Diapers, whether wet or dirty, will need to be changed right away to avoid diaper rash and unnecessary discomfort for your baby. Usually, a newborn will need 10-12 diaper changes a day. Diapers may need to be changed every time your baby eats.
To determine if the diaper needs to be changed, put your baby down and peek in the diaper leg opening. Next, gather everything you need before undoing the wet diaper. You will need a clean diaper, diaper pins and plastic pants if using cloth diapers, a change of clothes (if they are wet or dirty from the diaper), a warm, wet wash cloth, a small towel, and something on which to lay the baby (like another bigger towel or a waterproof changing pad). Once you start the changing process, DO NOT leave your baby!
Place the baby face up on the changing surface and keep one hand on the baby at all times. With your free hand, remove the tabs or pins of the dirty diaper. Pull the front of the diaper off to expose the front of the privates, or genitals, and thoroughly cleanse the vagina, underneath the scrotum, and the leg creases or skin folds. DO NOT try to make the foreskin on the penis retract if your baby boy has not been circumcised--just wash it with a clean area on the washcloth. Next, grasp the baby's ankles with one hand, lift the baby's bottom off the dirty diaper, and fold the front of the diaper onto the back of the diaper. Finish cleansing the buttocks. Always wipe from the cleanest area, the genitals, to the dirtiest area, the rectum. After cleaning, gently dry the baby off. Lift baby by the ankles again and slide the new, clean diaper under his bottom and fasten it. After this is completed, don't forget to wash your hands, using a scrubbing motion, with soap and warm water so as to prevent the transfer of germs.