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Nappy changing: 8 tips we wish we knew about from day one



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Created on Apr 11, 2024 · 8 mins read
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In those initial finding-your-feet years of parenting, every day can feel like your first go at it. Just when you think you’ve tracked it down within grasp, any hope of mastery slips right through your fingers again. Especially when it comes to the art of nappy changing.

It’s the most evasive of parenting skills. No matter how much you practise and speculate on the exact science behind it, the messy reality of a nappy change feels pretty much impossible to escape.

But as you start making nappy-talk a casual conversation with your friends, become an expert on every different form of poo (and what it means), and embrace the nappy changing chaos a bit – some pieces start to fall into place. That’s when you find out things you wish you knew from day one. 

1. Fold out the nappy flaps

There are lots of moving parts to change your baby’s nappy, so it’s no wonder that many of us miss some handy steps. Like folding out the nappy flaps. These are the little ruffles that sit on the edge of nappies. They might look unassuming, but the flaps keep the nappy watertight to lock everything in. 

For a leak-free little one, the flaps need to be outside so that the gross stuff stays inside and you can dodge a dirty nappy.

2. Point the doodle down

Any parent of a little boy knows that changing nappies can be particularly treacherous (depending on their aim). Which leaves you wondering how on earth things managed to get more chaotic. 

But the other boy-specific obstacle is tackling leaking nappies. If their doodle is facing upwards, the nappy is much less absorbent and tends to start leaking through the sides. 

Point it downwards by placing a baby wipe on top (like the CUB biodegradable baby wipes) when you’re changing your baby’s nappy to keep him clean and comfy. 


3. The choice of nappy matters

This should be no surprise, but the choice of nappy plays a big role in the success of the dirty nappy change. You want something that’s gentle on your baby, protective against leaks, and makes nappy changes simple. 

The CUB nappy range, exclusive to Coles, features a soft, comfy cover with a superabsorbent core that keeps your little one nice and dry. These nappies won the 2023 Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers award for disposable nappies, 

They have a time-to-change wetness indicator, where the line that changes from yellow to blue when wet. This lets you gauge the nappy’s content status without needing to open it up (how good’s that?). The CUB nappies come in 6 different sizes, ranging from newborn through to junior. 

Plus, the gentle elastic leg guards shield against any escaping mess, while the stretchy waistband makes for a snug and secure fit – because no one needs a loose nappy. 

4. Take your changing kit on-the-go

Think you’ve got enough nappies in your car? Wrong. 

Whatever you reckon a sane amount of nappies is to take on the go, add an extra five on top of that. Disaster can strike anytime, anywhere, and with any amount of mess. The CUB nappies range comes in packs of up to 56, so you can armour yourself fully. 

That means stocking up on nappies in the car, bringing a travel-friendly changing mat, and having a stash of baby wipes handy.  Again, CUB’s got you covered here with a generous 480 of their fragrance-free or lightly scented biodegradable baby wipes* that ensure you’ll never run out. Make these easy to access so that when the moment comes, you can handle it like a parenting pro and tackle those dirty nappies.

5. In case of blowout, pull clothes top-down

We can’t talk about nappy changes without bringing up the dreaded calamity that is nappy blowouts (or as they’re more affectionately known, poo explosions). Though we’d all like to pretend they don’t exist and just block out the memories, ignorance isn’t quite as blissful in this case. 

What actually does help is the envelope shoulders on baby onesies.

Have you ever wondered what those cute folded flaps are on your child’s clothes? They’re designed to help pull your baby’s onesie down their legs, instead of over their head. That way, when their clothes have fallen victim to a nappy blowout, you can pull them off while keeping a safe distance from your little one’s precious head.

6. Improv is everything

Nappy changes are all about the ability to think on your feet. Before you know it, you’ll have made emergency changing stations from the boot of a car, the pram, the airplane bathroom, and, if you’re so unlucky, the beach (expect to find sand in your house for the next week). Not ideal spots to deal with a dirty nappy.

This tip is a bit more of a mental one, but equally important for those “what now” moments. 

Embrace the improvisation and the unexpectedness, because there’s plenty more where that came from. Prepare as best you can with what you have, but make peace with the fact that things will very rarely go to plan. That’s part of the fun! 

And at the very least, it makes for great stories. 

7. Find the playfulness

As much as we love a rant about having to change your baby’s nappy, it’s not all disaster and tears (theirs and yours). If you think about it, these are devoted windows of time with your little one to connect and give them some love. Because you’re not the only one who struggles with a nappy change – it’s not that fun for them either. Hence why they make it as difficult as possible. 

By bringing play and bonding into your baby’s nappy changes, this process can be more enjoyable and easy for the both of you. 

You can try: 

  • Explaining what you’re doing in a soft voice to include them. 
  • Singing songs and nursery rhymes
  • Blowing tummy raspberries, tickling, and playing

As long as it gets your little one grinning, you’re doing it right.

8. For nappy creams - a little goes a long way

If your baby’s skin is slightly red or irritated, whether from nappy rash or just sensitivity, the temptation to lather them up in nappy creams can be strong.

Don’t get us wrong – nappy cream is a total saviour for sensitive baby skin. But the mistake many parents make is that they go in a bit hard and end up with a particularly slippery nappy change. It can also lower the nappy’s absorbency when layered too thick.

So the lesson is that a little goes a long way. Use your pinky finger to gradually distribute the cream and avoid things getting even messier.

Wrapping it up

Even as you navigate the unpredictable and pretty unsavoury world of nappy changes, it’ll get easier with time. With every impromptu emergency clean up, nappy explosion, and cry for baby wipes, your parenting skills are honing in and taking it in their stride. 

Hopefully these tips can spare you from some of the dirty nappy pain, but if nothing else, let it be a reminder that you’re not alone and every parent around you has been there before.


  • How do you handle nappy changes in public restrooms and other less-than-ideal situations?
    Having to make a nappy change with limited space and resources is all about preparation. That’s why it’s best to overcompensate!You often need to be prepared with a portable changing mat and extra supplies like wipes and diapers. Plus, needing to improvise changing stations using available surfaces like the top of a toilet seat or a clean area of the floor.Additionally, practicing good hygiene practices, such as using disposable gloves or hand sanitizers, can keep the whole operation safe.
  • What are some strategies for tackling nappy rash?
    Nappy rashes can be spotted when your baby’s skin is swollen in their nappy area, or if they have white pimples around their bottom and skin folds. It can often happen when your baby’s spending too much time in dirty nappies, or if their nappy or clothing is rubbing against their skin.More frequent nappy changing is key to preventing nappy rash, as well as using a thick barrier cream when you change your baby’s nappy. The barrier cream stops the moisture from your baby’s nappy contents sitting on their skin and softens any friction.
  • How do you know a nappy isn’t right for your child, and how can you find a good alternative?
    Finding the right choice for your baby’s nappy involves factors such as comfort, absorbency, and skin sensitivity. Signs that a nappy might not be suitable for a baby include frequent leaks, skin irritation, or discomfort during wear. Parents can navigate finding the right brand or type of nappy by experimenting with different options and paying attention to their child’s reaction. Seeking recommendations from other parents or consulting with pediatricians can also provide valuable insights into

 *CUB biodegradable wipes are tested according to ASTM  D5511 to biodegrade in standard landfill conditions. 

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