Stoma Care and Pouch Changes for Infants

Changing an infant’s stoma appliance takes time and a gentle approach. Learn the steps for taking care of your infant’s stoma and making pouch changes.


Learn how to change your infant’s stoma appliance.

If your infant has had stoma surgery, it’s vital that you learn the proper steps for pouch changes and stoma care. It’s also important to take your time and proceed slowly. If done gently, your child will not feel any discomfort.

Preparing to change your infant’s pouch

Pouch application is most successful when the child lies quietly at full length, so it may be helpful to have someone to assist you. There are some simple steps you can take before your infant’s pouch change to make it go as smoothly as possible.

First, create a calm atmosphere. You can also relax your infant by making sure that he or she is well-fed and has had a nice, calming bath. Don’t worry – the pouch will not fall off in the water.

Prepare the skin barrier as directed by your stoma care nurse. It is important that the hole in the barrier fits close to the stoma base, leaving little to no skin exposed around the stoma. You may find that warming the skin barrier against your abdomen for a few minutes prior to application will make it more pliable. Warming helps support immediate skin adhesion, even when fitting into skin folds.

Changing your infant’s pouch in 6 steps

Begin by removing the used pouch:

  1. Gently press some cotton gauze against the skin while you carefully remove the barrier. If you’ve given your infant a warm bath, you’ll notice that the barrier is pliable and easy to remove. If you take plenty of time, your child should be comfortable during removal.
  2. Cleanse the skin around the stoma with warm water. Use a soft cotton gauze or wipe, as directed by your stoma care nurse. Remove any adhesive remaining from the old pouch.
  3. Dry the skin thoroughly with a dry cotton gauze or wipe
  4. The skin around your infant’s stoma should be free from sores or redness. If you have concerns, please contact your stoma care nurse for advice.
  5. When you are certain the skin around the stoma is completely dry, apply the new barrier. You may find this step easier with two people, where appropriate.
  6. Ensure that the barrier has good contact to skin the whole way around by gently pressing around the barrier edge, paying particular attention to skin folds and groin area where necessary

Please follow your stoma care nurse’s advice regarding wear time and barrier change regime.

A comforting thought

Remember that if you are thorough and gentle in changing pouches and caring for the stoma, your child will normally not experience any discomfort. Best of all, your infant will soon be actively exploring the world.