Two girls sitting in a plastic tub



Infants, toddlers, and some preschoolers need diapering. Your teacher in each area has specific diapering instructions you must follow for each child. Cleanliness, health, and safety are the most important components of all these procedures.

For children who are unable to use the toilet consistently, the program makes sure that:

  • For children who require cloth diapers, the diaper has an absorbent inner lining completely contained within an outer covering made of waterproof material that prevents the escape of feces and urine. Both the diaper and the outer covering are changed as a unit.
  • Cloth diapers and clothing that are soiled by urine or feces are immediately placed in a plastic bag (without rinsing or avoidable handling) and sent home that day for laundering.
  • Staff check children for signs that diapers or pull-ups are wet or contain feces (a) at least every two hours when children are awake and (b) when children awaken.
  • Diapers are changed when wet or soiled.
  • Staff change children's diapers or soiled underwear in the designated changing areas and not elsewhere in the facility.
  • Each changing area is separated by a partial wall or is located at least three feet from other areas that children use and is used exclusively for one designated group of children. For kindergartners, the program may use an underclothing changing area designated for and used only by this age group. (This indicator only is an Emerging Practice.)
  • At all times, caregivers have a hand on the child when the child is being changed on an elevated surface.
  • Surfaces used for changing and on which changing materials are placed are not used for other purposes, including temporary placement of other objects, and especially not for any object involved with food or feeding.
  • Containers that hold soiled diapers and diapering materials have a lid that opens and closes tightly by using a hands-free device (e.g., a step can).
  • Containers are kept closed and are not accessible to children.

Staff members whose primary function is preparing food do not change diapers until their food preparation duties are completed for the day.


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