There are two things to ensure before the process of changing a baby’s diaper can actually begin. The first is to make sure the baby is securely placed on the changing mat wherever, it may be placed. Some parents prefer a changing table while others prefer a mat on the floor. The second is to have all the things needed to change the diaper within hands reach. (Brown, 2008)
Changing a baby’s diaper is a simple process. First lay the baby down on his or her back on a changing mat. Now take off the baby’s old diaper and slide it out from under his bottom. This can be done by holding the baby’s ankles with one hand and lifting his bottom up softly. Roll the soiled diaper up so that the stick-on tabs close the diaper completely. Set it aside out of the baby’s reach.
Now use wet wipes or damp cotton to wipe the baby’s bottom and tap it dry softly with a towel. When completely dry slide a fresh diaper under the baby’s bottom with the stick-on tabs going on the underside. You can at this stage put on baby lotion or anti-rash cream if needed.
Hold the front of the diaper close to the tummy of the baby and pull the stick-on tabs lightly across the baby’s side and stick them onto the front of the diaper. They should look equal from both ends and not make the diaper too tight. Stick your index finger into the top of the diaper on the tummy and if it goes in easily the diaper is just right.
The process of changing a diaper is simple and parents and caretakers who are accustomed to it can do the whole process is seconds. If you do it enough times it becomes a conditioned reflex. However, for those who have never changed a diaper this process can be a challenge.
While it may seem simple there are many ways in which things can go wrong. When someone is changing a diaper for the first time he or she may think that they have a lot of time or enough time to make the change.
They may think this and live to regret it. If a baby boy’s diaper is being changed then the consequences of taking one’s time once the diaper is off, can be anything from being sprayed with his urine to have the room sprayed with it. It is something like Murphy’s Law, if the diaper is off, you will be sprayed. So being quick and efficient is the only way to avoid being drenched.
Another person changing the diaper may realize that the baby is not a motionless being. Holding the baby by the ankles is easy. Keeping the baby there so that the diaper can be slid under the baby while trying to ensure that the baby remains on the changing mat is another matter altogether. Only an octopus could manage this feat, some would have you believe. That is why many parents prefer the changing table where they can safely strap the baby in one place and change the diaper without having to worry about the baby sliding off the table.
Some babies simply do not like having their bottom wiped. That means the baby that is being changed will be crying hysterically and struggling to get off the changing mat. In this situation a person changing the diaper might find it hard to take the soiled diaper off, much less put a new one on. The baby’s comfort is first priority and this change of diapers has to be done as quickly as possible.
The baby does not like the cold air touching his or her bottom and does not like the wet wipes or cotton on it either. So keeping the hands clean while simultaneously cleaning the bottom and keeping ones sense of sanity, amidst the hysterical screaming is a challenge not all can handle.
Changing a diaper is easy. Changing it properly is a whole thing altogether. Parents and caretakers of babies develop a technique which is simple and efficient but to people who have never changed a diaper it’s an alien experience. It is fascinating to watch the faces of individuals who have never performed this feat. You first hear the cooing as they stand by the person changing the diaper. A baby lying on the changing table can be very cute.
Then when the diaper comes off soiled and smelly, the expression changes from one of fascination to one of horror. The nose gets wrinkled and the individual inadvertently takes a step back from the table or place where the bay is being changed. Eyes are averted and the stress coming of the body is easy to read. Then when the wiping process is done and the fresh diaper is on the individuals body can be seen to relax and the pent up breath, is released.
The funny part is when these very people have babies they become pros in no time. The fact is it is the poop of somebody else’s baby that makes one cringe, not the poop of one’s own fruit of the loins. The diaper is an object of revulsion and fascination all at the same time.
There are two groups of people in the world, one who have changed diapers and one who have not. The two can easily be recognized when they come close to a baby and hold him or her. It’s with a tentativeness that is as much awe as fear of what the diaper may bring to them.
Changing a baby’s diaper is a process better left to the experts, if the amateurs will insist on performing this feat-they should go in armed, with an extra pair of clothes and time for a shower when all is said and done!
1. Brown, S. (2008) How to Change a Diaper. About.com retrieved from http://babyparenting.about.com/cs/diapering/ht/changediaper.htm on September 17, 2008
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