Diaper changing quickly becomes mundane, with many moms practically doing it in their sleep. Since so much time is spent changing diapers every day, moms quickly figure out the most efficient way to do it. After all, why spend more time dealing with messy diapers than necessary?
A child is in diapers for up to the first three years of his or her life. That means we change a TON of diapers, especially if we have multiple children. Since diaper changing is something we are going to be doing for a while and up to almost 12 times a day possibly, we obviously want to find the easiest way to do it. Work smarter, not harder.
While the basics of changing diapers are pretty consistent, parents have added little bits and pieces along the way to make it smoother. There are gadgets, songs, and all kinds of "hacks" that are supposed to make the process smoother. There is no one size fits all method though, and often times more experienced parents find these "hacks" simply slow down what has become a mindless task to them. Ideally, we would all like a diaper change to be quick and painless similar to ripping off a band-aid.
20 Use A Changing Table
Changing tables have one job: being the place where we change our baby's diaper. Many new parents invest in this piece of furniture to find it more annoying than useful in the few weeks after baby is born. In fact, once baby is a little mobile it becomes hazardous more than it is helpful. Parents.com lists a changing table as one item that parents can easily live without.
Instead of just changing baby where we are, we have to bring them to a different room to change them. That obviously takes up some extra time that just tackling them on the floor, couch, or a portable mat where we are. As our kids get older, they are less likely to want to cooperate for a diaper change which makes it so much more difficult to get them safely on a changing table and change them there.
It's pretty impractical which is why we stop using them so soon if we have them to begin with. It is also much safer to leave a baby of any age on the floor while we throw away the diaper and wash our hands.
19 Being Disorganized
As moms, it is essential we are organized all the time because we never know what our kids are going to throw at us. A diaper change is another time that we need to be prepared for sure! Most moms have a diaper changing station, whether it be portable or not, that has become a super helpful tool! What To Expect has created a list of what moms should stock in their diaper changing station including: diapers, wipes, creams, pacifiers, and extra outfits for baby.
When we aren't organized we spend so much extra time searching for things that we should have had within arm's reach. Obviously, we know we need to have the essentials like a diaper and wipes, but some moms aren't prepared to need cream or hand sanitizer. Sometimes we even forget wipes because we expect a quick diaper swap out, and baby surprises us.
18 Inspecting It
One thing nobody warned us about when we had kids was that we would become poop obsessed freaks. Seriously, almost any mom can tell you what her baby's diaper looked like, its consistency, and the color. This is especially common in the early days when we are trying to make sure baby is getting enough milk.
While it can be helpful to know the general situation with what is in baby's diaper, some moms take it to an entirely new level of obsession. Studying the diaper becomes pretty unnecessary and distracting as our babies get older. Some moms waste a ton of time and totally freak themselves out for no reason because they look up the different types of dirty diapers on the internet. BabyCenter has created a visual guide that lots of moms use as a resource to know if baby is having some type of issue or has healthy number two's.
17 Wrestling With The Baby
Once baby is a bit more mobile, they are pretty likely to not want to lay down for a diaper change. What To Expect suggested using a pacifier or other soother for baby or at least having it handy during a diaper change. Keeping baby calm makes it a little easier to get a diaper change done.
Fighting baby to get his/her diaper changed certainly prolongs how long it takes to get it done. As moms we handle this in different ways depending on our parenting style and our baby's temperament. Some moms distract baby and soothe them. Others just muddle through and get it done really quick because then the fit will be over. There's really no better way to do it so it's probably best to just do what works best for us.
16 Trying To Negotiate
Bribery and negotiation are two tricks that most parents keep in their back pocket for trying to get baby to agree without a fit. For tiny humans, our kids can be pretty tough negotiators. Many wise mothers will tell us to pick our battles. They aren't joking. Sometimes it's worth negotiation, and sometimes we can change a diaper in less time than it would take to negotiate.
According to American Pregnancy, we change around 8 to 12 diapers per day. It's not a whole lot of fun for us or our babies. But it is something that we have to get done.
One of the best tips to negotiate is to make concessions because our baby wants to get something out of this as well, as Scary Mommy points out. Some moms change things up by letting baby pick where he/she is changed or letting them have a special toy while getting changed.
15 Cream At Every Change
No one wants baby to get a rash, but some moms go to various extremes to prevent it. Usually, simply changing baby in a timely fashion does the job to prevent a rash. For some babies though, they are more sensitive according to Dr. Sears, and need cream at every change.
The more frequent use of cream seems to be a relatively new trend as some more experienced moms did not do this. It's not that one way is necessarily better than the other, but it is obviously faster to not use cream at every diaper change. We change a lot of diapers, sometimes within minutes of each other.
