Every Diaper an Adventure
So last night my wife and son are sound asleep in bed with the mutts when I finally get done working on the blog and came to bed. All is well for a little bit, despite some rumblings from the mutts, and then it happens. I’m awoken from the edge of sleep as my wife sits up to change the little minion quickly there on the bed in the hopes that a fresh diaper will help him get back to sleep. Unfortunately she decided to forgo one of the cardinal rules of diaper changes, and as Murphy will tell you: the worst will happen when you least expect.
And that’s exactly what happened to my wife.
5 Guidelines for Changing a Diaper
1. Buttons vs Zippers:
This is more a consideration in general. Outfits with buttons are fine and all, but do you really want to spend more unneeded seconds trying to button and re-button their outfit back up (because inevitably at 3am you’re going to forget one somewhere) while they’re screaming their head off and still flailing like a spider monkey? The wise choice would be to invest in outfits that have zippers. Trust me on this one. The only downside to zipper outfits is having to wrestle the one leg into the side of the outfit the zipper doesn’t go down. It never fails that they’ll be kicking like crazy up until the point you need to get them zipped back up, and that’s when they’ll kick those legs down and hold them stiff.
2. Prep for Diaper Surgery:
Every experienced parent will tell you that you have to treat a diaper change like you’re about to perform heart surgery. Wet diaper, one wipe will do. Blown out diaper? You might need half the box of wipes. Either way, you need to have everything ready before you ever open that diaper: wipes set aside individually, clean diaper opened and ready to go, and maybe even another outfit on standby. Once you have everything in place, you’ll slowly unwrap their outfit from them like you’re working a crime scene. Just be sure to grab and ankle and pull their hips up off the changing pad and get a look to see if they’ve expelled anything out the back of the diaper so you aren’t stuck cleaning up more than just the baby.
3. Know your load:
They call it the ‘whiff test’. Those who don’t have kids will gaff at the thought of intentionally bringing a child’s butt up to your nose to sniff out whether they need a change or not. Sometimes you’ll just know from the power of the blast you just felt that there’s probably something wretched down there. But if you weren’t fortunate enough to be holding them and feel it, or they were bouncing like crazed little meth addicts in their bouncer and you couldn’t hear it, then you’ll need to go to the whiff test. These days some diapers have an indicator strip that will tell you if they’re wet (hint: they’re always wet) but those don’t do so good against the old number 2. Knowing what you’re going to be dealing with when you unstrap that little absorbent package of vile will tell you what you need to do before you can triage the thing.
4. Flailing Spidermonkey:
Unless you can use your Jedi mind-powers to get an infant to lay still until you can get a new diaper on them, prepare for them to kick and flail like a little spider monkey all hopped up on Mountain Dew. So control the feet as best you can, otherwise next you’ll be dealing with a heel caked in poo that is now spreading it everywhere. This might not be so bad when they’re a fresh newborn, they’re still too small to get too crazy with their movements. But give it a month or two and you’ll feel like a bond villain strapping them down before explaining your whole evil plan to them.
5. Block the Fire Hose:
Number five, and perhaps the most important, is blocking the fire hose. Once that diaper is unstrapped you need to cover that little super soaker as quick as possible. Whether it’s with a ‘pee guard’ or a wipe, or even just the new diaper. You never know when they have a little more fuel in the tank and right about mid-diaper change is right when they’ll hose you down. My wife learned this the hard way again that night she changed his diaper in bed. She decided in haste not to cover him up, after all he hadn’t let loose the other times she’d done it, why would he now? That little guy let it rip like the bed was on fire and our only hope of survival was his little extinguisher.
Suck it up Jack
When you get initiated into the fraternal order of fathers you can expect to pay your dues in diaper changes for the next year or two. Yeah, it’s gross, and you’ll be hesitant at first. But once you get a dozen or so changes under your belt in that first week or so of being a new parent you’ll be changing diapers like a seasoned pro.