Babies are little cute bundles of joy, energy, and can be loads of work too. Moms understand that. Getting the baby to look dapper and all smiles, the kind that leave everyone looking at them and going 'Awwww' is a process, and a constant one at that. Diaper changes are part of this ongoing process to ensure the baby looks neat, clean, and comfortable, without the frowns on their faces or the screams many people cannot stand, but actually doing a diaper change with ease takes much learning, moms understand that too.
Babies will fuss, cry, crawl away, wriggle while parents try to tape on the diaper, and such a simple two minute process can actually turn into a major tug of war between mom and her little one. However, with the right tools and information, the process need not be tedious, but rather fun, engaging, and great for both mom and baby. From the position of the parent and baby, to the items needed to make sure the whole thing is a success, moms need to know some diaper changing hacks that are easy to work with and can help them also be less stressed and anxious. Here are just 20 but major diaper changing hacks that'll help moms sail through and come out with a smile on her and baby's face.
20 Find a special song that your little one will enjoy and be comforted by
Diaper changes can be a great time for mom and baby to both interact, and play, because the close proximity allows you to nurture baby's visual development, while the skin to skin contact fosters emotional bonding. To make diaper changes a more fun moment for baby, a diaper changing song really helps even as baby observes his most favorite plaything, mommy! If you don't have one in mind, you can sing any nursery rhyme, or borrow what crooner John Legend sang to his daughter Luna. But make sure you maintain eye contact, or skin contact especially if baby is distressed, and be sure to smile, make silly faces, sticking out your tongue, and looks of surprise as babies learn social cues from your facial expressions.
19 Lower the chances of mess getting on you by wiping a wet wipe across their belly before opening their diaper
This is an interesting diaper changing hack that's been touted across different platforms, but if it works, so be it. The trick is to get the baby to want to go #1 in the diaper just before you open it, because many are the times (especially with dads, not sure why) that you open the diaper and out comes more waste, mostly from boys. Diaper changes can get messy and this is one of those moments, when the liquid may just splash all over your face or your shirt, so you may want to try wiping a wet wipe across the baby's belly, under the belly button, prior to opening his diaper and see how that works for you. If it does, keep it going!
18 Use diaper color lines to tell whether it’s time for a change
Moms get to learn their babies' cues during the first few days, so they can recognise when baby is hungry, or tired, uncomfy or just needs some attention. As mom becomes tuned in with baby's different needs and cries, one of the things that will always come up is when to change the baby's diaper. Knowing when to change the nappy can be tricky, but for diapers, there's the new color changing wetness indicator that helps parents know when the baby's diaper is wet or has to be changed. The pH activated indicator line on diapers with this indicator turns yellow to blue when the diaper is wet, and acts as a signpost that its time for a fresh one.
17 Go up a size or double up for overnight leaks
Babies are constantly growing so diaper sizes tend to change a lot faster than you would expect. If your baby is a heavy wetter, meaning the diaper gets full fast, especially during the night, or you suspect a size change is due, give it a go and if its too big, you can keep for future use. Among the signs that moms can look out for to help you know its time to move a size up is the tight waistband, red marks on baby's hips, groin and waist, tabs getting closer to baby's hips than the center , and baby's weight doesn't match the diaper size guidelines. Additionally, if baby's diaper doesn't cover his bum as much as it did before, go up a size. All these help eliminate leakage and keep baby dry as he sleeps.
16 Try out the Blowout Blocker
Most moms have probably heard of or experienced a blowout at one time or another. If that hasn't already happened to you as a mom, a blowout is simply parental jargon for when baby goes so much it explodes outside of the diaper, causing a huge mess (usually stinky). There's a stage when babies are still developing their systems - digestive and excretory - so the gastrointestinal tract doesn't function maturely as it should, so a blowout happens. Thanks to the Blowout Blocker, moms need not have to clean up and replace all the soiled bedding and clothing. Its an easy to use, put on, wash and reuse item made of soft and absorbent fabric, which is waterproof and the catches any mess between the diaper and baby's clothing.
