10 Steps to Change a Diaper in a Child Care Setting

Diaper changing table

Children in child care are more likely to share germs because they are in close contact. Child care providers can prevent the spread of germs and reduce the chance of illness by changing diapers correctly. Follow these 10 steps for safe, healthy diaper changing in child care.

Important reminder: NEVER leave an infant unattended on a changing table. Check to make sure you have all the supplies you need before bringing the child to the changing table.

10 Steps to Change a Diaper in Child Care

  1. Prepare for the diaper change. Collect supplies needed (clean diaper, wipes, plastic bags, latex gloves, and clean clothes) and place them near –- but not on –- the diapering table. Cover the table with a disposable covering, such as nonporous paper. Put on disposable latex gloves before picking up the child. Place the child on the covered surface, and always keep a hand on her.
  2. Remove clothing and unfasten the diaper. Place soiled clothing in a plastic bag to send home. Unfasten the diaper, but leave the soiled diaper under the child.
  3. Clean the diaper area. Clean the child thoroughly with disposable wipes. Wipe front to back. Be sure to clean all creases and cracks in the child’s skin. Roll up the soiled diaper with used wipes inside and dispose in a lined, covered trash can.
  4. Remove gloves Remove gloves by grabbing one glove from the middle and pulling it off, then pulling the cuff of the other glove by sliding your hand inside the cuff and pulling it down toward your fingertips. Turn the second glove inside out over the first glove as you take it off. Avoid touching the glove surface with your bare hands. Dispose of gloves.
  5. Wipe your hands and the child’s hands. Use separate wipes for yourself and the child. Dispose of wipes.
  6. Put on the clean diaper. Use facial or toilet tissue to apply any necessary diaper creams. Fasten the diaper securely, and dress the child.
  7. Wash the child’s hands with soap and warm running water. Encourage the child to help with hand washing as soon as he or she shows interest. If the child is too young to wash her own hands, place soap on the child’s hands and rub them together, then rinse well and dry.
  8. Return the child to the play area without touching anything else. Do not hand the child a toy or touch any equipment. Remember that your hands still have not been washed.
  9. Clean and disinfect the diaper table. Clean the surface with a spray bottle of soap and water, rinse, and wipe with a paper towel. Disinfect the diapering area with a bleach and water solution. Allow the solution to stay on the surface at least two minutes, then wipe dry with a paper towel or allow the surface to air dry.
  10. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm, running water. Record the child’s diaper change on the daily record sheet to give to parents. If you are changing several children’s diapers in a row, be sure to wash your hands and disinfect the diaper table after each diaper change.

For More Information

To learn more about keeping children healthy and safe in child care, check out the following eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care articles:

Photo by Diane Bales / CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/