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Scoop on Poop: How to Change a Diaper in 8 Easy Steps (Plus, a Giveaway!)

Diaper changing: one of the messiest and most dreaded tasks of new parenthood. While many of you may be seasoned veterans in this department, moms and dads new to the world of baby wipes and diaper rashes may not know the best way to actually change a dirty diaper. Enter Erin Bried. In her new book, How to Rock Your Baby: A Heartwarming, Back-to-Basics, Happy Baby Guide, Bried shares parent-tested baby care tips on everything from how to swaddle a baby to the best ways to scoop poop.

Check out her 8-step tutorial for changing a diaper, and find out how you can win your own copy of her new book, after the jump!

How to change a diaper:

Step 1: Gather your supplies. You’ll need a new diaper, some wipes, and petroleum jelly or ointment, if necessary.

Step 2: Find a good spot. Lay the baby down on a clean, flat surface, and talk to her. Just because you’re doing dirty work doesn’t mean it’s not a great time to bond. Besides, it’s much easier changing the diaper of a calm baby than a crying baby.

Step 3: Assess the situation. Unfasten the dirty diaper and take a peek at what happened inside.

Step 4: Free her up. Gently lift up the baby’s bottom by carefully grasping both of her ankles with one hand. Then fold the diaper in half, so the clean outside of the front is directly under her tush. Once she’s in the clear, lower her down.

Step 5: Clean her up. Using a clean, moist wipe, wash the baby’s bottom. Wipe girls from front to back to prevent infection. (Wipe boys all over.) Once she’s clean, toss the dirty diaper and wipes.

Step 6: Lift her up once more, same way, and slide a new diaper underneath, making sure the sticky tabs are behind her, facing up.

Step 7: Apply petroleum jelly if her bottom looks A-OK. It acts as a barrier to help prevent irritation. If her bottom looks red, or if she has diaper rash, apply ointment or cream.

Step 8: Fasten the diaper by folding the front half toward her belly. Then, open the tabs on the bottom and affix them to the front. The diaper should be snug but not tight.

More diaper changing tips:

“Both of my kids were squirmy kids, so I’d sing ‘Rock- a-bye Baby’ to them, every time I changed them. That helped.” —Christine Samuel

• Often, the cool air on a baby’s bum will trigger her tinkler system, so work quickly.

• Never leave your baby unattended on a changing table, and always keep one hand on her so she doesn’t roll off.

• If the baby still has an umbilical cord, fold the front of the diaper down, so it’s not pressing on the cord.

• Keep a toy nearby to entertain and distract your baby.

• If you’re changing a boy, wear swimming goggles, or better yet, keep a clean washcloth handy to avoid accidental spurts. Also, point his wee down before closing the diaper, so he’ll stay dry.

Excerpted with permission from How to Rock Your Baby: A Heartwarming, Back-to-Basics, Happy Baby Guide by Erin Bried. Copyright © 2012 Erin Bried. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Erin Bried is a senior staff writer at Self magazine. She’s appeared on Today, Better TV and National Public Radio and in magazines and newspapers nationwide. Erin lives with her baby daughter and her better half in Brooklyn, New York, where she plays peek-a-boo, sings off-key lullabies, and reads bedtime stories every night. Visit her website at www.ErinBried.com or her YouTube Channel (Nifty Button) to watch how-to videos.

Interested in getting your hands on your own copy of How to Rock Your Baby? Comment on this post with your best tip for changing your baby’s diaper for your chance to win! 

Congratulations to Jennifer Manning of Washington who won the How to Rock Your Baby book giveaway!

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