We always say that dads need to “get their hands dirty” when they jump into life as a new parent. Enjoy this guest post from one of our members, Bryan Grossbauer, as he highlights the ins and outs of one of the dirtiest jobs of all, the toddler diaper change. – M.S.
Who wants to walk around in a poopy diaper? Not anyone I know. Oh wait, yes, my 21 month old son, Finn. How could I forget? I suppose it is not that he prefers the dirty diaper to a clean one, but that he just doesn’t have time to slow down for a change. Around every corner is a new discovery, a new experience unfolding before his eyes. Who has time to stop and stare at the ceiling while someone wipes and cleans you? Hmm, sounds pretty good to me.
Here’s the play by play: with one arm I am able to hold him down while off come the pants. Then the legs start kicking. You have to watch out for a stray leg. Although small, toddlers have strong legs and are willing to show you what you what it really means to “kick”.
Next come the diapers. Who knows whats lurking beneath those two tabs that hold the diaper together? The nose knows! This is a stinky one. So now, not only do we have squirm dog millionaire kicking and screaming, but also a loaded diaper? When will it end? In about 16 years, if you push for an out of state college. Back to the mess…
Not sure about other kids, but my son can randomly end up with horrible diaper rash, seemingly coming from nowhere. So bad, that sometimes a soak in tepid water, and a hair dryer on cold air to completely dry his bum is not only good, but quite necessary. Using a cup of lukewarm water and dipping the wipe in it helps to soothe the burn that comes from “gentle wipes”.
Once he is clean and dry, I quickly move to the new diaper. Timing is everything now. Having the diaper handy and not in some drawer will help to shave off valuable seconds that could mean the difference between a quick change, or a long drawn-out search for a diaper while the little one runs around the house half naked. Although for some diaper rash, these fresh air, non-diaper moments are just what the rear end needs.
Finally, after a diaper is in position, the cream is applied. I am a fan of the thick and often technique. (Does anyone have a home recipe for diaper rash cream?) A classic move is of course the wiggle that causes a liberal application of cream to the inner thigh. I quickly ignore this, apply another layer in the correct spot, then after securing the diaper, clean up the leg. It’s all about staying with the plan, change that diaper, everything else is just details.
Some kids outgrow this battle quite quickly, for others it continues to some extent until potty learning is complete. My son hasn’t quite decided to give the potty a chance yet. So for now, the battle wages on and once everything is said and done, he is a lot happier playing with trucks when he is nice and clean- he just doesn’t know it yet.
Bryan Grossbauer is an actor, musician, former teacher, and full time stay at home dad. He is father to 22 month old Finn and has a daughter that will be arriving at the end of April. Bryan and his wife, Erin O’Callaghan, live in Manhattan and enjoy traveling, hiking, and live music. Follow his adventures at redwagonstories.blogspot.com and @bryangrossbauer on Twitter.