15 Use olive oil in a peri bottle for meconium
Meconium is the dark green substance that forms the first #2 of a newborn infant. Most moms have probably been asked to carry along a small bottle of olive oil to the delivery room to put on baby's bum after birth. Apparently, it helps when baby passes his or her first tar-like bowel movement, as it makes it so easy to wipe off. Meconium waste can be a real pain to get off, but if you slather on some olive oil, it makes it so easy. Carry some olive oil in a peri bottle and spray a little on the baby's bottom after cleaning up as it keeps the meconium from sticking on baby's skin, and you're good to go.
14 Use a BabyBum Diaper Cream Brush (or a spatula)
If you're sick and tired of getting diaper cream all over your hands as you change baby's diaper, a spatula will help. Moms across the world have sworn by baby diaper cream brushes or spatulas saying they're 'lifesavers'. The great thing about this item is it keeps your hands clean and the diaper changing moments become more sanitary. You can keep your hands clean and dry as you apply diaper cream or even ointment to your baby's bum using a soft brush with a suction stand. They also now make them in travel size, so you can carry it wherever you go without worrying about diaper cream getting stuck on your hands, plus its faster and easier to apply the cream.
13 Get a diaper bag that doubles up as a changing pad
Nothing can be more frustrating than having to switch between diaper bags, and sometimes forgetting one thing in the previous bag, its just so confusing. Even worse, is having a diaper bag, but no clean and sanitary place to lay baby down and change his diaper or clean him up on the go. The traditional way would be to lay a nappy on your lap or on a flat surface, but today, thankfully, there are diaper bags that can be quickly transformed into a mobile changing pad - bless those who came up with these bags, because they truly understand every mom's pain points. Carrying everything your toddler needs is no joke, but these versatile bags that you can keep for years, are a godsend!
12 Get diaper time only toys
Kids love toys, and they're a great distraction when you want to get something done, like dash to pick your diaper basket, or during a diaper change. You can help baby easily transition from a diaper change from what they were doing initially, by carrying along some of the toys he or she loves, to the diaper change. Just make sure they're washable toys in case baby tosses it into the mess. Otherwise the diaper change can be frustrating if baby's focus is all over the place, or he/she knows its that time for one, and they're busy trying to escape from the activity at hand.
11 Use the onesie hack in case of blowups
Any mom who hears this for the first time will always have an epiphany, no, seriously. Its life changing really. If you've had to change a diaper, especially after a blowup, then you'll wish you knew this onesie hack sooner. It's a simple diaper changing trick that could save moms a lot of trouble and the hassle of trying to keep the mess the baby just released, under control. The trick lies in the design of the onesie. You see those folds right at the top, where baby's shoulders go, those are actually foldable, so you can pull the onesie down off your baby instead of over their head making a huge mess, and getting icky stuff in baby's hair. No more 3am baths!
10 Have an emergency baby car kit in case you forget something at home
A baby car kit doesn't necessarily mean moving half of your baby's stuff into your car, its just a precautionary practice moms do to ensure they can keep their babies clean, warm and comfortable on the go. Its easy to build one when you know what should go in there like diapers, a multi-use baby blanket, pack of wipes, sandwich bag (ziplock) for diaper disasters, some water, change of clothes for both you and baby, good baby sunscreen (because you may just head to the beach), extra pacifier, hand sanitizer, washcloth, lotion, peri bottle with baby wash, diaper cream with spatula, bibs, a few toys and a board book.
9 Pull out the diaper ruffles to prevent blowouts
Choosing the right diaper size is the first step to ensuring your little one is comfortable and any waste is contained. However, there are parts of the diaper most moms miss out on in terms of their proper use and how they work together to ensure no blowouts happen. One of these is the diaper ruffles. These are just next to the leg cuffs that wrap neatly around baby's legs and bum after you put the diaper on him. To keep the diaper in place, run your fingers around the edges to ensure these cuffs are pulled out and the ruffles are also pulled out, because when they're tucked inside, they can cause diaper leakage and no mom wants to carry around their baby when he or she is wet - babies don't like wetness or messes either.
8 Keep some sandwich bags in your diaper bag to contain the mess and seal up the smell
Sandwich bags, or Ziploc bags, whichever you like, are great for sealing in clean and/or dirty diapers, baby wipes, or even snacks, because you just never know. These bags come in handy especially when baby has done a number two, and you're probably not at home, but someplace where you cannot dispose of the diaper. The diaper can be locked into the sandwich bag or Ziploc bag and sealed in to contain any stenches that may otherwise leave you uneasy or restless, especially when around other people. Keep a small convenience pack to make your life and baby's easier when on the go.
