Does it scare you to think you will probably have to change diapers in the near future? When I say probably, I don’t mean probably at all. I mean most likely. And by most likely, I mean definitely. You will be changing diapers on the reg in a few short months if you are an expecting dad, or you are already waist deep in baby poop right now. But don’t fret – changing diapers isn’t that bad. Except for when it is.
As a new dad, there really isn’t a whole lot for you to contribute. Basically all you have done up to this point is provide some essential genetic information via sperm. The rest your wife has done. Even birthing the thing is all on her shoulders (or hips rather). Afterwards, you probably won’t be very involved in feeding it. Or clothing it (unless that’s your thing – I’m not judging). Indirectly, you are sheltering it, unless your wife wears the daddy pants and brings home the bacon (again, not judging). She will most likely take care of bathing it and putting lotion on it and manicuring the nails and fixing the hair (if there is any), etc. etc. Hell, she will basically hold it 95% of the time and leave you one chore and one chore alone.
Changing the diaper.
I bet you thought you would never change a diaper. I bet you put your foot down and said ‘I’ll never change a poopy diaper.’ You might still think that, even after the baby is born. That’s fine. I did.
But what the hell are you going to do? How are you going to contribute to raising this child of yours? Sure, you can take your son fishing or hunting or to sporting events or teach him to be a man, yada yada yada. Or if you are having a girl you can take her fishing and hunting and to sporting events and teach her how to be a woman (notice how fishing, hunting, and sports will teach a boy to be a man and a girl to be a woman). But what will you contribute for the first – say – year? Your wife has pretty much everything else covered.
You know what I say? Embrace it. That’s right. Embrace the diaper. Think about it – we kind of got off easy on this one. We don’t have to carry a baby inside us for 9 months while dealing with the crazy hormones. We don’t have to birth the thing, which to me seems like a mix between taking a baby sized deuce and torture, with lots of blood and screaming. Once the baby is born, we don’t really have to be responsible for keeping the thing alive, since your wife will be all over that. To me, changing diapers seems kind of ‘easy’ compared to those things.
So I say embrace the title of ‘diaper changer.’ Become a diaper changing pro. I can tell you one thing right now – I change a better diaper than my wife. Hands down. Everything about the change is better, the speed, the efficiency, the quality of the new diaper’s placement. Everything down to the butt cream application. I am the diaper master. And I’m not knocking my wife’s diaper changing skills, because she can change a mean diaper. But I’m just better. The funny thing is she is OK with me being better. I guess that has something to do with making me feel like I am contributing. Or that she doesn’t want to do it.
Do you need to practice before the baby comes? Hell no. If someone else gives you their baby to ‘practice on,’ politely refuse that job. Trust me, you will get plenty of practice once it comes. No need to practice on someone else’s baby.
Below are 10 tips to help you become the diaper changing master.
10 Diaper Changing Tips
#1 – get a changing table. This table will become your workbench, if you will. It will organize all the different tools for changing a wet or soiled diaper in a jiffy. Make sure the table can strap your baby in, you don’t want it to roll off while you are reaching for a new pack of wipes (once again, no judging if it happens).
#2 – establish a routine. I am all about routines, whether it’s bed time, meal time, or diaper changing time. I lay my baby on the table a certain way, remove the onesie and hold the legs/hands a certain way, and have the wipes, new diaper, butt cream all in a certain place. Your baby will get used to ‘the routine,’ and eventually it will ‘assume the position’ for you.
#3 – prep the new diaper before you change the old one. This is a no-brainer for me, but my wife never does this. It is why I am so much faster. Unfold the new diaper, pull all the side creases out and lay it flat under your baby’s old diaper (unless it was a blowout). When you remove the old one, your baby is already on top of the clean one.
#4 – what if you are on the road? This is tricky. My wife organizes (or doesn’t organize) the diaper bag, so finding what I need can be a challenge. It’s all about prepping your space before you dive in. Simulate your changing table on the ground, bed, couch, public bathroom, or wherever you are. This will increase your speed and efficiency and will keep you from scrambling to hold onto your baby while digging for whatever.
#5 – keep your baby occupied. Kicking legs and wandering hands make for an unefficient and unpleasant diaper changing experience. Give them a toy to play with. My daughter likes this Winnie the Pooh book, which is totally appropriate in this situation.
#6 – time yourself. Since you are making this your domain, become the pro. Time yourself like it’s a 40 time. Under a minute is pretty good. Under 30 seconds is approaching pro territory. But don’t cut corners. Remember ‘quality over speed.’ If you can do a 30 second change while applying butt cream and making sure the diaper provides full coverage, without leaving any shat behind, you truly are a master.
Diaper Genie Essentials Diaper Disposal Pail
#7 – proper disposal. Wet diapers are OK going into the regular trash. Soiled diapers are a big no-no. Get a Diaper Genie or take them immediately outside. Proper diaper disposal is just as important as proper wiping technique.
#8 – wiping technique. Speaking of wiping technique, I can wipe clean a pretty bad pooh with one wipe. Sometimes it gets dicey and I’ll go with two. But for the most part, it’s all about where you start and how you fold. You want to get the most mileage out of each wipe, so get full coverage on one side before folding. Then fold in half, then in half, and keep going until it’s all clean or you run out. Also, remember that for girls, you always wipe AWAY from the front. Front to back. Front to back. Get all the cracks.
#9 – butt cream. When is it necessary? It depends on your baby’s skin. Mine has awesome skin. It is never dry. I rarely put it on. If it is red, or if she has been sitting in pooh for a while, it is a good idea to apply a little bit. If the rash doesn’t go away after a while, it might be a fungus (yeast infection). A little athlete’s foot cream or Vagisil (sorry, I hate that word) will do the trick, but consult your pediatrician.
#10 – wipes for wet only? This is a good question, and is a toss-up I think. If it is what I call a ‘heavy pee diaper,’ or if it is so completely saturated that any more might come leaking out, I say a quick all over wipe is a good hygiene practice. Otherwise, I usually don’t. Bonus tip – you don’t have to change the wet ones right away. Let them fill up a bit. Our daughter sleeps almost all night without a new diaper (as long as she doesn’t soil it).
Blow Outs – A Bad Day
There is no mincing words about blow outs. They are a bad day all around, for you, your baby, your washing machine, everybody. I once went in to get my daughter in the morning and there was poop everywhere. In her hair, in her hands and in between her fingers, smeared on her cheeks and lips, all over her onesie, covering the sheets and her teddy bear. About the only place there wasn’t a ton of pooh was inside her freaking diaper. It was a bad day all around. In those situations, you might use up an entire pack of wipes and still leave some feces behind. When this happens to you, and it will, just strip your baby down and take them into the shower. Or give your naked and stinking baby to your wife to shower with while you take all the sheets, onesies, diaper, and teddy bear to the dumpster.
On a related note, your baby might decide to finish what they started while their diaper is off. This is especially true with little boys, as the cooler air ‘activates’ their little fire hoses into full throttle. Don’t panic. Quickly cover up the eruption and minimize the damage. It doesn’t have to be just number one. My daughter routinely blasted poop once her diaper was off. Cover and minimize the damage. These events will slow down your efficiency, but they happen. Good luck –
Which tips from above do you use while changing diapers? What’s your speed? Let me know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!