For The New Father: 5 Things To Remember When Changing A Diaper

I have 11-month-old twins. I’ve never taken formal lessons in diaper changing and am by no means claiming to be an expert. However, having twins does present one with ample opportunities to practice this skill. Here’s what I’ve learned:


  1. Take a deep breath – These diapers you’ll be changing nearly always contain aromas that you don’t want to experience. So channel your inner David Blaine and refuse to breathe for 2-7 minutes. And if you have tiny lungs like myself, you may want to think about keeping a handkerchief handy. Simply tie it around your face like those people who used to rob trains with six-shooters. *note* this can be frightening to some children.
  2. Ask God to make you fast and accurate – When Benjamin Martin was taking out redcoats with his wooden rifles, he prayed this very same prayer. And you know what? It worked. He killed all those guys. It’s likely you’ll need the same type of divine intervention to accomplish your task without getting bodily fluids on your favorite collared shirt. Be quick, but not in a hurry. Accuracy is valuable to babies. Put one diaper on backwards and they lose every ounce of respect they had for you as a father.
  3. Treat wipes as if they were made of gold – Changing diapers can get pretty expensive. It’s just a fact of life. And while we can’t conserve diapers by leaving our kids sitting in their own filth for longer periods of time, there is an aspect of diaper changing that we can control. The wipes. These giant moist towelettes made of gold cost about as much as a gallon of regular unleaded. For each one. For this reason it’s important to take advantage of every inch of surface area. There’s a front and back for a reason – you’ll thank me later.
  4. Urine stings when it gets in your eyes – Remember that little wash station in the corner of the room in Chemistry class? The one no one ever used because nothing bad ever happened in Chemistry class? It may be wise to invest in one of those. If God happens to deny your request for speed and accuracy, it’s possible that certain liquids may end up in or around your eyes. Specifically urine. And the thing about urine (blog name change possibly?) is it stings like pepper spray. If you can’t find one of these wash stations on Craigslist, I’d invest in some goggles. There’s no shame in being the Horace Grant of diaper changing.
  5. The first one is the worst thing ever –  I had never changed a diaper before being presented with two babies at the same time in the hospital 11 months ago. I assumed that out of respect for me, they would each wait until their mother woke up from anesthesia before leaving me any presents. I was wrong. So I feel I have this duty (no pun intended) to prepare you for what awaits at the hospital. A diaper full of black tar. Don’t worry, your baby is not an alien. Apparently every tiny person begins life with a load of tar that you may be responsible for cleaning up. Follow steps 1-4 and remember, it only gets more disgusting better.

Anyone have any other ideas? I’m literally changing a diaper right now…

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12 Comments on “For The New Father: 5 Things To Remember When Changing A Diaper”

  1. May 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    I will definitely take into consideration on conserving wipes.

    Great tips!

    Thankfully I have a girl so urine in my eye is less of a risk!

  2. bd
    June 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Need a follow-up article on the worst case scenario of diapering: the blowout. Remember, some onesies can’t be saved. Better to sacrifice the garment and jaws of life the kid right out of there than to try to pull a poopy shirt over his/her face.

    Biographical note: my son has only blown out of maybe 2 diapers in his whole life. My daughter, however, blew out almost every day.

  3. pointerdiaper
    June 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Great to know when I become a father.

  4. June 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Oh man, blowouts are rough. I like the idea for a follow up article. Unfortunately, I believe I could write a book on the subject. Many onesies have been sacrificed on the changing table.

  5. June 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    PLEASE… need advice on these “blowouts” you speak of. My baby is due in 2 months & I’ve never changed a diaper in my life. How do you get them out of the onsie? Scissors?

  6. June 8, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    Depending on the severity of the incident, some onesies can be saved. However, this is rare. If it cannot be saved, scissors are a wise choice. Simply cut down the front of the clothing, just make sure someone else is around to assist you as sharp objects and wildly moving babies do not mix well. We eventually resorted to leaving our kids in pajamas all day for two reasons. 1. It’s not like we were going anywhere anyway. 2. They either zip or snap (preferably zip) in the front, so in case of a blowout you can remove the child without furthering the mess or sacrificing the (pricey) clothing.

  7. Mya
    January 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    To save wipes use them only when outside the house ie park , cafe – you get the picture. At home just stick the kid into the shower and hose him down (having wiped most of the filth first with the back of the diaper if course).
    Tried and true technique 🙂 worked with all my 4 sons:))

  8. Mya
    January 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    About saving clothing after a blowout – seriously, I haven’t seen one severe enough to throw away clothes. If it happens at home – you guessed it – shower off the kid, rinse the clothing and soak it in detergent immediately. If outside – well that’s a lot tougher but if you have a change of clothes and a pack of wipes you’ll be just fine. Once home just rinse and soak clothes and hose off the kid:)

    Ahh, such fond memories:)


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