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Changing a diaper Article

A few years back, the topic of how one goes about changing a diaper came up on the Blind Parents discussion list. (The Blind Parents discussion list is a mailing list where blind parents talk about raising children while blind.) Here is what I sent the group as a response (with minor edits and clarifications).

When I change my daughter, I do the following:

1: smell her to see if I’m dealing with a code yellow, or a code brown (just pee or both pee and poop).

2. Lay her down on our changing table, but the floor will work as well.  If
it’s the floor, I position her with her legs facing me.  I also make sure I
have a fresh diaper and the wipes close at hand, even if I don’t think I’ll
need them.  It’s also a good idea to put something underneath him, to
prevent accidental spillage.

3. Pull down her pants, undo her body suit, ETC.; whatever it takes to gain
access to her diaper.  Sometimes it’s easier to take her pants off entirely.
I also pull her shirt up to her chest so it’s out of the way.

4. Pull the tabs on her diaper and open it up.

5. Lift her legs and if I believe, based on step 1, that it is not a code
brown, I touch the diaper to make sure.  If my initial assessment was
inaccurate, I usually make a vigorous exclamation (something like
“aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!  Poop!!!!”) and quickly clean my hand with a wipe.  On the other hand, If the diaper is poopless, I go to step 8.

6. If the diaper is in fact dirty and not just wet, I put a wipe on my hand
and do some exploration of her butt to see if any big pieces are still stuck
to her.  If they are, I wipe or pick them off, being careful to keep my
fingers covered by the wipe.  If I haven’t moved the diaper much, it should
still be underneath her to catch anything I remove.  When all the big stuff
seems to be gone, I change wipes, but before I do so, I use the now dirty
wipe to touch the poo in her diaper to test its consistency.  If it’s really
wet, I carry her off to the bathroom for a good rinse of the area in the
sink with a soft cloth.

7. I use several wipes to clean her, being as comprehensive as possible. Because she is a girl, I am careful to wipe front to back.  Were she a boy, it would be reversed, and I would wipe back to front. I prefer to over
clean rather than under clean.  If I am ever uncertain, I don’t take chances.
I take her off to the bathroom, as mentioned in step 6.  I place each of the
dirty wipes in the diaper as soon as I finish with them.

8. Once I am sure she is clean, I remove the diaper from under her, being
careful not to spill any of the contents, and roll it up, using the tape or
Velcro to secure it closed.

9. I open up the new diaper, by that I mean I pull the flaps on the sides
away from the diaper.  I don’t mean that I open the tabs, but I do lay the
diaper as flat as possible.  To clarify, the tabs are the things that secure
the diaper closed, the flaps are the long things that run the length of the
diaper, on the inside, that sometimes have like an elastic feel to them.
These are what, theoretically, keep what’s inside the diaper inside.  The
tabs are found on one end of each flap.  The elastic is on the flaps so that
they can hug the legs and keep things inside (hopefully).

10. Once the diaper is all the way open, I gently lift her legs up with one
hand, and use the other hand to slide the diaper, tabs first and soft cotton
side up underneath her butt.  I do my best to center it one-handed, but I
don’t try too hard to get it right, as I can always make any minor
corrections I need to.  I just try to get at least half the diaper under
her, as it’s easier to pull the diaper out from under her, than it is to
pull it the other way.

11. I let her relax her legs and I feel the tabs, which should be sticking
out from underneath her a couple inches on either side.  If they aren’t, I
pull the diaper out from under her and start again with step 10.  If they
sort of are, I use the tips of my index fingers to lift her slightly, and I
use the rest of my fingers to maneuver the diaper into place.  I try to get
the tabs a little higher than her hip bone.  The tabs should be at the same
level and the same amount of flap should be sticking out on each side.  This
assures that the diaper is pretty well centered.  It sounds tricky, and it
can be, but it’s not hard to figure out when you’ve got it right.

12. Once I think I’ve got it, I carefully lift the front end of her diaper
to cover her up.  The top of the front side should line up with the top of
the back side.  In other words, she should have as much of the diaper on her
front as she has on her back.  If not, I lower the front half of the diaper
and move it or her as needed and try again.

13. When everything seems to be in order, I pull the tabs away from their
places,, tuck the flaps in front under the flaps in back, and secure the
tabs to the front of the diaper being sure not to make it too tight or
loose.  I then make another check by running my finger around the top edge
of the diaper to make sure that it’s relatively even all the way around.  I
also feel her butt, as sometimes her cheeks can escape from the inside of
the diaper when I close it.  If one side is hanging out, I just pull the
diaper down and over a touch, so that everything is covered.

14. Put her pants back on and let her run off to watch Caillou or whatever.

This all gets easier with practice. A good way to learn what a correctly installed
diaper feels like is simply to feel one that’s been correctly installed.

Good luck and please post in the comments if you have any suggestions, or if you do something different.

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