New dads, if you’re having any doubts or trepidations about this whole “baby care” thing, there’s a big chance that it has a lot to do with the dirty business. I’m of course referring to changing a diaper. Sure, moms handle these messy situations like pros; they’re naturals at baby care. Dads, however, may require a little training.
There’s always been something funny about the struggle dads endure when changing a diaper. Whether it’s in movies and television shows, or in viral videos like this one, the imagery of dads changing diapers is more comical than common. Well, today we’re going to put an end to this common parenting stereotype!
Not all dads struggle with the basics of baby care. In fact, some are masters! But if you’re having doubts about your diaper changing skills, or simply wish to improve then you owe it to yourself to check out our dad-friendly guide to changing a diaper.
The first thing you need to do is make sure everything you need is within reach. That means that things like wipes, warm water, washcloths, diaper cream, baby powder, fresh diapers, clean clothes, etc. Make sure it’s all right where you need it, dads!
Next, we’ll get to the real work! Make sure your baby is resting on his back on the changing table/station (or wherever you’re handling the business). Unfold your handy clean diaper and lay it to either side. Keep in mind, dads: it may be months before your baby is able to roll over, but you should keep a hand on him at all times when he’s on the changing table. The point of step one was to ensure that you don’t let baby out of your sight for a second!
Before removing the diaper, place another fresh diaper beneath your baby in case of…emergency. Next, begin to remove and the dirty diaper. If you have a baby boy, you may want to utilize that washcloth you have at your side. Place it over his groin area in case he decides he wants to play “target practice”. While removing the soiled diaper, you may want to try our different ways to distract them. Try singing, making silly faces, anything really. Just keep them distracted from the task at hand.
The golden rule of diaper changing comes in handy during this step: wipe from front to back. Another helpful and resourceful tip during this step: use the clean parts of the soiled diaper (if any) to clean up as much of the mess as you can. Depending on the age of your infant, you may encounter meconium. If that’s the case, we’ve got one more helpful tip for this step: warm water and a washcloth or oil and washcloth work equally effective in cleaning meconium. The trick is to experiment and see what you find most effective for you.
Diaper rash occurs when you don;t let the diaper region dry before applying cream and/or strapping baby into a new diaper. Make sure you let baby dry off completely from the cleaning process before you apply diaper cream/ointment and then change the diaper. One trick of the trade is to lightly dry your baby with a clean, dry washcloth to speed the process. Or you can lightly blow on their skin. Also, apply the cream with modesty, dads. No need to go overboard!
Now comes the easy stuff, dads. Lift your baby’s legs and place the unfolded, fresh diaper (that one you’d placed aside earlier in step 1) underneath baby. Pull the front of the diaper between the legs and then fasten. Voila!
Next comes handling and managing the odor and mess that the dirty diaper can produce. Carefully roll up the diaper for tossing it in the waste then thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. Finally, you can look yourself in the mirror and feel proud. You’ve mastered the art of the diaper change, dad!