Tips and Tricks: Diaper Changing
Most new moms fantasize about feeding their babies, some probably have had dreams about bathing them, but nobody in their right mind has ever thought “I can’t wait to wrestle an eight pound poop machine into some clothe pants”. Diaper changing is something that separates the moms from the aunts and good friends. Sure they might pitch in and change a diaper here and there but you’re the mom. You change the ones nobody volunteers for. Like when you only have 5 minutes and one hand because you’re late for an appointment and just made your coffee, after ice cream, or at three thirty in the morning when your baby’s colon is somehow more awake than you are. Those are the diapers nobody wants to change. If you haven’t realized already, as a new mom, these are the diapers you’ll be changing. Don’t worry there will be plenty of regular diapers for you to change as well. Follow these tips and you’re kids will be in underwear before you know it.
First – Do Not Skimp On Diapers
There are some areas where it is okay and even encouraged to buy off brand or opt for the cheaper version to save money. Diapers are not one of those times. Yes, clothe is cheaper. This is not about what type of diaper to buy but to make sure to get the best version of whatever fabric you choose. Think about what a diaper’s job is. This thing that may or may not have a picture of a rainbow and some ducks is responsible for keeping the one thing about your baby you have no interest in dealing with until you absolutely have to take under control. It also has to be comfortable to wear while it’s doing that very important job. Not something you want the knock-off version of. Think of it this way, when you got your car ready for your baby, you bought a car seat and maybe a few things to keep them occupied on long drives. The car seat was your highest priority and if you needed to cut costs, you looked at the less essential items before opting for a cheaper car seat. When dressing your baby, the diaper is like your car seat. Would you rather deal with a leaky diaper or a ripped t-shirt? Diaper rash or sock rash? My thoughts exactly. The first step to mastering diaper changing is to buy the best diapers you can.
Second – Remember the 4 Hour Rule And Eventually Use It As A Guideline
I have no idea where this came from but back when I was a new mom, a wise person told me that a newborn shouldn’t stay in their diaper for more than 4 hours. I’m in no way suggesting you should change a diaper that isn’t dirty. I’m saying that no newborn I’ve ever met keeps their diaper clean more than 4 hours. You can expect every feeding to result in a changing for the first few weeks of any baby’s life and by the time they master holding it in, they’ve discovered moving around and a whole new bunch of ways to get their diapers wet, dirty, or otherwise in need of changing. This brings us back to the four-hour rule because when a diaper needs changing, you should do so right away. Keeping it on longer risks irritating your baby’s skin, the diaper breaking, and the dreaded diaper leakage. Knowing that it takes roughly four hours for a diaper to get dirty, be it from internal or external causes, will help you plan your diaper supply, changing schedule, and let’s face it, the rest of your life.
Not Every Diaper Change Is the Same: Understand the Stakes and Do Your Best
Changing your baby is stressful, intimate, beautiful, and disgusting all at once. New moms will inevitably get frustrated with changing diapers but will secretly miss it once their child grows up. Your going to have to change a lot of diapers so the best way to make it through it is to understand what kind of a change each situation calls for. You should always do a proper job, making sure the baby is clean and comfortable with a well fitting diaper but there are 3 distinct type of diaper changes every parent will get familiar with.
- Daytime Casual Diaper Change
This is the most common, you’re at home or someplace you’re comfortable in and the baby has to go. You go to the change room and get to work. Since diaper changing really is an amazing one on one bonding time, this is a great time to be a fun parent. Make funny faces and play with your child as much as possible. It will make things more enjoyable for both of you. Pro tip, make sure to wipe really well especially when you can take advantage of the time and space to do a good job and remember to cover up little boys because for the first couple months they’ll reward a diaper change with a shower.
- Nighttime Diaper Change
Changing diapers at night is a completely different animal than during the day. For the record, I’m talking about night time for the baby, anytime they’ve already been put to bed counts as ‘night’ for diaper changes, even if it’s still light outside. Here you want to make as little eye contact as possible and even go completely silent or full diaper ninja. This is so your baby actually goes back to sleep after the diaper change. Like I said before, changing diapers is a potentially amazing time to bond with your kid but there is a time and place for fun and games. You need them to get back to sleep as soon as possible so riling them up after they’ve likely been wide awake crying for a diaper change is not a good idea. This is why it’s important to keep an organized changing station so during night time diaper changes, you can get to it, get things done, and get out. My husband calls these two diaper changing rules the reverse mullet model: all party in the front (daytime) and all business in the back (nighttime). That’s why I’m blogging.
- The Public Emergency
Every parent’s fear. The kind of story you’ll inevitably laugh about later but will be dreadful when you’re actually going through it. Anyone with children who take them out in public inevitably experiences their child going to the bathroom in public. It’s never as easy to clean up as it is at home but it’s often more important since you’re obviously out of the house for a reason beside an impromptu tour of the grocery store’s bathroom. With the public emergency, you’ll need to borrow elements from the daytime and nighttime diaper changes. Be the fun outgoing diaper changer you are during the day at home. If your child is cranky in public, you’ll instinctively start running through your cheer up don’t cry anymore arsenal anyway. If not, you’ll need to be energetic to keep them from freaking out, after all their pants are down in an unfamiliar place and the last thing you need is a freak out. Use the nighttime diaper changing stealth approach and get your baby clean and comfortably changed as fast as you can. Don’t be a perfectionist, obviously remove anything that caused the change in the first place but the diaper needs to be secure not exactly lined up like it is on the box. The important thing is that even if the most eventful thing that happens on your trip is changing a diaper, it shouldn’t stop you from doing what you set out to do. Another pro tip, if you find yourself having a lot of public emergency style diaper changes, you might be taking your baby to places that are less than diaper friendly.