Even if diapering isn’t the most dreaded part of parenthood, it’s unlikely to be anybody’s favorite. The parts of diapering that are the worst, though, are generally the ones that come up unexpectedly.
Maybe one of the most common diaper issues happens when, sometimes for no clear reason, the diaper just won’t hold all of Baby‘s poop. Between the smell and the mess, no one wants to deal with these if they can help it. To try to avoid them, make sure diaper changes happen as often as pooping does, and take a little extra care to be sure the diaper is facing the right way, that all of the tabs are straight and secure, and that none of the corners are folded the wrong way.
Babies occasionally give a well-meaning diaper-changer a faceful of baby-pee now and then, though it can be especially messy with little boys. Part of this has to do with the shock to their system when their private parts feel that rush of cold air. There are a few ways to try to lessen that shock. First, give Baby a minute after their bowel movement before going in for a diaper change – they might just empty their bladder before you’re even in range. Second, when you do remove their diaper, either don’t take it all the way off right away – so that the front of it can catch any surprise pee-attacks before you go for the clean diaper – or use a washcloth, wipe, burp-cloth or a couple of paper towels as a shield held up between you and their pee. Finally, you could also keep the room where you’re changing them warm, so the temperature change from inside the diaper to outside isn’t too much of a shock.
Help! I’m out of diapers/wipes/a changing table entirely!
Running out of supplies happens to everyone eventually – and if it never happens to you, we salute you! Running out of supplies with Baby already de-diapered and messy on the changing table is its own kind of dilemma, and dealing with it requires a quick assessment of the situation. First, is there anything around that can replace the missing item? Paper towels or toilet paper or even a spare towel? Or how about a less-loved piece of clothing that can be sacrificed to bundling around their bottom for long enough to make a quick diaper run? Better still, is there someone else in the house you can yell for to grab the missing item for you?
Unfortunately, sometimes the answer to that is ‘no,’ and the objects within grabbing range aren’t suitable for makeshift diaper-changing supplies. It’s really unfortunate that Baby isn’t quite at the age where you can ask them to stay still while you run and get what you need. So the next step is generally to get them cleaned up enough to make a bathroom run – sorry, no tidy solutions for this one. Don’t worry – it happens to the best of us, and now you’re that much more committed to keeping your changing station stocked!
What if the changing table itself is what’s missing? Maybe you’re on the road, or in a restaurant, or flying. It’s a great idea to pack a towel in the car or to bring one when traveling, so that you can lay Baby down on a safe, soft surface for changing. The plane might be trickier, in terms of space and smell, which is why it’s a great idea to put a fresh diaper on Baby before you board the plane.
The reluctant diaper changer
Whether Baby goes for tears, kicks, or just tries to cheerfully squirm away from the changing table, there comes a time in many babies’ lives when staying still and relatively cooperative on the changing table is the last thing on their minds. If Baby moves into a squirming phase or a shrieking phase when it comes to diaper changing, there are a few different directions you can go when trying to find a way to work with them – and close to them, since it’s especially important to be careful never to let them out of your sight on the changing table during this squirmy stage.
- Good old fashioned distraction: Sing Baby a song, do a little dance, give them a toy they doesn’t usually have – or even a non-toy, like the box of wipes, or your keys.
- Talk things through: Baby may not be able to understand every part of your explanation of what you’re about to do to change their diaper yet, but they are starting to pick up on your words and what they mean, and they do get the back-and-forth of conversation. This means that a part of them might be ready to appreciate the respect you’re showing them by talking through what you’re doing with them. If they&;re a little older at this point, you could even take it a step further and start to involve them more in the process, by having them hold things for you, or even make the first try at wiping themself.
- Try a change of scenery: If Baby is getting sick of your usual way of doing diapers, or even just the way diaper changing is getting in the way of their busy schedule, it could be time to try something new. It’s not always practical, especially with poopy diapers, but learning to change wet diapers when Baby is standing up, and can look around, or even look out a window, could be just novel enough to keep them happy through the process.