Eli is 7 months old. It’s hard to believe because it felt like my pregnancy lasted a decade and relief would never come. For months I dreamed of the day my sweet baby boy would be laughing and crawling and pooping all over the place. ANYTHING that meant I didn’t have to be pregnant any longer.
He’s just starting to crawl and has been giggling for a month or so now. But he has been pooping all over the place since day one. Boys have a special gift. It’s possible that Lacey also had this gift but evolution has taken specific memories away from parents for the purpose of being insane enough to reproduce multiple times. Though I’ve heard from many mommy friends that boys, do indeed, posses this special ability to poop and pee on everything and everyone. I’m still trying to perfect the art of diapering a boy, as it is MUCH different than diapering a girl, but I’ve compiled a short list of tips for parents-to-be and for people who just want to laugh at my parental nievity.
Cover the wiener. You should probably be warned that no matter how cautious you are, you will get peed on. At least a few times. Think of it as an initiation if you will. A welcoming into the world of bouncing baby boys. But covering his privates will save you tremendously from the fountains of pee. I usually just use a baby wipe but there is such a thing called pee pee tee pees. They are hilarious and brilliant and hopefully you get some at your baby shower. You can also buy them online or make your own. Here is a DIY tutorial by peek a boo pages.
At this point I’ve gotten pretty good at speed changing so if it’s just a number one I can usually get away with not covering. It’s also important to let that area breath a bit so don’t be afraid to clean up a little puddle every now and then.
Avoid leaks and blowouts. Every baby is different and some babies are heavy wetters. The best and easiest ways to avoid leaks is to change his diaper often. Keeping him in a clean, dry diaper will also help with diaper rashes and help prevent infections whether or not you choose to circumsize your son.* When leaks or blowouts happen (and they will happen) it is uncomfortable and upsetting. For everyone. It seems that a simple look at a baby boys anatomy will explain why they are front wetters and back blowers. Let me explain: Boy’s diapers work overtime in the front to absorb urine. For lack of better wording, his penis points outward so the pee is absorbed right upfront.
Boys-at least my boy-also have a crap ton of blowouts. Pun intended. A friend told me that she thinks this is because there is a bit of a road block (his testicles) in the front so there’s only one other way out. Not sure if that is the scientific explanation for this phenomenon but it makes sense to me! I’ve also been told that their butts are at more of an angle so the sheer force they use pushes it right up and out. Either way, it happens. My daughter also had her share of blowouts but hers were minuscule compared to my son’s. I have found that spending the extra money on the better diapers helps a lot with this. When Eli was wearing the store brand diapers it seemed like every poop was a blowout. Now he wears Huggies and we don’t have nearly as many. You can also try one of these or these if you’re having a severe blowout problem. Don’t worry, I will not post a blowout picture. You’re welcome.
Distract! In the first few months it’s difficult to use distraction to ease diaper changes. Newborns are nearsighted and might not be able to see that mobile hanging from the ceiling. But playing music, singing, or rattling a toy might help the teeny tinies. Once your baby is a few months old he will be much easier to distract with toys and by making a total fool out of yourself. So practice your derp faces and crazy squeaky voices. They eat that stuff up.
Make him comfortable. Do what you can to make your baby feel warm and secur during changes. Hopefully your baby will not hate diaper changes but more often than not, babies go through different stages of totally freaking out and loving every minute of the wipe down. Make sure to warm up the wipe if it’s cold out. Imagine putting a wet, freezing towel on your bum to clean up when you’re already cold and being held against your will. Poor guy! You can buy a wipes warmer just about anywhere or warm it up in your hand for half a minute for free.
Try different diapers and wipes. I can’t say this enough: every baby is different. What works for mine might not work for yours. Trying different products is important. In the hospital we were supplied with Pampers Swaddlers. I loved them for newborns. They have the neat little mesh liner which is great for catching that weird newborn poop. Both of my babies were/are breastfed so they had that yellowish, seedy, runny poop. And they pooped a lot.
While I was pregnant I loaded up on cloth diapers and was bound and determined for Eli to be a cloth baby. I’ve tried numerous times to make the switch but it hasn’t stuck yet. Yes, it is extra laundry but that’s not really what’s stopping me. They seem too big and bulky for him. His pants don’t fit over them and he has trouble sitting unsupported. I haven’t given up yet, though. When it gets warm out I look forward to letting him run around in his super cute, earth friendly dipes sans pants. I like being able to add more or less liners depending on his needs. You can double up in front and/or use more absorbent liners for front/heavy wetters. There are lots of different options making it easy to customize for your special little man.
Store brand or value diapers save a lot of money but are usually lacking quality. We’ve tried Target brand, Kroger brand, and Luvs, among various other cheap diapers. They’re not horrible but you get what you pay for. We were constantly dealing with leaks and blowouts. You just gotta weigh your options.
Now we primarily put Eli in Huggies. They work the best for him and his needs so it’s worth the extra money.
Be safe. Obviously safety is a priority for every aspect of infant care. Don’t leave your baby on the changing table unsupervised. Too many parents know that you won’t know your baby can roll over until he tumbles to the floor when you aren’t looking. Make sure you buy a changing table pad with straps or be sure to keep a close eye on him. Babies are the wiggliest little suckers.
Just know that every parent was once a first time parent. We all started at the same place. Experience will be your greatest teacher and you will aquire a lot of diaper changing experience quickly. You will learn along the way and come up with your own tips and tricks. I know this might seem like the most daunting part of having your first baby but your parental intuition will kick in when you need it most so have confidence. YOU GOT THIS!
Please comment if you have anything to add!
*we did not circumsize our son so I don’t have any tips on how to care for a newborn after that procedure. If you did not circumsize please make sure not to retract the foreskin while wiping or cleaning your baby. Tissue development is not complete at birth so retracting too soon can be painful and damaging. By age 3 most boy’s foreskin is retractable. Until then, simply wipe on and around the penis and carry on!