7 Keep your nails short
This is not just for hygiene purposes, but also keeps you from hurting the baby because they have very sensitive skin and its easy to scratch and cause some uncomfortable pain. Long manis also make diaper changes tideous especially when undoing diaper tabs, plus you may end up finding residual #2 under your nails - gross! Long nails really are the enemy when it comes to changing baby's diaper, even worse with a wriggling baby, so unless you're a hygiene freak, you cannot always be sure of very clean nails after a diaper change. The trick is to check your nails often so you can ensure they're always neat and short.
6 Use your pinkie finger to apply rash cream
As mentioned earlier, one of the easiest ways to slather on diaper cream to baby's bum is by using a spatula, but what do you do if you don't have one, or can't find where you last placed it and you really must do the diaper change? Use your pinkie finger. This diaper changing hack is great because not only do you keep the rest of your hands clean, you also get to apply the cream evenly without thinking much about how you'll have to spend time trying to get the cream out from under all your finger nails. No one has time for that, right? Besides, if that doesn't work, you can always squirt the cream onto a wipe and wipe it on baby's bum, though you'll still have to wash your hands, at least it won't be the cream you're dealing with.
5 Keep petroleum jelly at hand
Petroleum jelly has been used all over the world by millions of parents for decades on end, as a protective barrier that keeps their babies' delicate skin from the wetness that causes rashes. Today, there are so many diaper cream brands and ointments that promise to protect baby's bum from diaper rash while keeping his skin moist and medicated, but before you go getting those creams, ensure you have some petroleum jelly at bay - its safe and a lifesaver at that, when there's no cream as it seals baby's skin from moisture, is inexpensive and both scent and dye-free. So baby's skin is not irritated.
4 Get a diaper genie
A diaper genie is a great way to dispose off diapers while locking in the odors, which many people don't like. A good diaper genie comes with an installed refill and can hold many diapers, with built-in odor controlling antimicrobial, air tight clamps to seal in odors, carbon filters to capture smells, a foot pedal especially if you need to hold baby and dispose the diaper, easy to reach with no bending required (good for moms who have had C-sections), and cool colors if you like. If you don't want to keep spending money on the refills, you can always use long kitchen garbage bins as they still work the same way, but remember to pull the bag through the cutter, tie a knot and voila!
3 Involve older siblings
Besides feeding, bathing and play time, older sibs can actually make great aides when it comes to diaper changes. The older kid may be past the potty training journey or stage by now, but because he or she still remembers how diaper changes happen, and all other things related to diapers, they're probably going to be more than happy to be your little diaper-changing elf. To get them started, let them stand next to you at the changing station at home and like a nurse helping a surgeon, the little aide can hand you wet wipes, the diaper rash cream or a fresh diaper when you need each of these. Some even go the extra mile and dump the used diaper in the diaper genie on your behalf.
2 Make a portable diaper basket to avoid making trips to the baby room for each diaper change
Need a diaper caddie? Why not build one at home instead of spending money buying one? Motherhood should be savored really, but there are moments it feels like a duty, more than it does a delight. This can happen a lot during diaper changes, sometimes you need to do one on the floor, or keep running in and out of the baby room to pick up the necessary items for the exercise. However, with a diaper basket or diaper caddie at hand, all you do is pick up the basket and move with it to where you need to change the baby, zero hassle, and everything is in one place. It also saves you time, rids you of the anxiety, and baby is also calm and relaxed. A diaper basket can be kept in any room in the home, especially the common rooms where a diaper change is inevitable.
1 Pack an extra shirt/blouse for yourself in the diaper bag
Every mom knows it is better to be over-prepared than getting caught unaware especially where there's a baby. Keeping a diaper bag packed and ready to go is good, but knowing what to keep in the bag is even better, more so at a moment's notice. Diaper changes come with many surprises, one of them being your own clothes getting messed up, especially blouses and/or shirts. To work around this, pack a fresh blouse or shirt in the diaper bag for yourself, in case the baby spits on the blouse you're wearing, or spills milk after burping or you spill baby food on your clothes. Its good to go for blouses made from crease-proof material as the clothing may stay in the diaper bag for some time.
References: romper.com, cafemom.com, mommyish.com, redtri.com, reddit.com, nerdymamma.com