Professor's House

The Art Of Changing A Diaper

Changing a diaper is a skill that must be perfected by repetition. Thank goodness you’ll have to do it a couple thousand times before your child decides to use the toilet instead of soiling himself. Moms and Dads change diapers in a decidedly different fashion from each other and end up developing their own style. I’m not saying one parent usually does a better job than the other, but Moms usually tend to do a better job than Dads in this department. Your husband may be a soldier or a firefighter, but nothing reduces a man to a squeamish coward like being faced with the task of changing a dirty diaper.

There are different challenges to diaper-changing at each stage of a baby’s development. When they are newborns you are too enamored and exhausted to be repulsed by your baby’s waste products. In fact, you may be proud of your child’s achievements and track their output on a chart. I was never one of those moms. I just kind of hoped everything would work out in that area. Literally.

Once your kid starts to eat solid foods, things get a whole lot messier down there. A rainbow of different textures presents itself with every change. Perhaps you’ll be surprised to see some undigested lunch or a non-edible object present in the diaper. Now you’ll realize how important it is to vacuum regularly when you have a curious baby who wants to put every little thing in his mouth.

Toddler excrement is just revolting. The volume and frequency of their offerings can be shocking for someone so small. You’ll be thankful your child is so cute and says such funny things, because otherwise, the diaper thing could be a deal-breaker at this stage. What’s worse, some kids have no interest in potty-training, so your stubborn child may be well into her fourth year of life before she is ready to use the big girl toilet. Of course this is just hypothetical and I’m not speaking from experience at all…little imp.

One situation you never want to find yourself in is having to change an abominable diaper sans a supply of wipes in the house. This has happened to me more than once. You’d think I would have learned my lesson and located the wipes BEFORE attempting the diaper change, but no. My very squirmy, impatient kid is already laying on the floor waiting for the new diaper I insisted she wear while I’m running around like a headless chicken looking the fool. Some wet paper towels usually save the day…unless we’re out of those too, then it’s bath time at three in the afternoon!

My least favorite part of parenting is the unexpected blowouts that only happen while I’m shopping with the baby. I love shopping and enter a store like it’s some magical world ready for my discovery. With baby on my hip I start to sort through the merchandise. Suddenly, a familiar and awful smell catches my attention and if it was just contained in the baby’s diaper I’d be just fine. However, not only will I be purchasing a new outfit for baby but also for myself…wait a minute…unexpected blowouts that only happen while I’m shopping are actually my favorite part of parenting!

Another diaper changing challenge is a fidgety baby who somehow has the strength of a grown man. By the time you’re finished with the diaper change, you’re both covered with stuff along with the surface your baby is lying on. Some babies just hate having their diapers changed but even more, hate having a soiled diaper. These difficult tots can really try a Mom’s patience.

Not being very patient by nature, but being very frugal, I like to buy the cheapo store-brand diapers. These are the ones emblazoned with the lesser cartoon characters whose agents can only get them work lending their image to the bobo brands. This is a gamble at best. Sometimes you hit the jackpot and the generic ones you bought are just as good if not better than the name brands. Other times, you’ve got yourself a box of duds. You’ll be spending the next few weeks cursing your thrifty ways as the diapers leak and the tabs rip off before you can even fasten them. Thank goodness for duct tape.

Another cheap move I make is to buy one size of diapers for both my diapered children. One weighs 17 pounds and the other is about 30 pounds, so I buy a size in between what they should be wearing. Now my husband is quick to point out that I’m still using the same amount of diapers as I would if I bought two sizes, but the trick is that you get more diapers in a box for the same price if you get the smaller size. Most of the time I do this simply because I can only manage to pick up and place in the cart one cumbersome box while holding my surgically-attached-to-my-hip baby.

In today’s “green” society, there is a constant debate about whether one should use disposable diapers or cloth diapers. I will honestly admit that I am not woman enough to use cloth diapers. Yes, I am just too lazy to go through the hassle of cleaning them. Environmental Protection Agency – come handcuff me and lock me up, I surrender. I promise I’ll sign up to conserve some acreage in a rainforest or adopt a polar bear.

This brings us to the subject of disposal. People spend a lot of money on special canisters specifically for this purpose. In my opinion, they don’t really work. Their function is to quell the stench, but I must have the nose of a bloodhound, because nothing can mask that odor. Air fresheners don’t help either…they just make it smell like you changed a flower’s diaper. Now I simply put the offending object in a plastic grocery store bag, tie it up, and put it in the kitchen trash. Chalk me up with another environmental offense.

Well diapers are a sad, but requisite part of life when you have a baby. Try not to think about them too much. Change them in the same spirit that you do your taxes, out of duty, and do it with a smile on your face. After all, your kid may end up changing your diapers in your later years.

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