Day 32: 10 ways to become a “Nappy Change Ninja”

 

Over the last month I have changed a lot of nappies. As a new dad this seems to be my main job, and even if I do say so myself, I think I am pretty good at it. In a previous blog I gave some tips for changing nappies in public (link) and so today thought I would offer a more general guide to this sometimes challenging task:

babyninja-2

  1. Talk to the baby throughout: Your baby will most likely be terrified and upset. Not only is he unhappy due to his soiled undercrackers, but the anguish is compounded by the fact a giant is forcibly removing them. Talking (or even singing) to your baby will help keep them calm and make the whole thing easier.
  2. Prepare everything in advance: Before you start in popping those poppers make sure you have all you need ready to go and to hand. New nappy, wet wipes, tissues, change of clothes, nappy bag – there is nothing worse than having to rummage around to find something when you have a screaming, pooing baby going ballistic at you.
  3. Speed is of the essence: The key to a successful change is a ninja like combination of speed, accuracy and calm. You know what you are doing, prepare thoroughly and once you have started focus on the goal of a quick but thorough change. This will help keep the baby as calm as possible and limit potential spillage.
  4. Keep an eye out for surprises: Particularly with boys, the pee fountain is a very real danger, and it can sneak up on you at any point in the changing process. My technique involves holding a tissue over the willy at all points, and of course pointing it towards his feet so that should the unfortunate happen, at least it won’t soak his clothes.
  5. Don’t let false starts put you off your stride: It is quite possible that mid change your baby will go again, covering everything and needing a restart of the process. Don’t let this put you off, just clean it up and start the process again.
  6. Wipe thoroughly: This may seem obvious, but it is easy to fall into the trap of not wiping thoroughly between all the nooks and crannies. Remember, if you don’t clean it now, you are going to have to do it later so just knuckle down and get that bum clean. Remember, wet wipes are your friend.
  7.  Focus on the poppers: once a successful change has been completed, there is still one hurdle to cross – doing up the poppers on the sleep suit. It is easy to relax and get complacent at this point, but don’t fall into that trap. Focus on getting the poppers right first time to avoid discomfort and tantrums for all concerned.
  8. Work as a team: Believe me, your baby wants this to be over as quickly as you do, so try to work with him to get things done quickly and efficiently. He won’t really mind a bit of gentle force to get his legs in the right position, so long as you are gentle and confident. In his view the sooner this is over the better.
  9. Always wash your hands: It is easy to become desensitised to the muckyness of nappies, but don’t get blasé. Wash your hands afterwards as the risk of getting a stomach bug is not worth taking
  10. Practice makes perfect: Changing a nappy is like riding a bike. Once you have learned to do it you won’t forget, but without practice you are never going to win the Tour de France. Develop your own technique that works for you and your baby, practice and refine it, and you too will become a nappy ninja.
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