How to Put On an Adult Diaper

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
06/08/17  10:28 AM PST
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How to Change an Adult Diaper – Five Steps

Putting an adult diaper on someone else can be a little tricky – especially if you are new to the process. Depending on the wearer’s mobility, diapers can be changed while the person is standing, sitting, or lying down. For caregivers new to changing adult diapers, it may be easiest to start with your loved one lying down. Staying calm and respectful will help keep this a positive, low-stress experience.

If your loved one is wearing a diaper that needs to be changed first, read about how to remove an adult diaper here.

Step 1: Fold the Diaper

After washing your hands, fold the diaper in on itself long-ways. Keep the diaper backing facing outwards. Do not touch the inside of the diaper to avoid contamination. This is especially important if the wearer has a rash, open bedsore or damaged skin. Gloves may be worn during this process if you prefer.Changing Adult Diaper Step 1

Step 2: Move the Wearer into a Side Position

Position the wearer on his or her side. Gently place the diaper between his or her legs, with the larger diaper backside facing the buttocks. Fan out the rear end so it fully covers the buttocks.

Changing adult diaper step 2


Step 3: Move the Wearer onto his/her Back

Have the wearer roll onto his or her back, moving slowly to keep the diaper smooth and flat. Fan out the front of the diaper, just as you did with the back. Make sure the diaper is not scrunched up between the legs.Changing adult diaper step 3

Step 4: Secure the Tabs on the Diaper

Once the diaper is in a good position, secure the adhesive tabs. Bottom tabs should be fastened at an upward angle to cup the buttocks; top tabs should be fastened at a downward angle to secure the waist. Make sure the fit is snug, but also make sure the wearer is still comfortable.

Changing adult diaper step 4


Step 5: Adjust the Edges for Comfort and to Prevent Leaks

Run your finger around the elastic leg and groin area, making sure all ruffles are facing outward and the leg seal is secure. This will help to prevent leaks. Ask the wearer if he or she is comfortable and make any needed adjustments.

Changing adult diaper step 5

Learn more about skin care products that help protect the skin beneath the diaper here.

5 key points to remember:

  1. Make sure to choose the correct diaper size.
  2. Make sure all ruffles and elastics are facing outward, away from the inner thigh crease.
  3. Fasten both top tabs at a downward angle to secure the product at the waist area.
  4. Fasten both bottom tabs at an upward angle to cup the buttocks.
  5. If both tabs overlap across the stomach area, consider a smaller size.

Note: Do not flush incontinence products down the toilet.

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Graphics courtesy of Abena.

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  1. Thank you. I’ve pretty much gotten beyond putting on an adult diaper.
    Now it’s a matter of the right diaper for my needs.
    I’ve simplified things, overnight diapers all the time. They keep things dry. Especially my clothing.
    I have tried several different day time diapers, with much the same results. An inopportune leak at an inopportune moment.
    Overnight diapers don’t leak as often during the day but I feel they are noticeable in public. Suggestions?

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