dad changing baby's diaper
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Kate Traverson

What It’s Really Like to Change Baby’s Diaper (as Told in GIFs)

All the strategies, smells and struggles ahead.

You know diaper changing will be part of the job (er, joy) that comes with having a baby. But while it’s one thing to expect it as part of the routine, it’s another to actually experience it when duty calls. And sure, it may not become your favorite part of parenting, but it won’t take long for you to develop your own tips, tricks and inner monologue to make the most of the process. (Our advice: Register for a Diaper Genie to handle those dirty diapers; its built-in odor lock system will keep your nursery smelling fresh.) In the meantime, we put together a play-by-play of what you can expect while changing baby’s diaper…the good, the bad and the ugly.

1. You drag yourself out of bed (at 3 a.m., natch) to the sound of baby’s cries. Of course, your partner seems to have gone temporarily deaf—how convenient.

2. Now for the moment of truth: You lift baby’s bum and take a whiff. Why did nobody tell you having kids meant sniffing for poop in the middle of the night? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

3. You smell the smell and a momentary rush of panic hits as you wonder whether this will be a regular No. 2, or a poo-splosion on par with Mount Vesuvius.

4. Suddenly, baby throws you that heart-melting smile. You never thought you could love someone so much. (You also never thought something could smell this foul. They’re lucky they’re cute.)

5. You quickly unzip baby’s footed PJs and say a silent (possibly begrudging) thank-you to your mother-in-law, who gifted you a dozen of these gloriously convenient garments at your baby shower.

6. Like a diaper-changing ninja, you manage to pull off the patented dirty-to-clean diaper shuffle while miraculously keeping you, baby and the changing pad spotless. How is this skillful swap not an Olympic event by now?

7. Spoke too soon; guess baby wasn’t done. You ready yourself for a spontaneous stream—duck and cover!

8. Now comes the part neither of you love: wiping. How are you supposed to pull this off with only two hands? Oh, the kicking…did you give birth to a child or a kangaroo?

9. You wrap that smelly diaper up like some sort of nasty origami and use your foot to open the pail and drop it in, stopping to contemplate the spot-on name of the Diaper Genie. It’s simply magic how handy it is that you don’t have to schlep that diaper to the trash can in the middle of the night—not to mention how it contains the stank.

10. With a new diaper securely in place, you stealthily sneak baby back to the crib and consider placing bets on how long this nice, clean, fresh one is going to last. At least next time, it won’t be your turn!

The best thing you can do for baby (and yourself) is be prepared. Get smart tips and learn about the helpful essentials to stock up on from The Bump and Playtex Baby.

Photo: Rob & Julia Campbell
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