A Diaper Changing Primer for New Fathers
by Ron Harper
As a father of five children, I recognize that there is little written on the subject of diaper changing. The new father has to rely on his instinct and whatever he might have gleaned from his past.
While those born from 1970 onward have the advantage of a changing society's attitude toward fathers and their babies, those men who preceded this aforementioned generation were taught that babies were women's work. This negative attitude and the fact that women still bear the burden of the responsibility in regard to children, prompted me to research this subject.
I found that many men want to help their wives, but lack the skills. They feel forced into a role that they actually have an aversion to: changing diapers. This pamphlet was written for these men.
Invariably, this modern thinking father will be called upon to baby-sit this bundle of joy. In the beginning it's not so bad. Your baby will sleep a lot. Eventually, as you baby-sit more and more, the child will at one time or another emit an odoriferous cloud that will permeate the entire room. This is your first clue of a dirty diaper.
Step 1: Check your watch. How much time until your wife comes home? (If you have no doubts about changing this diaper, go to Step #2. What is the relative discomfort of the child? Using these factors, you can possibly avoid changing this dirty diaper. When your wife comes home and asks, "Why didn't you change the baby's diaper?", you can respond one of two ways. "Why, did he need changing?" or "I didn't think she was finished." Although your wife may force you to change the diaper anyway, at least you have her advice and possible assistance. When avoidance is not possible, go to the next step.
Step 2: Ascertain the extent of damage. Smell does not always correlate with damage. A visual inspection is the best way. Peek in the diaper if the outside view is inconclusive. Believe it or not, a small 7 pound baby can have a BM from the neck to the toes. I could tell horror stories of socks filled, but I'll leave that to your imagination. If the area involved is extensive, the bathtub is the best place for diffusing this biological bomb.
Step 3: Prepare six or more wipes BEFORE dismantling clothes. WARNING: IF THIS ADVICE IS NOT FOLLOWED, FLAILING FEET MIGHT IMPACT THE SOILED AREA CAUSING GREATER DAMAGE.
Step 4: Because of a strong gag reflex, new fathers should avoid prolonged breathing while shedding the clothes. Upon reaching the diaper, take one deep breath and open the diaper. WARNING: MALE CHILDREN REQUIRE ADDITIONAL PROTECTION.
Step 5: Take the 1/2 dozen wipes, one at a time and quickly clean area affected. Restrain child in order to avoid further contamination. Dispose of wipes and diaper in a plastic bag to confine odors.
Step 6: Reassemble with fresh diaper. Apply powder or A & D ointment as needed. WARNING: DON'T USE BOTH!
Step 7: Congratulate yourself on a job well done. Remind yourself that your father never did this job.
Step 8: When your wife arrives home, do not brag about your abilities. She will call upon you to exercise these skills more and more.
Permission to reproduce this article was granted by Ron Harper Jr.