Diapering Tips and Tricks
- The biggest tip for diapering newborn boys is to always have a clean washcloth or extra cloth diaper on hand to place over your baby’s penis — otherwise you and everything around you will definitely get sprayed.
- On the same note, expect to get sprayed. It’s inevitable.
- To prevent leakage in those early months of excessive urination, gently point your baby’s penis downward when diapering.
- For newly circumcised newborns, make sure you know how to properly care for the circumcision wound.
- For uncircumcised babies (and children), don’t try to retract and clean under the foreskin. There’s nothing extra you need to do until around puberty.
- Although UTIs are more common in girls, still get in the habit of wiping from front to back.
- Make sure to clean under your baby’s scrotum and inside all his little folds.
- Always wipe from front to back.
- Limit the amount of soap used on the vagina, as it could increase your baby’s risk of a UTI.
- For newborn girls, any discharge-like film in and around the vagina is most likely leftover vernix being secreted out. Don’t try and scrub it away.
- Make sure to spread your baby’s labia and clean inside the folds.
Diapering a Fidgety Baby
As your baby starts to increase in mobility, expect him or her to be increasingly frustrated with being held down for a changing:
- Continue using the buckle on a changing pad and making sure the changing pad is secured down. Always keep one hand on your baby at all times. Never ever leave a squirming baby unattended, even if he or she is buckled in.
- Be as quick as possible. Have everything laid out ahead of time so you’re not fumbling for a diaper or digging for diaper rash ointment.
- Consider placing a distracting mobile or a few hanging toys above your baby’s changing table. If your baby is especially enamored by something, like wind chimes, mirrors or panda bears, decorate the changing area with those objects.
- Hand over anything that you think will hold your baby’s attention for a minute, like a book to flip pages, an empty container to open and shut, or a cell phone to press buttons.
- Keep all diapering products out of your baby’s reach.
- Take the time to really engage your little one by singing, talking and cooing.
Diapering a Fidgety Toddler
- Distractions are key: Give your toddler something to play with, or ask if he or she can help by holding the clean diaper or handing you a wipe.
- Practice changing (urine-only) diapers while he or she is standing, as to not interrupt playtime (and face the wrath of toddlerhood resistance). Even if the diaper is a bit lopsided and loose, it’s quicker to lay your toddler down for a quick readjustment than to fight through the whole process.
- Talk, sing, play and engage. At this point your little one probably has a favorite go-to song, like Itsy Bitsy Spider or Wheels on the Bus.
- In particularly difficult situations, try and enlist the help of Dad or Grandma to help with distracting or pinning them down.
- If all else fails, just hold down your flailing child and get it done quickly.
Diapering in Public
- Don’t assume that public bathrooms will have baby-changing stations (and definitely don’t assume they’ll be clean), so always pack a portable changing pad with you, along with any necessary diapering essentials.
- While at a crowded public venue (like a park, beach or festival) try and be a little discreet when it comes to your child’s feces. Of course you have every right to change your baby’s diaper, but a wide-open, full-load diaper isn’t exactly pleasant to see:or smell.
- When there simply isn’t anywhere convenient or possible to change a diaper, your best option is to head to your car.
Diaper Changes for Squeamish Parents
It’s true that some parents find their baby’s bodily fluids surprisingly inoffensive — but that’s definitely not the case with everyone. For those with a particularly sensitive gag reflex (hey, you’re human), here are some tips to alleviate the stomach curdling and dry heaves:
- Try dabbing a pleasant scent (like peppermint oil, room fragrance, perfume, baby lotion:) under your nose or on your shoulder so you can turn and inhale when you need to. The strong taste of ALTOIDS or other intense mints could help too.
- Definitely invest in a disposable diaper unit that masks and deodorizes the scent of your baby’s dirty diapers. It sure beats having them pile up in the garbage can and then having to take a day’s worth of poop out to the trash.
- Get through diaper changes as fast as you can: Have everything you’ll need ready, then quickly open the diaper and sweep the front of the diaper down, catching the waste as you go. Use the tabs to fold it up tight and quickly dispose of it in an odor-eliminating diaper unit.
- There are not many tips we can give for handling your baby’s vomit, other than hold your breath and barrel through it. Try breathing through your mouth, humming (to distract your mouth and mind from heaving) and focusing your thoughts on anything else other than vomiting.
- Another offensive part of parenting is cleaning up old, crusted food from the car seat. If this bothers you, restrict the types of food allowed in the car (i.e. goldfish, yes; tuna fish, no).
- If all else fails, simply delegate the job to someone else if you can.