choose to move on to wipes, it’s best to start with ones that are non-perfumed and alcohol free.

How do I clean my baby girl’s bottom?

With little girls, when you’re changing a nappy, wipe from the front to the back to prevent any infection from her bottom spreading towards the vaginal area.

How do I clean my baby boy’s bottom?

With little boys, it’s really important to make sure that you get into all the little cracks and creases. Don’t be worried about picking up his penis and moving it out of the way, or lifting the testicles to make sure that you get underneath and everything is clean. If you have to clean a boy’s penis, you should never force the foreskin back. Always be gentle.

Which way should my baby’s penis point when I put on his nappy?

The other thing to remember when you’re changing a little boy’s nappy is that you should point the penis down towards the six o’clock position when you do the nappy up. If it’s pointing up to 12 o’clock, he’ll wee upwards – out of his nappy and all over his clothes. If you point his penis to three o’clock or nine o’clock, a similar thing can happen.

Nooks and creases

Make sure that all of the areas are clean, particularly the creases on your baby’s legs as well. Lift up their bottom to check their back to make sure that nothing’s crept out of the top of their nappy too.

Do I need to use a nappy cream?

Some people think that using a barrier cream can help prevent nappy rash. If you are using a barrier cream, make sure you use one that has no preservatives or additives and is perfume-free. Just a thin, light layer is enough.

How can I stop my baby boy weeing on me when I change his nappy?

The other thing to think about with little boys is that all babies tend to want to wee when you take their nappies off. With little girls, their wee will just flow on to the changing table, but with little boys, they wee into the air – which means you can get a bit wet! That said, they do tend to give you a little bit of a warning first as his little penis might stand to attention. Sometimes there’s no warning though and you might want to have a muslin cloth or something handy just to cover it in case.


  • Wipe girls from front to back.
  • Don’t force back the foreskin on boys.
  • Double check your baby’s back is really clean.

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