14 Finding The Perfect Spot
Some moms insist on having one designated diaper changing spot, like a changing table. While that is obviously great in theory, it can be pretty challenging in reality, especially with stubborn toddlers. If we insist on changing baby in one specific spot, we will probably spend more time arguing with baby than it would've taken to just change the diaper.
Today's Parent recommends being flexible when it comes to diaper changes and keeping a basket of supplies handy to change a diaper wherever we can. It's really not a bad idea. As long as our little one is in a safe, clean location, we can let the little battle of it being our preferred spot go.
13 Not Protecting The Baby’s Outfit
A diaper change can quickly change to a full on outfit change if we aren't quick and ready for anything. Little boys are notorious for how quickly they can cover just about everything with their stream. Once we get the hang of it, we are quick to have a burp rag or extra wipe handy to cover them while we change so that their outfit stays dry.
Babble suggests using a wipe as opposed to some of the various devices that are on the market to prevent baby from peeing everywhere.
Baby girls are capable of wrecking an outfit per diaper change as well if we don't get their outfit up high enough while we change them. It can be especially tricky when we are trying to clean up a messy diaper and they decide to go getting both messes on themselves and everywhere else.
Because accidents do happen, most of us know to keep a spare outfit or at least a spare onesie in our diaper changing supplies because we will probably need it at some point.
12 Completely Undressing The Baby
One way that we try to protect baby's outfit is getting him/her naked for every diaper change. We all know that is a whole lot of unnecessary work. A good portion of the time it doesn't help anyways because we get the outfit dirty just doing that. We also know how difficult it can be to get a squirmy baby dressed, way worse than just a simple diaper change.
With the amount of diaper changes we do per day, it can take a good chunk of time if we have to undress and re-dress baby each and every time. As our children get older, they are much less agreeable with this and either want to stay naked or not be undressed at all.
Today's Parent recommends being flexible, whether that means changing baby quickly with pants around the ankles as they stand up or letting them run around the house naked for a while afterwards.
11 Not Being Prepared For More
Just because we are ready to change baby doesn't mean that baby is necessarily done. This rings true for many parents who end up changing a diaper immediately after they just changed one or who finds out baby isn't done while the diaper is open. When we have kids we are overloaded with advice, and this is one topic that everyone seems to have a suggestion on. We all know it is no fun when we think we are done and then BAM we get hit with a nice warm gush as we are finishing up.
According to ThisGloriousLife.co.uk, one helpful suggestion was to wipe baby's tummy with a cold wipe immediately after opening the diaper, close it, and wait a moment. They say that the cold is the cause for the unexpected pee every time we open a diaper. Other parents have surrendered to having extra diapers ready to go and swapping them out or using burp rags to soak up any spray.
As quickly as we want to get a diaper change done, for our sake and baby's, we shouldn't rush. We are all well aware that when we go too fast, we make mistakes. Our parents told us so our entire lives, and that still applies when we are the parents.
Rushing can be disastrous for a few reasons. According to Healthy Living Made Simple, rushing can get in the way of putting the dirty diapers somewhere secure where our kids cannot get into them later. It might also cause us to miss something while wiping which can cause an infection for baby.
If we are going too quickly, we may not get everything situated in the diaper properly. An untucked thang can cause a baby boy to pee up or out of his diaper. We might also miss securing a flap properly causing the diaper to leak.
9 Running Out Of Wipes
Okay any experienced mom will admit that baby wipes are a glorious, multi-functional tool. Seriously, we use those things for everything and anything. They are obviously especially crucial when we are changing diapers, after all that is kind of what they were made for. This being said we can never have enough of them.
Nothing takes longer (& feels that way) than when we are almost done changing a diaper, and we run out of wipes. Whether we get to the end of a pack or simply didn't grab enough, it is majorly annoying. According to American Pregnancy, we change baby anywhere form 8 to 12 times a day.
Not everyone wipes with every diaper change, but some do. Some messy diapers require what feels like an entire pack of wipes and some are a one wipe job. There is honestly no way to know how many wipes we'll need until we open the diaper up so it is most definitely better to be prepared than to have to search for wipes while the diaper is open.
8 Failing To Tuck
When it comes to changing a little boy one crucial part of the diaper change is making sure we tuck it in. Any experienced boy mom will nod in understanding at this one because we have all probably learned this lesson the hard way unless a wise mom warned us previously. It is one piece of advice that they should hand us when we find out we are having a son. If we don't tuck it in, it won't be long before we find ourselves changing a very wet baby with a very dry diaper.
