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When I was expecting my son Zach, I was busy making a huge list of baby essentials trying to prepare to welcome my baby into the world.  The internet told me to get a teething giraffe called Sophie, stock up on muslin swaddles, and that I need something called maternity pads. I paid attention, made notes, and made sure I stocked up on these items. What I had missed were good leak-free diapers.

Diapers pack weren’t on my list of research because I figured there was nothing to it. Diapers for baby, huh? Who thinks about running research on diaper brands? I figured that department needed no attention because all infant diapers are the same (they are not). I was sure diaper leakage wouldn’t be a nightmare ( it is a nightmare) I was sure front symmetry tapes aren’t important ( oh, they are).

Why would one brand be that different than any other? (they are) I was sure overnight diapers were the same as daytime diapers (they’re not) and that diaper leakage wouldn’t be that bad. (It’s bad). Who knew peeing and pooping ( of my son, not mine)  would become a huge focus of our daily life.

I need to confess something first, I had never wiped someone else’s butt all my life. Was I not a good sister to 2 younger brothers? Maybe not, sorry mom I feel you now! But if I had, I would have expected a polite thank you or perhaps a medal. Certainly not a tiny little human that I birthed screaming in my ear like I was torturing him.

Experienced moms are diapering superheroes; they have their babies on and off the diaper in the time it takes a new mom to pick up her crying baby and carry it to the changing table. I don’t think diaper changing is enjoyed by anyone ( if you are someone who finds diaper changing enjoyable, please take my little 5-week-old mister- poop-explosion home ).

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As a new mom, I struggled in the nappy department and found it very challenging. When I came back home from the hospital, all groggy and tired from the 23-hour labor, I fumbled on to my first diaper changing experience.

I sat out and got everything ready, I put on the diaper, taped it, and thought to myself ‘wow, this is so simple, I am a diaper changing pro’. After a while, my son made an animated face and let out a huge poop-splatter sound from his butt. It was time for me to change the diaper,  I unbuttoned his onesie and “AGHHHHHHH!!!!”.

I emitted a high-pitched scream.  There was a stream of hot liquid poop coming out of the back of the diaper and there was a smear of poop on his thighs and the back of his clothes, I sat there looking at it, frozen, not sure what had happened.

I finally started with the baby, tore off his clothes, and went on to the diaper, only to realize the rookie in me had done reverse diapering.

Just imagine! I had put the diaper on wrong and there was poo everywhere. I then asked my husband to get our baby bathed and redressed because all  I could now see, smell, and almost taste was the disaster that took place a few moments ago.  

Diaper change proficiency takes time because learning how to properly change a diaper and figuring out what brand works for you and your baby isn’t a one-and-done deal. Here are some important things that I learned during changing newborn diapers:

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Always Be Prepared for a surprise

Expect the unexpected mommies. Sometimes when you are expecting a pee diaper, only to open it and discover a poo nugget ready to welcome you.

Nothing could have prepared me for the surprise Zach had planned for me when he was 3 weeks old. That sweet thing looked at me with his little eyes at 4 am in the night, and I started to change him, as I was wiping him PLOOOOPP, he dropped poop right into my hand, some gross stringy breastmilk style baby poop. Slow. Clap!! J

There will be explosions (poop-filled ones)

Explosions are when pee, but mostly poop leaves the diaper and ends up all over your baby, their adorable new outfit, their car seat, and your clothes. (Especially when you make them wear a reversed diaper- read my story above)

All diaper brands are made differently

Am I coming up with a marketing ploy to lure new sleep-deprived, poo-smelling parents into buying lots of diapers? Will finding the right brand of breathable diapers stop the whiff of feces from entering your nose?

Errr, NO! While there may be no solution to smelly poos, all diaper brands come with different features. Some are taller, some are thicker, some have front symmetry tapes so that parents can get specific location and specific symmetry and some are even made of cloth. All of these factors come with different advantages depending on your baby’s needs.

For my boy, diapers with symmetry tapes work best to avoid leakage.

Some extra tips

  • Almost of diapers have wetness indicators. Keep an eye on them to know whether your baby needs a fresh diaper. These are lines in the center of the diaper or cute animal patterns that change color when it has already soaked.
  • Place your baby on the changing table or use a changing pad to avoid soiling or getting things wet.
  • To avoid getting peed on, put on a new diaper or employ a so-called peepee teepee on baby boys.
  • Use baby wipes or lukewarm water and cotton balls when cleaning baby poop.
  • Don't forget Vaseline or gentle diaper cream. Newborn babies have sensitive skin, they're prone to getting a diaper rash easily.
  • Put the diaper under the buttocks. Diapers with front symmetry tapes serve as a guide to the one changing the diaper.
  • Align the tapes to get to a specific symmetry and secure them into place.
  • Find the right balance, you know the baby bear fit. Where the diaper is not too snug but not too tight.
June 09, 2022 — Sarah Cole
Tags: true stories

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