The right (and very wrong) way to change a nappy

Ever heard of the poo trifecta? You have now. Welcome to the all-time worst first nappy change.

dad changing baby_article

There are way (many) better things to do in life than change nappies.

Unfortunately we haven’t made things easy for ourselves in deciding to ‘evolve’ instead of roaming free like wild animals, happily leaving their crap wherever they want.

Nor are we royalty who can merely clap their hands and call out “WIPERS!” every time we go.

What a life that would be.

You know who has that life? Babies. The sweet little miracles. Babies have got it easy. They get wipers: us idiots.

Once you’ve become a ‘wiper’ you’ll hear yourself constantly congratulating the child for how much it’s done.

“Ooh what a big poo, good boy. That’s a big poo, isn’t?”

You’ll even pick your kid up and smell its bum to see if it’s soiled itself in front of people in a park! It’s terrifying.

Know your shit

The main duty in your new role as a wiper is changing nappies. And changing nappies is a chore. As with any chore you need to work out how to complete it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You need to know what you’re dealing with. Poo comes in many shapes and sizes.

First up, there’s the meconium, which looks like something from an extraterrestrial crime scene.

It’s thick, tarry and unholy looking. That’s the first one you’re going to encounter.

This stuff is composed of materials ingested during the time the infant spent in the uterus: intestinal epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, and water.

You know, all the good stuff.

Funnily enough it doesn’t smell as putrid as you’d expect. For the closet shit sommelier it actually has notes of hay or freshly cut grass.

By day four or five, as the body adapts to milk, it turns to a yellowy loose unit. That’s when the aroma changes and you’ll wish you lost your sense of smell in a house fire.

Hard hat and safety goggles may be required

I, naturally, thought I’d be a wizard at changing nappies.

The problem with that, which I didn’t factor into my equation, is babies are stupid.

Sometimes they’re compliant and happy to lie still; other times they’re ninjas trying to flip and kick their way to freedom.

My first attempt to change our newborn was a disaster.

I laid him on his back, undid the nappy, held onto his legs and realised I hadn’t put a replacement nappy underneath him.

First rookie error.

He squirmed, I panicked, and reacted by holding him aloft by the ankles. Like a trout I’d just plucked from a river.

Poo began to slowly ooze down his back as I frantically started pulling wipes out of the packet with my free hand, throwing as many as I could underneath him to help soak up the rogue hazardous material.

Having created a wet wipe safe-zone, I plopped him back down on the table, and it was then that the cold air of the room made my son urinate.

Second rookie error.

This is apparently a common thing and you’re supposed to put a tissue or wipe over his penis to prevent what happened next.

His wee shot out in a perfect parabola of piss all over his face, which obviously shocked him so much he screamed.

Then he vomited.

Everywhere. All over himself and all over me as I lifted him up to give him a cuddle.

I had just experienced the trifecta. Poo, wee and vomit for the win.

Don’t be me – nappy change must-dos

Wash your hands (before and after) with anti-bacterial gel: Kills 99.99% of germs … that still freaks me out, why can’t it just do the whole job?

Get organised: That means placing the new nappy on the table prior to placing your soiled offspring down, having wipes already pulled out of the packet, and having your nappy disposal bag open and ready. (Basically everything I didn’t do).

Find a distraction for bub: Hang a mobile, give your baby a toy to play with or both. Make stupid noises, I don’t care, anything to distract them or stop them from kicking, fussing or trying to roll over in their own sin thus causing mayhem in general.

Wipe softly: You’re not sanding back an old table by hand. It’s a baby’s bottom and they are well, smooth as a baby’s bottom. You have to be gentle with them or you’ll end up with an angry arsehole.


WATCH HOW IT’S DONE: Still can’t get your head around it? Check out our step-by-step video guide to nappy changing. It’s time to show that stink bomb who’s boss.