My wife changes most of Iain‘s diapers because she spends the most time with him; however, I get called into duty a couple of times a day; it ain’t pretty.
The smallest diaper you can buy is about the size of a maxi pad1. They have cartoon characters on the front for some idiotic reason (the kid’s two weeks old; he ONLY cares about eating, sleeping, and having someone burp him. I know, it’s more for parents than babies, but still…) and tabs on the side which hold the diaper in place.
If you’ve never seen a new born’s bowel movements, be prepared: at first, it’s like tar. I’m not kidding. After awhile it starts changing colour: black, yellow, green… I haven’t seen brown yet.
You want to change a baby’s diaper as quick as possible to reduce their discomfort: being unwrapped from warm, snuggly pajamas, and wiped with cold hands and cloths is not, I imagine, a pleasant experience; and baby’s can be loud. They also don’t breath when they wail, or at least, to a worried parent it doesn’t seem like they breath.
There are a few things one must do before changing their diaper:
- Have a soft, open space available where you can lay the baby down, with nothing nearby that the baby can grab and or accidently hit itself on (like toys, harmless as they seem: new born babies don’t give a damn about toys).
- Have an open diaper handy.
- Have a moist cloth (preferably warmed) handy.
- Have a zinc oxide cream handy (lid opened, too). I’ve been told to smear this stuff on all around their bum to help prevent a rash there.
- Have a place to put dirty diaper. Floor is not a good place: it WILL get stepped on. Close to baby is not a good place: the baby WILL grab it and try to use it as a blanket.
- Know how to put diaper on. Practice on a doll if you haven’t done it before. I didn’t practice. First, figure out how the tabs work, how it attaches to the baby. It ain’t rocket science. Learn the difference between the front and back. The cartoon characters go on the front. Learn how tight to apply the tabs; they must be tight enough to keep the diaper on; don’t be chicken!
- Learn how to button up the babies pajamas before unbuttoning it.
The most important lesson: NEVER complain about changing the baby’s diaper: it’s the LEAST you, as a dad, can do.
1While searching for how to spell maxi pad (I thought it was hypenated), I stumbled upon Maxi Pad Slippers.