Man your stations. Set up stations for diaper changes throughout your house so you’re not running up and down the stairs to your child’s room to retrieve a diaper or to locate the diaper-rash cream when it’s time for a change. At each station have diapers, wipes, and cream within arm’s reach for easy diaper changing.
Distract your little darling. No one needs to tell you that babies and toddlers are antsy — especially when it’s time for them to lie still for diaper changes. To have an easy diaper changing experience, keep her occupied while you’re doing your business. Sing songs, install a mobile over the changing table, shake a rattle, play peekaboo, or hand her a special toy or book saved for diapering time. All these distractions are sure to make for easy diaper changing, keeping her from wiggling away from you while you’re mid-change.
Get down to the down and dirty. First, wash your hands (always — you don’t know what you were touching last, whether a jalapeño or a harsh detergent). Then, instead of whisking away the dirty diaper immediately, use it to help swipe off as much poop as possible before turning to the wipes. If you’re changing a newborn, use cotton balls or a washcloth dipped in lukewarm water instead (it’ll be gentler on your infant’s sensitive skin). When cleaning your baby’s bottom (especially a girl’s), be sure to wipe from front to back to avoid spreading germs. Clean the creases between your child’s legs and buttocks to remove all traces of poop and pee. Pat your baby’s bottom with a soft cloth or towel until it’s completely dry (before you slather on cream or ointment to help prevent diaper rash). And because it’s a dirty job (and you’re the one doing it), don’t forget to wash your hands. Keep her safe. If diaper changes are happening on a changing table, use the safety straps to buckle your child in — even newborns who can’t roll over can stretch and fall off the table’s surface. But don’t rely on the straps to keep your baby secure; you’ll still need to keep a constant eye on her (don’t think you can turn your back even for a second).
Change the scene. If your older baby’s pitching a fit at every one of her diaper changes, ditch the table and try a new location — the bed, the bathroom, even the floor. Put a pad or thick towel down to protect the surface (just be careful — a towel isn’t waterproof). She may just be balking at the idea of being strapped in.
Be prepared for anything. When you’re changing a boy’s diaper, always place a cloth over his penis to prevent an unintentional spray (hitting you or the wall!). Another word to the wise: Be sure your baby has finished pooping before you replace a dirty diaper (and waste a clean one).