How to Change Baby Diapers: A Step-by-Step Survival Guide for Dads
Are you man enough for this task?
Diaper changing is not for the faint of heart. I say this because I’ve seen grown men gag and throw up at the sight of baby poop. Some cringe with just the smell of the baby excrements. Well, this article is call to all dads and dads-to-be to suck it up and face the truth. Your baby will poop, and diapers need to be changed.
You can rely on your wife or the nanny, but the skill comes in handy when you’re alone with your little one. Moreover, by doing this task, you lighten the load for your wife. So give your wife a break and take on this challenge.
Let’s take the stink out of changing nappies!
How to Change Baby Diapers
Have everything you need within reach. I usually open up the new diaper ready for use.
Note: My wife has a changing bag with everything needed in it. This beats having to fumble with stuff every time we need to change our baby’s diaper. This also ensures that everything we need is available.
Here are the things that you need: changing pad, new diaper, plastic bag for the soled diaper, cotton or gauze pad for wiping the baby, baby wipes ( don’t use wipes with alcohol, they can irritate your baby’s skin), anti-rash cream, petroleum jelly.
Wash your hands and sanitize. You should also remove your ring, bracelets or any accessories that may scrape your child’s skin. It is also a good idea to warm your hands first before you touch your baby. Cold hands can be uncomfortable for them.
Place your baby on the changing table or bed.
Note: Changing tables have straps to secure your baby so use it. For those who do have changing tables, your bed or any flat surface is good enough. Just make sure you put a blanket or towel underneath your baby to make it comfortable. Likewise, ensure that there is ample space for the baby.
Unstrap the dirty diaper and fold the flaps so it does not stick to your baby’s skin. Some diapers don’t use sticky tape but it is still a good idea to fold it back.
Fold down the top part of the dirty diaper. This will expose the baby poop. Some poop may still be sticking to your baby’s skin so scoop them off with the top part of the used diaper or you can use a damp cotton/cloth to do this. If the skin is sensitive, you can use sterile gauze. Make sure you clean the whole area.
Note: To avoid infections, use a top to bottom motion when cleaning the genital area - especially when the baby is a girl. Also, change cotton or gauze frequently.
Remove the soiled diaper underneath the baby and replace it with a new one. Some suggest placing the new diaper underneath the baby even before you unfasten and clean the baby. But it does not really work for me. You can try it if you want. Tell me how it goes.
Note: place the soiled diaper away from your baby’s reach. I’ve had numerous incidences I don't wish to share. Suffice to say, they were not pretty.
Before securing the new diaper, make sure your baby is dry. Also, this is the time to put on anti-rash cream, ointments or petroleum jelly or whatever your doctor recommends. Once done, fasten the straps of the new diaper.
Note: Make sure that the diaper is not too tight or too loose. Also, the right size of diaper should always be used. Lastly, the weight recommendation on the diaper's label is just a guide. There are times when you need to experiment on the best size for your baby.
Sanitize your hands before picking up your baby. It is essential that you keep your hands and surroundings clean.
Congratulations, you just changed your baby’s diaper. Now, get ready to do this 6 to 8 times a day. Don't worry, as your child grows, the need to change diapers becomes less frequent.
Tips for Dads
- Change the baby’s diaper frequently. Some diapers are more absorbent that others. Moreover, some can last longer and keep your baby dry. In spite of the advertised claim of the diaper brand don't max out the capacity of the diaper.
- You don't need to wait for your baby to poop before changing diapers. Of course it is more economical if you do that, but prolonged used of urine-drenched diaper is not good.
- Know the schedule of your baby so you can anticipate diaper changes.
- Have a toy ready for your child to play with while changing diapers. A mobile or some other toy can redirect the baby’s attention.
- Be quick but thorough. The faster you get the poop off your baby, the better.
- Stock pile diapers at home. Newborns need more changing than older babies.
- Check the diaper often.
- Choose quality diapers. Some diapers leak because of poor material. Others have loose fibers that can cause infections.
- Always have extra plastic bags to place your used diapers when you go out.
- Dispose used diapers properly.
Diaper changing is bonding time with your baby. Of course, the poop can be a turn off but spending quality time knows no limitations.
Perhaps the first few tries will still make you squeamish. However, as you change more nappies, the easier it becomes. Likewise, you will find your own technique and the best way for you to accomplish this.
I've done it and I'm sure all dads out there can do it as well. It's one activity every dad should experience. When you experience changing your baby's nappies, you'll never look at baby poop the same way again.