One of the first things that get tossed out of the window in the event of a new baby coming home is the luxury of squeamishness about bodily functions.
Babies are small bombs of fluids and semi-fluids, and there’s nothing more certain in the world than the fact that it’s you who will have to clean them up.
So, you have a baby boy. How do you change his diaper, time after time, day after day in those early months, when you’re completely unpracticed at it?
Preparedness will make your life at diapering time more structured and straightforward, which is a sanity-saver for you, and a routine-builder for your little man too.
1. At least at home, have a diapering station set up and ready to go, always.
You’re going to spend a large part of your life for a long-ish while staring at your diaper station. Make it easily accessible, and if possible keep it in the same place, so he knows what’s happening when you take him there.
2. Supplies you need
- Clean diapers
Keeping a pack of clean diapers at the station, and a handful of spares out, open and ready to go, saves time and stress.
- Clean washcloths, wipes, and cotton balls
You’re not just changing, you’re cleaning him too. Start with warm water and a washcloth, moving on to unscented wipes as he grows.
Once he’s washed and changed, he might need fresh clothes – if nothing else, they’ll keep him warm and re-establish the normality of his day if there’s been leakage.
If your baby has a diaper rash, this will be essential as a barrier between the famously soft baby-smooth skin and the irritating waste that comes out of him.
- Toys. If your boy has a favorite toy – or a second-favorite, maybe – keep it at the diaper station. Not only can it keep him occupied while you do the clean and change, but it can also become a part of the ritual of the diapering station. Also, and we know this sounds both weird and obvious, but the more occupied he is with Bootsy the Squirrel, the less likely he is to resort to his other favorite toy – the one that can see you dripping with pee on a regular basis.
Know what you’re going to be dealing with when you peel back that diaper.
If you’re using disposable diapers, you’ll have an idea of what you’re facing by the look of the liquid-sensitive, color-changing stripe.
With a cloth diaper, it’ll be at least damp to the touch. If you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, a gentle touch of the diaper will usually let you know.
Changing Your Baby Boy’s Diaper
First of all, adopt a loving, caring tone in your voice. Make with the gibber or even some singing, to establish that there’s nothing “wrong” with the situation. Nothing alarming. Nothing bad.
Wash your hands before beginning the change if you can. If you can’t, wipes are your friends.
Place your baby on your diaper station
Any surface that’s clean, flat, and safe can be your diaper station, but if you have a designated place, it helps you and him both get used to the process.
If you’re away from your usual diapering station or changing table, spread a cloth over the surface to protect it.
The temptation will be great to let your baby go for a second while you assemble all your diapering necessities. NEVER underestimate the squirminess of babies. Think of him as an accident just looking for an excuse to happen.
The Reveal And Clean
Unfasten the diaper. Take a moment to assess. It will save you time and grief during the process. It’s ideally at this point you deploy The Toy.
And yes, in all likelihood, you will be called on to provide silly, squeaky voices while cleaning your child’s genitals and butthole. This is your life now; it’s as well to get used to it!
Wet Diaper: You need to fold the diaper underneath your baby, so the outer side is under his butt. And then you’re wiping the whole area – warm water and washcloth at a very young age, wipes as he gets older – to get rid of the urine on his skin.
Poopy Diaper: (Yes, you call it that now, because Junior is a language-sponge, and you don’t want him coming out with age-inappropriate phrases when he learns to speak) Top tip – use the diaper itself to wipe as much of the poop away, and fold it underneath him, so again, the clean side is under his butt.
Lift his legs and clean his front with either warm water or wipes. Gently – oh, so gently – clean the penis, and make sure you get into all the creases.
Then lift up both legs, and clean that poor kid’s butt thoroughly – skin, creases, if you can see it, clean it. You’re going to get very used to this, so make a good job of it.
Deploy The Pee-Screen
Once the boy’s clean, pull the used diaper out, and if it’s disposable, tape it up and throw it into the diaper pail or whatever you use in its place.
Here’s where you technically need one more hand than you have. Slip a fresh diaper under his butt (probably while squeaking surreal songs of squirrel-life), and if you can, drape a second diaper or Pee-wee Teepee over his penis. You won’t be using this one this time, but it’s the darndest thing.
Baby boys are known to pee on their parents during changing times. It’s not usually as though they especially need to go, they just feel the freedom around the area and let rip.
If you cover their penises with a second diaper, it’s as though the instinct doesn’t trip, and you stand a much better chance of not getting peed on.
Release the lad’s legs, pat him dry, apply any ointment you feel he needs.
Then let’s make this diaper ravioli. With disposable diapers, pull up between the legs, then the tabs from the back and wrap around to the front.
Secure the tabs so they’re a snug fit, but not so tightly they’re uncomfortable. Wash your hands again – they’ll probably have micro-specks of baby poop on them – and then dress the baby again.
If they’re dry and clean, use the same clothes. If not, use fresh.
Repeat as necessary, day in and day out, to make sure your son stays fresh, clean, and comfortable.
Let me know in the comments how your first diaper changes go!