Friday, June 14, 2013

Parenthood: Week 3 - Adventures In Diaper Changing

How to change a diaper:
  1. Remove dirty diaper
  2. Wipe clean areas of any urine residue of fecal materials
  3. Apply any diaper rash paste, cream of ointment (if necessary)
  4. Put on new diaper
Seems pretty simple, doesn't it?

If you are talking about changing the diaper on a plastic doll, then it's a piece of cake. Changing a diaper on an actual baby is another issue.

Changing a diaper isn't hard but sometimes it can be an adventure.  When legs start flailing, you are half awake and the little one isn't quite done with his or her own business it becomes more than a simple chore.

Changing diapers have never really phased me. I don't remember the first time I changed a diaper. It just seems like something I've done in the past and known how to do. When it came to Ollie though, we reached a new level of "fun," changing diapers more times a day than I can sometimes remember.

The first couple diapers I changed for Ollie were exclusively poopy diapers. The first couple days of a baby's life they poo meconium which is a black sludge-like substances. This stuff isn't really that smelly but it can be a pain to clean off sense it's so sticky. What is astounding is the amount that came out of Ollie's little body. I know he's been holding it in for nine months, but man, sometimes when I would open up his diaper I would just look at the pile of black sludge and just be impressed.

Now that Ollie's system has transitioned with a diet of breast milk, there is a grainier yellow poo which is easier to clean, but it comes more often, sometimes without warning.

Then there's the pee.

Anyone who has had a son has been peed on by their son. Little boys penises point straight up when you open their diaper. In the hospital, we were told storied about how Ollie peed on nurses and doctors but he never peed on us, until that first diaper explosion.

Ollie was crying so I took him to the changing table.  I saw that the wetness indicator on the outside of the diaper was blue so it meant that it was go time. I pulled the diaper down and saw a pile of poo. I pulled the dirty diaper out from under him, lifted is legs with one hand and wiped is butt with my other hand.

As soon as I finished wiping him clean, he pooed. I had slightly pointed his butt towards me so I could get a better angle of to look at is butt, so the poo arched over the side of the changing table onto my shirt. After letting out an audible scream (kind of like when Lando Calrissian's legs gets grabbed by the tentacle from the sarlacc pit) I managed to wipe him clean again and place a new diaper under him. At this point Ollie started to pee. Before I covered him up with that new diaper, pee got all over myself, Ollie and the wall.


Then I grabbed a new diaper and half caught another stream of poo. I cleaned Ollie off again, and quickly got another diaper on him and in one final release let out one last stream of poo.

Looking at the stack of baby wipes, diapers, the stained changing table cover and my own shirt, I felt like I wanted to cry. I probably would have if Diana wasn't laughing so hard watching this whole thing play out. She came over after manly Lando cry of surprise.

So here's a couple tips that I've learned about changing diapers.
  1. Get everything setup that you need before you open the diaper. Pull a wipe out, open the butt paste container and lay out the new diaper with how the baby is lying.
  2. Fold the old diaper under the baby while you wipe. You don't need to wipe the same part three of four times, it's better just to do one going over carefully.
  3.  Get the new diaper covering up the baby. I usually just hold it closed as my other hand gets some butt paste ready and then open it only for a second to apply it and then close it down.
  4. Have a sense of humor about this. While I'd don't think Ollie enjoys my commentary calling the diaper change a game show and that if he has a dirty one he wins a new diaper, but it makes it more fun for me. Pee and poo sometimes gets everywhere.  Don't forget clothing can be washed, changing tables can be cleaned, lamp shades can be thrown away and replaced (yes, you read that right, a lamp shade, he managed to get poo on a lamp shade.)
As gross and tiresome as changing diapers can be, it's  satisfying. Every time in change his diaper I making him feel better, I'm taking care of him. It's a very important part of his care and it is a way of showing that I love him. Sometimes it's frustrating, other times it's the last thing thing on the planet that I want to do.  But when I'm done and I pick him up, he almost always seems like that he feels better and somehow that makes it worth it. 

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