I have been wanting to post this for a while now, but I never got around to it until now. When we were still new to changing diapers, we had tried a variety of different ways to do it.
In the end, you are really just trying to do the following:
- Open soiled diaper
- Wipe down and clean off baby's skin
- Put on fresh new diaper
- Dispose the soiled diaper
But as simple and as straight forward as that is, there are lots of complications associated with these steps. At every turn, you can be thrown a curve ball and unless you are ready, it can result in more time spent at the changing station and a pile of clothes to clean.
I think, the proper analogy for diaper changing, is like a pit stop at a Formula One race - there is a limited amount of time to do the above set actions so that the baby can be back on it's way of either feeding, sleeping, or growing. Any longer, and your cycle is interrupted and more effort has to be made to get back on track.
Keeping with that theme, here are some notes that I have gathered and what worked for me.
The "Check Engine" Light
One of the great things about the new diapers nowadays is the indicator. It does a pretty good job at giving a parent an idea if the diaper has been soiled. It reacts specifically to the chemical commonly found in the bio-waste. Filling a diaper with water will not activate the indicator. Another way to check is by smell. As parents, we seem to have the uncanny ability to be able to smell any distinct changes to the air around our baby. With the combination of smell and sight (the indicator) there should be no reason a baby should be in a soiled diaper for long.
Blowouts are not pretty. It's basically when the contents of the diaper starts appearing outside of the diaper. Now, there can only be three reasons for this:
- The diaper is too small, it's time to go up a size
- The Leak Lock system was not engaged properly, and so the contents found a way out through the weakest wall
- You were holding the baby right at the point of exit, which basically causes the waste products to travel in the only path it can - out of the diaper.
My Pit Stop Routine
Given the experiences that I have had over the last little while, here is my routine that seems to work out with the least amount of headache, at least, so far...
- Place baby on change table
- Undress the lower body of baby
- Place paper towel underneath baby's bottom by lifting the feet and wedging the paper towel in there
- Grab a clean diaper
- Open it up so that it can be ready to be put on without further work
- Open the box of wipes so that they are easily accessible
- Open the current diaper
- Grab a wipe and clean area. Once finished, put the wipe(s) in the soiled diaper
- Pull the current diaper away and put to the side
- Lift feet and slide the pre-opened diaper to where it should sit with enough clearance for the tabs to come around the hips
- Let the area air dry a little
- Bring the diaper to a close and hook the tabs to the front, ensure that it is tight enough to keep the contents from coming out the back (but not too tight)
- Run your fingers along the edge of the diaper to ensure that the Leak Lock system is ok
- Pull the first paper towel out
- Redress as required
- Place baby away to their next activity
- Return to station to clean up the diaper by folding and sealing it with the tabs
- Close the lid to the wipes box
- Ensure that there are enough diapers for next time and refill if necessary
Special note: If baby decides to further contribute to the contents of the diaper while this process is happening, immediately seal it back up and let them finish. Not sealing it back up and letting them go with an open diaper will ensure that everything gets everywhere... i.e. Up their backs, onto you, and even on the wall (speaking from experience).
I hope this helps any future first time parents as a primer into the things to consider. Adjust as necessary and let me know what you add/remove from my process in the comments below!