This obviously takes up way more time than necessary because there is little reason to change a baby every single time they pee. However it is very necessary to change them when they are covered in pee themselves. Tucking it in will save us time, laundry, and some sanity because we won't feel like we are in an endless cycle of changing. As written in the article 14 Differences Between Changing A Boy And A Girl, it is suggested we point the penis down to avoid this not so fun little diaper mishap.
7 Changing Outfits At Every Diaper Change
Unless baby gets their outfit dirty, why would we change them at every single diaper change? We would be going insane and doing a TON of extra laundry. Sometimes it's fun to change baby a few times a day because we have all of those adorable outfits that we just can't wait for him/her to wear. That is totally understandable. But we don't actually need to change baby's clothes at every diaper change.
As estimated by American Pregnancy, we change about 8 to 12 outfits idea. We would be out of our minds to change baby's outfit that many times. We would also be doing a lot more laundry and probably shopping for more outfits too!
6 Being Wimpy About The Mess
As parents we are going to deal with all kinds of bodily fluids for the next 18 years. We deal with some of the worst all of the time during the first 2 years. We should probably just get used to the mess. When What To Expect put out the list of essentials for diaper changing, there is a good reason that hand sanitizer made the list.
We are dealing with some serious mess in those diapers sometimes. It's almost a right of passage to get peed on while changing baby or accidentally get poop on us while wiping. Better us than baby though, right? Some moms are even bothered by the way diaper cream or Vaseline feel.
5 Using Cloth Diapers
Cloth or disposable diapers is an age old debate for parents. Save the environment or save time right? While cloth diapers are improving in terms of ease and convenience, they still undoubtedly take more time.
Cloth diapers take longer to change because they need to be assembled or put together in most cases. They also need to be rinsed out and eventually laundered. According to The Bump, there are several different kinds of cloth diapers that vary in ease of use. Some have pieces that are thrown away, are only one part, or are several parts. All require doing extra laundry, preferably a separate load from everything else, which obviously takes quite a bit of time.
4 Not Holding Their Feet
Babies are wiggly and squirmy. One time that is not exactly desirable though is when a messy diaper is within leg's reach. One quick kick and suddenly we have a whole other mess to worry about. We often hold and lift baby's feet simply because we need to get pretty far back to wipe sometimes.
Babies often squirm and wiggle during a diaper change simply because they want to move. Older babies and toddlers squirm and buck sometimes because they do not want to be changed. They probably also do not want to be laying down. It only takes one swift motion to fling poop everywhere or entirely cover themselves. In addition to holding baby's feet, Everyday Family suggests having different toys for baby to play with and distractions.
3 Not Having A Wipeable Surface
One great thing about changing tables is that they are wipeable. A wipeable surface is seriously essential when it comes to a place to change a diaper. Portable changing pads are great to have around our house as well as on the go because they provide this wipeable surface. They are great to lay down on our couch or carpet to change baby's diaper quickly without getting our furniture or carpet dirty.
Without a wipeable surface, we are looking at some pretty time consuming stain removal if baby surprises us while their diaper is open. Parent Guide recommends using water, vinegar, and dish soap to get this stains out of our carpet. It also suggests using a spoon to get any excess poop out of carpet.
2 Using Silly Gadgets
It is 2018 and there is no shortage of changing diaper changing gadgets to help make it an "easier" process. While some moms may find these tools helpful or even "life-savers," there are way too many experienced moms who think these silly gadgets just waste time.
The old fashioned way has been working for generations so do we really need a fancy pee teepee to prevent our little boys from peeing everywhere? As Alpha Mom points out, we could use a rag for this very purpose even though it doesn't have such a cute name. It works just as well.
Today, we have a spatula to apply diaper cream to baby's bottom. While this can be nice because our hands don't get dirty, it also creates one more thing for us to wash which has moms skeptical to how useful it really is.
1 Having A Strict Routine
Routine and structure are great for kids. Diaper changing is pretty hard to predict though. We don't exactly use the bathroom on a schedule so why should we expect our babies to? Some parents implement the routine to change baby every 2 hours. While we should obviously check baby's diaper rather frequently, sometimes a diaper just doesn't need to be changed. Many moms find it easier to change as we go so to say and simply change a dirty diaper whenever it is necessary, not because of the time on the clock.
According to American Pregnancy, babies pee about 20 times a day for the first several months. Very few moms probably change one baby's diaper 20 times a day, which would be a little ridiculous. Instead most of us opt to change baby every 2 to 3 hours or when the diaper feels wet enough to merit being changed.