Does this crying face remind you of anyone? My sweet pea HATES diaper changes with a passion. Notice that is still present tense. Through many scream fests I’ve found a collection of tips to help me and him get through a diaper change with less tears. These tips on how to make diaper changes better are for all the diaper changers of the world. You with the sweetest little one who has the loudest you-must-be-torturing-me screams at 3 in the morning. For the Moms who want efficiency, the Dads who want to step up and the Uncles who try to play the nope card: Happier diaper changes are ahead!
In most cases change baby’s diaper as soon as you notice it needs to be changed. If you’re like me, you have just gingerly placed baby in their crib and BAM…an impossibly loud poop explosion happens in baby’s diaper. DO NOT try in your sleep-zombie state to ration that baby will be fine and sleep fine without another change. Baby will NOT sleep fine and you will not sleep at all. Even if baby is asleep for the first time in hours in the middle of the night; Change that diaper.
How do you know the diaper needs changed now? Disposable diapers come with urine detection strips that visibly change color from yellow to blue to indicate pee in the diaper. The only visual to indicate poop is poop itself . My condolences if poop is visible outside the diaper. You can, however, check inside by lifting the ruffled thigh edging away from the thigh and checking inside. Smell is also a giveaway but you probably didn’t need me to tell you that.
The Hungry Baby Exception
I have found that there is one thing that overrides immediate diaper change and that is a hungry baby. Most of the time when my little one wakes up he is hungry. I mean full on ravenous milk monster mode. As long as poop is not leaking out the sides of the diaper, I would feed hungry baby first. I feed my milk monster for maybe 5 minutes just to take the hunger edge off enough to get through the diaper change before we would continue nursing. This prevents baby screaming bloody murder during a diaper change when hungry and also prevents waking baby up again for the change after a full night feed makes him sleepy enough to actually sleep. Less noise, more sleep, winning all around.
Proximity of Bare Necessities
You will need to set up your diaper changing station to maximize convenience. Your diaper bin should be as close as possible. Your diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream should be ON the diaper changing table. If you try to keep it in a drawer it will take longer to open the drawer, look for what you need, take it out, put it away and close the drawer again. My changing table is also the dresser where we keep currently fitting baby clothes so all I do is reach down a drawer and have ample selection to replace a soaked onesie. The more you have within arms reach the better.
Convenience of Nice Extras
Through the hundreds of diapers my one-month old has already gone through, I have found some super helpful items to make diaper changes easier.
- Washcloths for catching mid-change pee. Even if you don’t catch all of it, having something to stop the remaining pee from going two feet in the air, on the wall, and all over you is very helpful. Also good for wiping off your diaper rash cream finger.
- Waterproof changing pad liners. Sure you already have the changing pad itself and the changing pad cover. But who wants to change the cover in the middle of the night after a surprise pee?
- Hand sanitizer. I learned very quickly when we brought Dante home that there would be no time for hand washing after a messy diaper change. The nurse in my husband thought gloves would be a good replacement. Spoiler: they aren’t. Even if you are afraid of superbugs overtaking the world after germs become immune to sanitizers everywhere- ahem, hi mom – none of that matters when you just wiped off poop from your fingers and still have to console a crying baby that likes to touch those same fingers.
Sometimes, especially as a new parent, you may find yourself feeling extra crunchy. Baby screams do not generally help you feel warm and fuzzy again. When your baby hates diaper changes in their first few weeks of life they will scream. Loud. So loud in fact that you may want to try:
- Noise cancelling headphones. This worked well for my husband when he had night changing duty during the first month. He says they helped make it feel like a normal diaper change instead of a diffusing a live screaming bomb.
- Playing loud music. Playing music on your phone during the change can mask baby crying if it is upbeat enough music. This is not the time for classical. While I don’t think any time is the right time for heavy metal near a baby…I’m just saying your screams blend right in.
Just like there are clothes you put on that you realize don’t work out for nursing, there are clothes you put baby in that you realize are NOT diaper-change-friendly. Look for sleepers that have a zipper and not five million buttons.
Until your sweet cheeked baby gets that diaper changes are good and you aren’t trying to torture them, I hope these tips help you out. Do you have any additional tips that have worked wonders for you?