How to change diapers without getting cream on your hands

Amazon: A+D Original Ointment, Diaper Rash and All-Purpose Skincare Formula 1 lb I would say at least twenty-four hours of my life has been spent getting diaper cream off my hands. (Amy, where were you seven years ago?):

I didn't even realize this was a hack until my husband saw me do it and was impressed (and to be honest, I may have read it on your blog – who knows?).  [Nope — you get full credit for this one. — Ed.]

Rather than putting diaper rash cream on my hands and making a gigantic, sticky mess, I squirt it onto a wipe and wipe it on.  I still wash my hands when I'm done, of course, but at least I'm not standing there for 10 minutes trying to get A&D out from under my nails!  Who has time for that?

Related: Put a toothpaste squeeze-it on the diaper cream tube 

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  1. says

    Not having that Desitin smell for the rest of the day (thank you, molecularly bonding fish oil)- priceless!


  2. Serena says

    We stopped using the smelly stuff entirely – Aquaphor works really really well and is odorless.

  3. DaddyDanny says

    Once the new diaper is under my son I just squirt the diaper cream onto the diaper in the approximate place where it will match up with the bum, then I use the diaper as the applicator.

  4. says

    I’m with DaddyDanny on this one. After 8 kids, I learned that it just makes sense to put it where it will end up anyway. No waste, and no cream under the fingernails.

  5. says

    I’m with DaddyDanny on this one. After 8 kids, I learned that it just makes sense to put it where it will end up anyway. No waste, and no cream under the fingernails.

  6. says

    That whoosh you hear is ten thousand parents exhaling as they think “now why didn’t I think of that?”

    Great tip!

  7. Victoria says

    I’ll use a wipe in a pich, but i just keep a box of kleenex by the changing table and cotton rounds in the diaper bag for application. Wrap up the tissue or cotton in the diaper once done, and toss the whole thing.
    The bum is supposed to be dry when you apply the cream, so a wet wipe isn’t ideal IMO. Definitely don’t like putting my fingers where there’s just been poop either.

  8. mamajud says

    diaper cream under the nails?……yuck. I always used to put it on my finger’s knuckle and wiped the extra on inside of the new diaper.

  9. Shauna says

    Some of the diaper creams have ingredients that I am allergic to, so I started keeping a box of latex gloves on a high shelf near the changing table and then just disposing the gloves after the diaper change.

  10. Adela says

    I use a spray-on diaper creme that I keep in my diaper bag and use mostly when I am out. It is not as great as A&D but definitely the better option when I don’t want gunk on my fingers.

  11. jennyg says


    You could use cloth diapers, and never need to use any cream at all. We use fuzzibunz- the fleece keeps her dry, and we have never one time needed to use any sort of barrier cream, going on 13 months now. Easy!

  12. Latia says

    I put it on a q-tip and paste it on the bum.
    But the wipe version seems so much more efficient…No more buying q-tips!

  13. says

    I still don’t understand why people consistently use diaper cream. We only use it if we have a breakout (which is rare); instead we slather on Vaseline (or Unpetroleum Jelly when we’re in teh US and can get it) at each change. Tons cheaper, it’s clear (so if you get it on clothes it doesn’t show), and not medicated. I don’t know, just all the meds being put on feels weird to me.

  14. carolann's mom says

    I learned early on to squirt the ointment directly onto the diaper (and sometimes even prep diapers for the diaper bag before we go out so that I don’t have to fumble with any tubes with a squirmy 17 month old in a public restroom). My daycare guru, Tami, squirts it onto the diaper and then wipes the cream onto the cleam bum (using the new diaper, thus eliminating more wipe waste) in the strategic location and then puts the diaper on, which is also a genius solution, IMO.

  15. says

    I’m another that doesn’t understand why people use expensive barrier creams.

    My tip: skip the expensive creams and use an age-old midwive’s favourite: olive oil. From the first meconium diaper till the very last pullup, a little olive oil sprayed on the but from a small spray bottle (re-used travel size hairspray bottle, perhaps) works better than all the rest. No perfumes of any kind, great for skin, works better to prevent sticking of bms than vaseline and moisturizes, too.

  16. says

    Am I the only person in the world who has *never* used cream on my kid’s bum? Orion’s twenty months old now and proper drying of the whole area before putting the nappy back on has always sufficed.

  17. Adriana says

    Thank you for the olive oil tip, mamaloo. I am trying to go as all natural as possible with my little guys, and this tip sounds perfect!

  18. Georgia says

    LOL! I never thought anyone was actually using their fingers to do this. We just have a big tub of Aquaphor and a bunch of craft/popsicle sticks.

  19. matthew says

    Late to the party on this one, but I just wanted to add a word of defense for us cream-usin’ parents. I’m generally anti-product and anti-chemical and I’ve been given all the anti-commercialism label one can toss at a 12-year vegan, but my pasty-white 15 month old has had a blushing bum under his (awesome) fuzzi bunz no matter what we do since day 1.

    I have the sincerest envy for those of you blessed with healthy-skinned babies and I’m very glad for you to have avoided “product” but it is unavoidable for some of us. We use as little as possible (only in response, rarely in prevention) but we have an arsenal of creams (some homemade) each custom-tailored to the most recent bloom. I bite the bullet and just use my finger, but the good news is that I’ve stopped chewing my nails!

    Each rugrat is unique in every way and that extends to a wide-array of bum sensitivities.

    happy diapering!

  20. Darcy says

    I have exclusively used Aquaphor with both of my kids, but only when it looks as if they are starting to get irritated. PRESTO!!! It is usually gone at the next diaper change. While my daughter was in the NICU they used Aquaphor and if some of the kids got diaper rash they would use Buttpaste. My husband and I are probably over changers with our kids to prevent diaper rash, sometimes hourly. I know daycare centers only change diapers every 2-3 hours which I think is too long between fresh diapers especially if you have a child with sensitive skin. My daughter had a rash once from changing diaper brands and my son has had it once when she had the flu, so I know we are either blessed or my technique work for their skin.

  21. Michael Barton says

    Butt Paste is great, and we only apply it on a breakout – nice and soothing, unlike the stinging/burning of Desitin!

  22. says

    I recall rarely needing diaper cream when I used cloth diapers on my kids, too! (UBCPFs w/Bumkins covers)
    Although my toddler had pretty sensitive skin & my baby (at the time – they’re 7 & 8 now!) got yeast rashes occasionally, so there were a few times…
    Anyhow, I used the tissue-wrapped-finger method to apply cream, when I needed it.