How To Change Diaper For Baby Girl

If you place the soles of your baby’s feet together and gently flex their legs up toward their tummies while holding their feet together, you will have easy access to clean the area around their diaper. Remove the used diaper from your child’s reach as quickly as possible. After the baby has been changed in a secure environment, you can then clean it up.

Dads who welcome a baby girl often find themselves venturing into the unfamiliar territory of cleaning their daughter’s genitals when they change their nappy.

No need to baulk at the task, though. Baby girl genitals are super easy to care for and simple to keep clean and comfortable. Here’s how …

Nappy change time

Before beginning to change your daughter’s diaper, you need to make certain that you have everything you need at the ready.

This requires the use of wipes that are mild and safe for babies, a fresh diaper, possibly new clothing, a place to store used wipes, such as a nappy sack or bag, and nappy cream.

If you do not have access to a changing table or a changing pad, you can change your child on the floor using a clean towel or even a clean change pad.

Make sure that your hands and eyes are always on your infant throughout the entire time. Because infants can roll over or lose their balance in an instant, maintaining focus is essential.

By separating the front tabs, the dirty or wet diaper can be easily removed.

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Now let’s get to the bits we need to clean. Hold your baby’s feet together (sole to sole) and gently flex their legs up towards their tummy, this will allow you easy access to clean the nappy area.

Quickly pop the used nappy out of reach of your baby. You can tidy it up once the baby is safely changed.

Pro tip: Stinky situation? Try mouth breathing only if you are a bit squeamish or sensitive to smells.

Grab a couple of wipes and clean your baby up. Just do a general once over concentrating on the back and bottom first. Then pop your baby back down on your clean change mat or towel.

Now begin a more detailed tidy up of the genital area and surrounds.

Nappy change dad

How to wipe and clean your baby girl’s genitals

Baby girls must be wiped from front to back, so that you aren’t wiping bacteria from their bottom into their sensitive genital area (where it might enter the vagina or urethra and cause an infection.)

Baby girls should also be wiped very gently and quickly from the inside to the outside of the genital area. This is especially important if there is poop on her genitals. You want to keep bacteria away from the vulva (the exterior genitals) and vagina. There is no need to dig around in there though. Just a swift and careful tidy up of the bits you can see and removal of traces of pee and any poop is all that is required.

Pro tip: If your baby has very sensitive or has sore-looking skin, you can use cotton balls dipped in warm water for this part of the process instead of baby wipes.

Lightly pat dry (don’t wipe) with a clean face washer or tissue to avoid nappy rash. You can also let your baby air dry and distract them with some fun games for a minute or two, if you prefer.

Be sure to wipe out the folds of the thigh and the tops of the thighs, where moisture can accumulate. If left to its own devices babies can get very sore in those hidden folds. Again, dry them lightly – patting not wiping.

Apply any nappy cream or baby barrier creams to the clean, dry skin. 

Then pop on a new nappy and get your baby dressed.

Honestly? It sounds like a lot, but once you’ve done it a couple of times it becomes second nature.

Nappy change

Normal vaginal discharge in baby girls

If you notice a white-ish discharge on your baby girl’s genitals, fear not. This is a normal discharge and you don’t need to try and remove it.

If your newborn daughter has a blood-tinged discharge in the first few weeks after birth, fear not. This is also normal and is caused by the maternal hormones still in your baby’s system. It will go away by itself.

If you are concerned about a discharge see your GP or maternal child health nurse for advice.

When to change your baby

The Royal Children’s Hospital explains that every baby is different, and babies will often poop or wet their nappy during or just after a feed.

If your baby often has a wet or poopy nappy after a feed, to avoid the disturbance of having to change their nappy twice, it would be better to change your baby after the feed.

If your baby has reflux, they may vomit if they are moved too much with a full tummy, so you might like to change them before a feed.

Most experienced parents go for the ‘sniff test’ or have a feel of the nappy from the outside or consult indicators on nappies to alert them to when their baby needs to be changed.

Important to remember…

A girl’s urinary system is internal and not as well protected as a boy’s. For this reason, girls are more prone to infection than boys. Girls also require more frequent cleaning and more careful wiping to keep the risk of infection at bay. 

While baby powder is considered good to keep the moisture levels down, it can be a hazard if too much is used.

When a girl’s diaper becomes soiled, it is best to clean it as soon as possible, which means right away. This is to prevent infection, irritation, and a larger mess from a leaky diaper (or from the poop traveling down the bottom and up the back of the baby). When changing the diaper, it is best to hold onto the baby girl’s legs by the feet and ankle so that she can easily be lifted and moved for the diaper change.

Check out the How-to Guide for Newborns

How to wipe properly

Wiping is especially important and must be done with greater care than with a boy. Wipe the baby girl’s bottom away from the genitals.  E. coli grows much easier in a baby girl’s urinary tract than a boy’s because her urinary track is warmer, darker, and moister. Make sure to remove all fecal matter and urinary residue every single time.

What about baby powder?

While baby powder is considered good to keep the moisture levels down, it can be a hazard if too much is used and can cause an infection. Be sure to apply the diaper firmly but gently so that the diaper does not fall off, but not too tight that it can cut off circulation to the baby’s growing body. It is very important to check that the diaper is fitted properly before letting the baby go play, and be sure to frequently check the diaper for any messes that may be made in the diaper after the change.

How Do You Clean A Baby Girl’s Private Area?

Image result for how to change diaper for baby girl

To clean your baby’s labia, wet a cotton ball with warm water, separate your baby’s legs, and use the cotton ball to wipe in between the labia. This will clean your baby’s labia. Beginning at the front, wipe in a circular motion backwards. If you need to wipe something more than once, use a fresh cotton ball each time. Pat your baby’s genital area dry with a plush towel using a gentle patting motion.

Should You Change Baby Before Or After Feeding

Changing your baby’s diaper after each feeding as well as before and after naps and approximately every 2 hours while they are awake is a good rule of thumb to follow. When your child is a newborn, it is important to keep a record of the number of diapers that are both dirty and wet on a daily basis.

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