Thursday, July 30, 2009

5 tips for changing a baby's diaper.

Learning to change a baby's diaper is rather tricky. They seem to be determined to stick their feet right in the middle of the mess, and then they pee everywhere. Cleaning your little chickadee's undercarriage can be frustrating to say the least. Here are a few tricks that I have learned over the years that have made the dirty job a little cleaner.

1. Always use a changing pad, even on the changing table.
Even when your baby is only wet, having a changing pad is a great idea. A baby who is getting changed often feels inspired by all of the commotion down there to add a little more excitement to the party. This can mean a big mess, and a lot of laundry, unless you were prepared with a changing pad. Often when mid-diapering accidents happen an changing pad will catch all of the extra goop. This will save you from having to own three or four changing table covers, and needing to constantly launder them.

2. Hold both of your baby's feet in one hand to lift her bottom up.
This maneuver sounds more tricky than it is. if you can hold one ankle with your pointer finger and thumb, then wrap your other three fingers around the second ankle, you can do it. Then when both ankles are secure, bring your baby's feet up near her face. This should gently and naturally lift your baby's bottom an inch or two off of the diaper and make it easier to reach. Babies are very flexible, and though this position may look uncomfortable, it is not for most babies. One exception is, if you baby spits up every time you try to do this, she probably has reflux, and this position will not be ideal for her. If this is the case, try rolling your baby away from you onto her side to expose her booty for washing.

3. Use the clean front of the diaper for the first wipe of dirty diapers.
Sometimes our babies make quite large sticky messes in their fluffy little butt covers. These can use up a huge amount of wipes, which don't come cheap. To save a little elbow grease and a little extra change, when you first open your little food processor's diaper, take a hold of the front of the diaper and wipe from front to back. One big wipe is all that this move is good for. It doesn't clean the whole mess, it just takes off the top layer, so that what is left is easier to deal with. When you reach the back of your baby's rear end with the front of the diaper, just leave it there. This keeps your baby from re-dipping into the mess while you begin cleaning the rest of his hiney. You can also take the diaper away, if you have a handy place to stash it until you can deal with it by itself. The reason I leave the diaper there, is it is one more thing between my changing pad and changing table, so that even if I can't keep both completely clean, I can often reduce the mess.

4. Drape a baby washcloth over your boy's little fire hose.
This can apply to girls who spray when they are being changed too. For some reason, the cool air maybe, babies love to go wee-wee when they are naked. Since getting urine squirted all over the room is probably not one of the things you want to deal with, simply draping a bit of cloth, or a baby-wipe over the front section of your little fire-fighter during a diaper change can save you a major headache.

5. Have a squirt bottle with your cleanser in it handy.
If you have read my tips for natural remedies for diaper rash, you know that I prefer to have natural ingredients with which to wash my little ones buns. I got a great tip from JJ Keith (@jj_keith on twitter, a great person to follow) to keep my natural cleansers in a squirt bottle, and it is SO much easier! Make sure to always clean in the folds. It can be awkward, but it is very important to remove all of the waste. I also recommend keeping any powders (like cornstarch) in old spice bottles (It is much easier to sprinkle if the lid has holes than if it is just open), and oils (like olive oil) work great in old hand-soap pump style bottles. Always be sure to clean any recycled containers thoroughly before using them for your baby's rear-end care kit.

Changing diapers is not fun, not easy and not tidy, but it can be a little less work with a few handy techniques, and a little practice. If you have found these tips helpful, please forward them to any new or expecting parents you might know. Questions, Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Happy parenting!

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