Real Talk: Here’s What I’ve Learned After Changing Hundreds of Diapers
I’m Shenae Grimes-Beech: actor, YouTuber, digital influencer, luckiest wife in the world and most importantly, mother to Bowie Scarlett Beech. I’ve had some wild experiences and incredible opportunities over my past 16 years in show business, but I finally discovered the life purpose I never knew I was missing when I took on my latest role, the role of a lifetime—mom. Since we’re all on this crazy parenting road together, I wanted to share some important lessons and tips I’ve learned about one of the most frequent activities you’ll engage in with your little one: changing diapers. It’s a little less glamorous than how I typically spend my time on set, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Lesson 1: Prepare for Blowouts
A blowout no longer defines professionally primped locks that spare you a hair wash or two. There’s nothing pretty about the word “blowout” in my world anymore. These days it’s messy, it’s definitely not cute and at times, it’s downright mind-boggling. (Note: I’m dancing around the term “projectile poop” because the visual that pops into your brain can’t be erased.) But in reality, it’s an inevitable part of life with baby. There are usually no warning signs and there’s no telling where that poop will escape to—up their back, down their legs or sometimes, even all over you. All you can really do is be prepared.
- Always have a change of clothes (or two) for both you and baby when leaving the house.
- Keep more diapers than you think you need on hand.
- Thoroughly wipe their back, bum, and all those beloved rolls and creases on a chunky baby.
- Make the diaper-switch quick (like David-Blaine-magic quick) because if you’re not at the ready with that clean one within seconds, you may end up wiping more than just a baby tush. I’m talking changing pad, table, floors, walls…trust me, I speak from experience.
Lesson 2: Diaper Rash Will Happen
Diaper rash is no fun for anyone. It’s obviously uncomfortable for baby, and it can leave parents feeling guilty for letting it creep up. But don’t be hard on yourself if it does. No matter how diligent you are with changes and prevention, it can happen to anyone. Just know it’s not the end of the world because you can treat it quickly and effectively with a product like Aquaphor Baby Diaper Rash Cream. Bowie’s had two instances where mild, small patches of diaper rash popped up, but they disappeared within a day because I swallowed my pang of #momguilt and wasted no time treating it.
- Aim to prevent it with every diaper change. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is a changing station/diaper bag must-have for me. I load up Bowie’s clean tush with a decent layer before sealing up her fresh diaper to help keep that pesky rash at bay. It’s also a multipurpose product and great to help heal any chapped or dry skin on both baby and mama. Bowie has super-sensitive skin and often gets dry and flaky on her face and arms, but this product does the trick every time. And if I have any left over, I smack it onto my own lips. To clarify, only if I’ve just applied it to her face—not her tush.
- ALWAYS treat diaper rash at the first sign of it rearing its red and irritated head. Diaper rash is uncomfortable for poor baby and it will only get worse if untreated, so make sure to give that tush some airtime (easier said than done, as noted in lesson No. 1). Change those diapers more frequently and treat with Aquaphor® Baby Diaper Cream during every change until it’s gone.
Lesson 3: Safety First
I’ve been warned by everyone from my mother to my eyelash lady about watching babies like a hawk once they begin to discover mobility. Of course, anything can happen at any age so you should always be careful and cautious, but I can almost guarantee that most of the stories you’ve heard about someone’s baby rolling off the bed, the couch or the changing table happened around the 4-month mark. Between 3 and 4 months is typically when our cute little stationary blobs start to roll. Once they figure it out, they’re off to the races. And while it’s an amazing and exciting leap, it’s terrifying as a parent because it takes one second for them to roll right off of whatever surface we’ve left them on. My life goal right now is to learn from other people’s stories, and prevent falls at all costs.
- Always use the safety strap that comes attached to the changing pad. It’s there for a reason.
- Keep everything you need to change baby within easy reach of the changing table. I have all of Bowie’s everyday clothes, PJs, onesies, etc. on the left side of her dresser and all of her diapers, waterproof liners, wipes and creams on the right side. I don’t have to bend down or walk away to access anything.
- Always remove baby from the changing table and place them in the crib, in a lounger or somewhere safe if there’s ever a need to step away, even if only for a couple of seconds.
If you keep these things in mind, you and baby are sure to have a happy, safe, clean and comfortable diaper-changing experience. It may not be the most glamorous part of parenting (and let’s be real, not much is) but I can guarantee you two will have a lot of laughs shared at that changing table.
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