Changing a diaper sounds easy in theory. Remove soiled diaper, clean any mess, apply rash cream, affix new diaper. Presto! If only it was that simple. Diapering challenges change and evolve as baby grows. Here is what you can expect with your little one and some hints on making diapering a bit easier.
Stage 1 – When you bring baby home the most difficult part of changing a diaper is trying to avoid the umbilical cord stump. There are brands of diapers that have a little notch cut out to avoid this area but honestly, I found the cut out was inadequate and still had to fold the diaper down.
Baby may cry during a diaper change because it is cold but other than that, the squirm factor is pretty close to 0. The surprise factor is a full on 10 though. What do I mean by surprise factor? Well, newborns can projectile pee and poop like nothing you have ever seen before. When Baby J was first home, my husband made the mistake of standing at the end of the changing table, about 2 feet away from baby. All of the sudden I see Baby J lift his legs and projectile poop onto my husband’s shorts. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen and I couldn’t help but laugh at the horrified look on my husband’s face (although it would’ve been even funnier if it wasn’t 2:00 am).
One last tip: urine eats through paint like no one’s business. If baby pees on the wall behind the changing table (and if you have a boy, he will) wipe it down with water and make sure it is clean as soon as possible. Repainting your baseboards while being sleep deprived could have disastrous results, so try to avoid this outcome. Also, try to keep the business end of baby covered with a diaper at all times. Cloth diapers are great for this, regardless of what type of diaper you are using. They are heavy, absorbent, and will keep you out of the spray zone.
Stage 2 – The changing table is an exciting place for some newborns. When Baby J was still very young, I used to lay him on the changing table and he would laugh and giggle the entire time. It was literally his favorite place to be. Use this to your advantage. If you have to use the nasal aspirator, do it with them on the changing table because they likely won’t mind it as much. If baby is miserable and crying, place baby on the changing table and just sit there with them. Sometimes this is all it takes to make them happy (for awhile anyways).
Stage 3 – The leak monster. Around 4 or 5 months old, Baby J was eating A LOT, which meant a lot of dirty diapers. The problem however was he would pee the most overnight and no diaper could contain him. We always made sure to change him at every feeding overnight to try to minimize the chance of overflow but it still happened almost every night for 3 months (no, I’m not kidding).
Make life easier and set out multiple changes of clothes for overnight. Also, lay a waterproof changing mat between the sheet and mattress pad in the crib. This way all you have to do if baby wets the bed, is change the sheet and mat, not the whole bed.
Stage 4 – Baby can now roll, sit up, and is active which makes changing time a nightmare. Baby J constantly fights having his diaper changed by arching his back, sitting up, trying to roll all around, and just generally voicing his unhappiness. The only thing you can do at this stage is try to distract them long enough to change them. This is not easy, but try to keep a few toys (preferably ones that are washable) near the changing station to keep them occupied. Also, be aware that they like to grab at everything. This includes the diaper and its contents! Be as fast as possible when changing baby at this stage because the longer you take, the worse it will get.
Changing diapers is never fun and rarely easy, but these tips are here to help. Just keep in mind that one day your little one will be potty trained and this will all be behind you!
Stephanie grew up, and currently lives, in Upstate New York. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business and a Minor in Computer Science. After college she married her high school sweetheart and settled into life in her hometown. A number of years later, Baby J came along and completed their happy family. After working for over 7 years in Tax and Information Technology, Stephanie is enjoying spending time with her infant after being recently downsized.
While Baby J takes up a lot of time, Stephanie enjoys cooking and gardening whenever she gets a spare moment. She also loves to travel and looks forward to all the adventures ahead with her family.
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