Basic Baby Care – Changing a Diaper

This post is part of a 7 day blog series on basic baby care. To read the introduction to the series, click here. 

Parenting is a messy business

You’re going to gain a lot of stories from your new role as a father, and many of those will revolve around your child’s bowel movements. Bowel movements have long been a favorite subject for males and that will only increase once your child is born. Changing a baby sounds easy enough. You put a piece of paper down, undo the diaper, wipe, and put a clean diaper on. If only it was all that simple. If you attend a Lamaze class or something similar, they might give you a doll to practice on. That isn’t a fair comparison. The baby will be squirming and chances are, especially with newborns, something else might fly out as you change them. Here are my suggestions to changing a diaper.

  • Get everything ready before you begin to change the diaper. Wipes, diaper, change pad, and cream if needed.
  • If you are using a changing table, keep one hand firmly on the child as much as possible. They can get a sudden urge to fling themselves to the floor. (A good way to do this is by grabbing both feet with one hand.)
  • Talk to the child while changing them. This is a great bonding experience for you and the baby. Sing, make faces, and talk in silly ways. This can help distract them as you expose them to the cool air.
  • Watch those hands. Their hands will often go right towards the wiping area. Once the hand reaches its destination, gross stuff can get spread to many other areas, including you.
  • If changing a boy, be careful of getting sprayed. I’ve been sprayed so many times it doesn’t even faze me anymore. I wear it like a badge of honor. Okay, that is gross I know. Either aim the boy’s body towards the wall or keep up a hand as a splash guard.
  • If you are changing a girl, remember to wipe from front to back to keep her from getting infections.


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