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6.4 Nappy changing

Policy statement

No child is excluded from participating in our setting who may, for any reason, not yet be toilet trained and who may still be wearing nappies or equivalent. We work with parents towards toilet training, unless there are medical or other developmental reasons why this may not be appropriate at the time.

We make necessary adjustments to out bathroom provision and hygiene practice in order to accommodate children are not yet toilet trained.

We see toilet training as a self-care that children have the opportunity to learn with the full support and non-judgemental concerns of adults.


  • Key persons have a list of personalised changing times for the young children in their care who are in nappies or 'pull ups'.

  • Young children from two years should wear 'pull ups' or other types of trainer pants as soon as they are comfortable with this and their parents agree.

  • Key persons undertake changing young children in their key groups; back up key persons change them if the key person is absent.

  • Changing areas are warm and there are safe areas to lay young children if they need to have their bottoms cleaned.

  • Each young child has their own basket to hand with their nappies or 'pull ups' and changing wipes.

  • Gloves and aprons are put on before changing starts and the area is prepared. Paper towel is put down on the changing mat freshly for each child.

  • All staff are familiar with the hygiene procedures and carry these out when changing nappies.

  • In addition, key persons ensure that nappy changing is relaxed and a time to promote independence in young children.

  • Young children are encouraged to take an interest in using the toilet; they may just want to sit on it and talk with a friend who is also using the toilet.

  • They should be encouraged to wash their hands and have soap and towels to hand. They should be allowed time for some play as they explore the water and soap.

  • Anti-bacterial hand wash liquid or soap should not be used for young children; young skin is quite delicate and anti-bacterial products kill off certain good bacteria that children need to develop their own natural resistance to infection.

  • Key persons are gentle when changing; they avoid pulling faces and making negative comments about 'nappy contents'.

  • Key persons do not make inappropriate comments about children's genitals when changing nappies.

  • Older children access the toilet when they have the need to and are encouraged to be independent.

  • Nappies and 'pull ups' are disposed of hygienically. Any soil (faeces) in nappies is flushed down the toilet and the nappy or pull up is bagged and put in the bin. Cloth nappies, trainer pants and ordinary pants that have been wet or soiled are rinsed and bagged for the parent to take home.

  • We have a 'duty of care' towards children's personal needs. If children are left in wet or soiled nappies/pull ups in the setting this may constitute neglect and will be a disciplinary matter.

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