newborn baby

Diaper Changing 101

by Sarah Stockett |

newborn babyUntil I had children, I had never changed a diaper in my life. Even for the brief time that I worked as a babysitter, I never changed a diaper. Truthfully, the idea of changing diapers gave me anxiety. Because of the TV shows and movies that I watched, I was convinced that each diaper change was a potential dousing of excrement.

Luckily, this proved to be untrue! In my time with two boys, I’ve changed many diapers and lived to tell the tale. Although my tips are written about my experience with my boys, they will work just as well for girls. Here’s my guide on how to change diapers and come out unsoiled.

Be smart

It’s true–every time you change a diaper, you have the potential of getting yourself covered in waste, so be smart. I used a changing table with both of my boys, and I had it set up so my boys would be length-wise. This directional decision is important because it could mean the difference between having to clean the floor versus having to clean yourself.

Be prepared

You’re going to get rid of a diaper, so have a clean one ready to go. Take the time to completely unfold the diaper before you start taking off the dirty diaper. This can be a very important step because you can use the clean diaper as a shield of sorts.

As you unfasten the dirty diaper and lift the front part, place the open clean diaper on top. This will block any sprays that may happen. My philosophy is that I’d rather use two diapers on a diaper change than get sprayed in the face with urine.

Get to know your child’s potty trends

Both of my boys were very different. The first one would start to spray a stream of urine as soon as he was exposed to air, and the second one had no reaction to exposure. Also, the oldest would work on pooping for a while, and the second one was more of a one and done kind of guy.

So, for my oldest, I developed a diaper changing protocol.

The diaper changing protocol for child #1

  1. Check the diaper to tell if he’s just wet or if he’s also pooped. If he pooped, I normally gave him another five minutes or so to ensure that he finished his business. I would also sometimes reduce the odds of a mess by bending his knees up to his chest.
  2. Once you decide you’re ready to go, get the new diaper ready.
  3. Open the diaper to expose him to air, then tuck his penis back down and cover him while he pees again. (For him, I didn’t bother putting the second diaper up as a shield because he peed again every time I changed him.)
  4. Once again, bend his knees toward his chest while he’s still loosely covered.
  5. If he was just wet, get the clean diaper situated beneath him then remove the wet diaper. If he had also pooped, use the front flap of the dirty diaper to wipe the area.
  6. Use wipes to clean the area. Place dirty wipes on the dirty diaper.
  7. Once the area is clean, apply any necessary ointments. Close and secure the new diaper.
  8. Before you worry about your child’s clothes, fold your dirty diaper into a ball and use the tabs to securely contain all of the dirty contents. I can about guarantee you that if you don’t get this sealed up after you secure the diaper, your child will get his or her foot in the mess.
  9. Dispose of the diaper.
  10. Get the clothes back on.

The diaper changing protocol for child #2

For the second boy, diaper changes were quite a bit different. He rarely peed when you lifted his diaper and exposed him to air, and he didn’t take a long time to poop. Because of that, his changing protocol looked more like this:

  1. Check the diaper to tell if he’s just wet or if he’s also pooped.
  2. Get the new diaper ready.
  3. If he was just wet, get the clean diaper situated beneath him then remove the wet diaper. If he had also pooped, use the front flap of the dirty diaper to wipe the area.
  4. Use wipes to clean the area. Place dirty wipes on the dirty diaper.
  5. Once the area is clean, apply any necessary ointments. Close and secure the new diaper.
  6. Fold the diaper in to a ball, and use the tabs to seal it.
  7. Dispose of the diaper.
  8. Get clothes back on your child.

Don’t rush

There is no prize for finishing first. Take your time and make good decisions. Thinking about what you’re doing while you do it could be what makes the difference between a mess on the floor and a mandatory shower for you.

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Sarah Stockett
After graduating from TCU with a degree in English, I took a break from writing. After accumulating some life experiences and children, I returned because I finally had something to say. I'm passionate about helping people be their best. Whether it's giving advice for success in parenting or information about how to improve your personal health, my top priority is to give you the best information possible.

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