10 Quick and Dirty Diaper Changing Tips
I remember having to change Alex’s diaper the first time at the hospital. I avoided it like the plague, dragging out the time before I have to touch a diaper by asking the nurses to show me how they change diapers so that I wouldn’t have to. For some reason, I was deathly scared of touching the poop, wiping someone else’s butt, and the possibility of getting peed on. How silly of me…
After having two kids, it’s safe to say that I have gotten over my fear of changing diapers. I view myself as the one-woman Nascar pit-crew, tackling different tasks as quickly as possible once that diaper has been opened. Marc is always surprised at the speed at which I change Zoe’s diapers and uses my speed as an excuse to not participate in the dirty task. After asking numerous doctors, nurses, and other mothers, I have gathered 10 tips that would help make changing a baby’s diaper easier!
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1. “Mise en place” – Everything in its place.
I watch a lot of food channel because of my love of cooking, and one of the most important concepts that is prevalent across all the shows is “mise en place,” which means everything in its place in French. A master chef needs to have all his/her required spices, ingredients, and tools all organized and ready prior to cooking. Similarly, you need to make sure that diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, and whatever is necessary to successfully change a baby’s diaper are prepared prior to even putting the baby on the changing table. Run out of wipes during a change? No no no. Having a clean and organized changing area? Oui oui oui.
2. Put a clean diaper underneath the dirty one before you open the dirty diaper.
I remember this one clearly because I learned this on Alex’s first appointment with the pediatrician. If you put a clean diaper underneath the dirty one, even before you take off the dirty diaper, you have the clean diaper right there to block and/or catch any incoming pee or poop attacks. Trust me, do not leave this one up to your lightning reflexes, especially if you have a baby boy.
3. Use the dirty diaper to wipe away as much poop as possible.
Want to save some money on wipes? Before removing the dirty diaper, use it to get rid of as much poop as possible before using any wipes.
4. Roll up the dirty diaper.
Especially if your baby is crying or screaming, it’s tempting to just take the dirty diaper and set it aside and get to the wiping as fast as possible. However, unless you want to end up with the baby’s feet covered in poop from kicking the dirty diaper by accident, or have the carpet ruined when the baby accidentally kick the dirty diaper onto the ground, take 2 seconds to roll up the dirty diaper. You can use the adhesive tabs to re-seal the diaper into a ball and throw it away later. It’s also easier to stuff the dirty diaper into the diaper pail this way and eliminate the risk of you touching any poop in the process.
5. Use bottom wash.
Sometimes it seems like you wipe and you wipe and the poop just refuses to come off the baby’s bottom. The solution? Use California Baby Diaper Area Wash . The moist spray helps get dried, sticky poop and poop stain off the baby’s skin, eliminating the need for using lots of wipes. I do have to caution you that some people claim these sprays may cause your baby some discomfort if your baby has a diaper rash or sensitive skin. I used it for both Alex and Zoe, even when they had a diaper rash, and they never reacted negatively. However, I would test it out on a small area on their bottom before using it.
6. Distract the baby.
One trick I learned from my mother-in-law is putting a toy in your mouth while changing the baby’s diaper. Your two hands are occupied, so use your mouth to shake a rattle, toot a horn, or just dangle a toy to distract the baby. Another idea is to have toys for the baby to play with nearby to keep his/her hands busy, but most of the time the toys are on the ground within seconds. Hence, I keep a small bucket full of teething toys and I just keep handing the baby a new toy as he/she throws the toys off the changing table. This way, after we are done, I gather up the toys on the ground in the bucket and wash them all at once.
7. In the case of a blow-out, pull the onesie down over the baby’s feet.
Ever wonder why there are the envelope folds on a onesie? It’s so that we can pull the onesies down toward the baby’s feet instead of up over their heads in case of blowouts! Especially if your baby has a full head of hair like Zoe, please remember this tip to avoid using poop as hair gel on those baby locks.
8. Make sure the cuffs are facing out.
I have made the grave mistake of accidentally tucking in the cuffs when I put on the new diaper and not taking the time to take them out. The result – a gigantic blowout that covered one of the baby’s legs and feet. I didn’t even bother trying to save the pants on that one.
9. Location, location, location.
At one point, the baby may be moving around too much for you to feel safe doing the diaper change on the changing table. Well, there are no rules about where you change the baby! Take the changing pad and put it on the floor and change the baby there! Or you can (if you dare) change the baby on your bed or on the sofa. A change of scenery might just calm the baby down enough for you to quickly whisk away the dirty diaper and secure the new one. Just remember to never turn away from the baby if you are changing the baby on a high surface.
10. Size matters… and the brand matters.
Babies grow faster than we thought, so we have to constantly make sure that their diapers are fitting correctly. If the diaper is too small, you may see redness around the baby’s thighs or waist. The diaper may also be soaked through easily and leaks often. So why not always go with the bigger size? Unfortunately, if the diaper is too big, there will be gaps around the edges of the diaper that causes leakage. The rule of thumb is that the diaper should reach just below the belly button. If you believe that you have the correct size diapers but still experience leakage, you might want to try a different brand to see if their diapers fit your baby better. We love Honest Company and Bambo diapers!
The last thing we want is to decorate the walls with poop splatters and pee stains. So when it comes to changing diapers, as the saying goes, “Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.” Next time something tickles your nose and waters your eyes, you are ready to battle the dirty diaper.
What are your favorite diaper-changing tips?