10 Things You Need To Know If You Never Changed A Diaper
Diaper changing. It’s a sh&tty job, but somebody has to do it!
Growing up on a farm on the East Coast, I had my fair share of run-ins with poop. My family owned a Thoroughbred race farm and I had the luxury of cleaning stalls during my summers home from college. Once I graduated and move to LA I continued the tradition of picking up poo by starting a dog walking company in Santa Monica, CA. It was an amazing job and a sh&tty job (literally.) Fast forward to present time as a dad of three children Kai (19), Juliette (17) and Cole (14). I’ve had my fair share of diaper changing. But despite my experience in poo there were numerous things I never knew about changing a diaper for the first time. So allow me to share some well earned wisdom for those about to take on this tradition for the very first time.
1. Don’t freak out over the alien like discharge your newborn releases the first few times from their butt. It’s called meconium. Meconium is a black, tarry like substance that is actually the result of all the substances ingested by your baby while in your uterus. It’ll scare the hell out of you if you didn’t know about it ahead of time. So consider yourself warned. Meconium is some nasty looking sh&t but don’t stress it’s totally normal. In fact if you find that it’s difficult to wipe off your baby’s bum, take some olive oil on a clean cloth and you’ll soon discover that black stuff disappearing in a heartbeat.
2. Boys are great aimers. There you’ve been warned. I have 2 boys and let me tell you, I pride myself on being a fast diaper changer but my boys were faster at letting loose. Apparently the air hitting your little boys butt creates a reaction to release which unfortunately I’ve been the target of too many times than not. It wasn’t until I discovered the PeePee TeePee that I was able to duck, cover and diaper in a moments notice. Of course, you can always use a washcloth to protect from the golden shower (sorry I couldn’t resist) but the cone shaped cotton Pee Pee Tee Pee are way cuter and a great conversation piece.
3. In all my experience of dealing with poo, never would I ever think I’d say it’s not that bad, but honestly, it’s not. Have you seen the viral video of the dad gagging as he is about to change his baby’s diaper? While it is funny to watch, in real life diaper changing is not that bad. Babies are so cute that the grossness of their excrement is actually not that gross. But for those times that it is just too unbearable you get really good at holding your breath. I think I can hold mine for almost two minutes straight!
4. The three hour rule. For the most part, diapers should be changed every three hours or so. If you end up pushing the three hour mark, you may discover that your precious little one develops diaper rash. Diaper rashes can get pretty nasty if left unattended. There are numerous butt pastes and creams on the market to solve this issue but it’s best to do your part to not let it get to that point period. Chances are you will encounter diaper rash at some time during your diaper changing experience but don’t let it stress you out. It’s all part of the deal.
5. Front to back when it comes to girls. This is important to remember as you do not want to have your daughter end up with a urinary tract infection due to germs. Be sure to check your baby’s folds for any excrement that may be hiding.
6. Diaper explosions will happen! What’s a diaper explosion you may ask? Your worst nightmare! A diaper explosion is occurs when you incorrectly apply the diaper allowing seepage to spread everywhere. It can also occur when your baby has diarrhea. No matter what the cause of the explosion all in all it’s not fun. Numerous times I was graced with a DE when changing my children. Most times I ended up tossing their clothes since they got contaminated from their poo. Other times it’s just not a fun mess to clean up. But no matter what the reason, staying focused is important to get your baby cleaned and poo free. Unfortunately DE’s are unavoidable.
7. Distraction is key to a successful diaper change. Babies are so darn cute but there are times when their stubbornness can put a damper on your diapering. I’ve found that creative distraction works wonders when your little one just can’t seem to lay still when you need to get them cleaned. Don’t be afraid to look and sound silly when changing your baby’s diaper. Your baby’s attention span is limited so the more open and creative you can be, the easier you’ll find changing their diaper will become.
8. Keep all the changing supplies at arms reach when you begin the deed. As you’ll soon discover, your baby may find it difficult to stay still while you change their diaper. So having all the supplies on hand is key. It’s important to note that you never want to leave your baby unattended even for a second especially if they are on a changing table. Keeping wipes, diapers, creams and a trash bag at arms length will help you to achieve your task easily and even more important quickly.
9. Did they pass the two finger rule? When applying the diaper, the test to make sure you got the right fit is to use the two finger rule. If two of your fingers can fit between the applied diaper and your baby’s skin you are good to go. Anything more can result in that DE I explained earlier. Anything tighter can create discomfort. Don’t overthink this too much. Practice makes perfect.
10. Fake it till you make it. Confidence is key when it comes to making a diaper change successful. Believe it or not your baby can sense your energy. If your nervous, chances are he will sense that energy and become uneasy. But if you are calm and collected, your baby will react accordingly. That’s why I believe if you are concerned about your diaper changing skills just fake like you know what you are doing and soon enough you will find that a diaper change becomes second nature. It’s all about how you approach the task while performing it that leads to your success.
These are a few guidelines that will help make a first time diaper change quick and easy. Remember to go easy on yourself. Like the expression goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. A perfect diaper change doesn’t happen overnight. But the more your do, the better you will become. If you take these tips into account soon you’ll find your diaper changing skills promoted to that of excellence. Here’s to your next diaper change. Cheers!