Let’s face it: diaper duty stinks! See what I did there? All dad jokes aside though, changing a stinky diaper isn’t the most glamorous part of daddy doody (I can’t help myself!). However, there are a few tips and tricks that make this less than pleasant task a bit more bearable.
I was a bit concerned about my ability to do this before I actually tried the first time. As an only child who had no nearby relatives with young children, I had virtually no exposure to diapers or diaper duty. I found myself googling “How to change a baby’s diaper”, “How to change diapers”, “How to change a boys diaper” (once we knew that we were having a boy), and any number of other phrases to prepare myself. However, like most websites today, it was either poor content, ad-heavy click-through sites, or had a dialogue similar to the way that women talk to each other. I decided to write an article with the information that we as dads need to survive, distilled down to its pure, unadulterated form.
Note: This article was written for baby boys.
To change a baby’s diaper, you’ll want a changing table, diapers (obviously), baby wipes, a trash can, baby powder (especially in the summer months when it gets humid), a strong stomach, and a cold drink. I prefer to keep all the supplies on the shelf underneath the top-level of the changing table for easy access (except for the drinks).
1.) Get the new diaper out, open it, and position it at the bottom (the side of the table your baby’s feet will be on) of the changing table. Make sure the wings with the adhesive are towards the top, and the belly side of the diaper is towards the bottom (this will save you time and frustration later).
2.) Make sure your wipes are nearby, open, and that you have one fed through the top, ready to go! Nothing puts a damper on your day than having to pick up a baby with a poopy butt because you forgot to have wipes ready after you’ve already stripped your kid.
3.) Place your baby on his back and remove his pants. Once you get some time off the bench, you can just pull them down around his ankles (however, if it’s a particularly messy one, or you’re not adept at this task yet, I’d highly recommend taking his pants all the way off to avoid getting any poop on them).
4.) Unfasten the old diaper. If it’s just a number one, you can proceed to step 8: if it’s a number two, proceed to step five. If you have a strong stomach, and your nose works, you’ll already know which of the two you’re working with.
5.) Hold your baby’s feet together with one hand and in a smooth downward motion, use the belly side of the old diaper to wipe as much poop off in as few strokes as possible. Don’t move the old diaper yet! Just let it sit there for the time being.
6.) Grab some wipes and clean your baby. Pay special attention to the folds of skin of his crotch, his thighs, and his scrotum (behind the scrotum is a particular place I find poop likes to hide). Whether your baby is circumcised ot not, grab a fresh wipe to gently clean the area under the foreskin. Put the used wipes into the old diaper that he’s still laying on.
7.) Slide the whole poop package out from under him. Roll it up with the used wipes and use the adhesive strips (the back) to seal it off and throw it away. The hard part is over!
8.) Pick your baby up and slide him onto the new diaper. Grab some baby powder and give those cheeks a dusting.
9.) Fasten the new diaper and put your kid’s pants back on (nothing irritates me more than a kid running around in a shirt and diaper)!
10.) Enjoy the cold beverage of your choosing, and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
It’s worth noting that this is an ideal scenario, and accidents can and do happen. At some point, you’re going to get poop on your hand. Other times, your kid’s going to have a “blowout”; the term we use when they poop so much that it literally comes out of /the diaper. It’s not uncommon for blowouts to occur during the night hours, leaving you with a nice surprise to walk into first thing in the morning. There’s always the chance that your little one isn’t feeling particularly cooperative, and he’ll kick or reach under himself to grab the diaper, gleefully yelling “Poopy!!!”I could tell you horror stories that would keep you awake at night, but I’ll save that for another time. It’s important to remember that, like all things that seem like burdens with respect to child rearing, there will come a time when your services are no longer needed. Believe it or not, you’ll actually miss these times. I try to remind myself of this when my sons seem to be trying to kill me with poop.
Until next time, carry on fellow fathers.