mom changing son's diaper
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Melissa Walker

These 6 Tips Will (Almost) Have You Welcoming Diaper Duty

Changing a diaper will never be anyone’s idea of a good time. But with these small tweaks, you might find it becomes more of a bonding experience than a burden.

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If you were to catalog the things new parents look forward to when baby arrives, changing diapers would be pretty low on the list—maybe somewhere between middle-of-the-night feedings and that first round of shots. But the truth is, this messy task is one of the earliest and best ways to bond with baby (because it’s not like newborns are laughing at our jokes). Infants basically just want to eat, sleep and yes, get cleaned up after nature calls. So while you may never love changing baby’s diapers, there are tricks that can make the process at least a little more pleasant. And that’s good news for you, baby, and his precious little bum.

1. Set Up for Success

A changing area should be well outfitted from the moment baby comes home. That means lots of extra diapers, wipes, a tube of Cetaphil Baby Diaper Cream to protect that delicate skin, and the all-important diaper pail. When everything is in place (and within arm’s reach), your focus can be on baby, not searching high and low for supplies.

2. Talk to Baby

Giving a play-by-play announcement may seem silly or awkward at first, but it really works, even for newborns. Talk to him in a peaceful, quiet voice as you go through your diaper-changing routine, explaining what’s happening and what you’re going to do next. If the diaper cream is a little cold, make sure he knows beforehand. Of course a newborn can’t understand our words, but they can begin to sense our intentions, and it’s respectful and calming to let them know what you’re doing with their bodies.

3. Bring a Buddy

Place a stuffed animal next to baby on the changing table. Not only will it be a comforting sight, it’ll also give her something to focus on (and possibly distract her from what you’re doing down there). Even better, having an object to hold could help keep her from wiggling around too much as you work out which tabs go in the front.

4. Be Ready on the Go

You know a multi-pocketed diaper bag and foldable changing pad are absolute must-haves. But beyond their main purpose—keeping diapers, wipes, balm, and other changing essentials with you at all times—they also provide a sense of security for baby. The familiar pattern and feel of the changing pad can be a cue for babies in a public restroom, letting him know that even if the place may look different, the diaper change will be the same.

5. Take Your Time

It’s happened to the best of us: Just after you’ve removed the dirty diaper and are trying to fasten the new one, baby’s foot or fist lands right smack-dab in the middle of the dirty diaper. Ugh! Between a squirming baby and the confusing combination of tabs, sticky adhesives and elastic that doesn’t always fit properly, it can be a challenging maneuver, to say the least. But patience is key: The calmer and more deliberate you are, the more at ease baby will be. If she’s extra-squirmy, try a light massage using Cetaphil Baby Moisturizing Oil, which is formulated with a calming organic calendula extract, to help pacify her before you touch that diaper.

6. Savor the Moments

Will you always treasure being up at 3 a.m. with a crying baby? No, and that’s perfectly fine. Not every moment *should *be treasured. But a diaper change is a chance to create shared trust, a time when you can look into baby’s eyes and let him know you’re there for him. Sooner than later you just might find yourself looking forward to these moments more than you ever thought possible.

Photo: Getty Images