The Tovsky Tribe

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Diaper Changing Derby

I remember the first time I changed a diaper, unsupervised. I was old enough that it should not have been my first diaper, but it was. I was babysitting my friend's kid. I had been alone with the infant for an hour or so and all was going well. It came time to change the diaper and I set her down on the changing table ready to go. I started to sweat. A million what if's went through my head, including WHAT IF SHE FALLS OFF THIS TABLE?? Sweat continued to pour down me. Holding this squishy, delicate newborn had not scared me, changing her diaper had sent me into hysterics. I tried to remain calm, got her cleaned up, and set her down so I could regain my composure. I had survived, and so had she. I laughed, I realized changing a newborn's diaper was not all that hard.
Fast forward some years. The first diaper I changed on my own sons' was in an incubator and I had to stick my hands through the designated holes. The nurses made this look so easy and yet I found it awkward and difficult. I managed.
It seems that many new moms are scared of diaper changes. A fear runs through us as if it will be done wrong, when really the worst thing that happens is they leak. Messy, but certainly not disastrous. People want to read manuals or take lessons on this simple task, which in about a day you can do speedily and without thinking.
But, your newborn does not stay a placid infant for long. In fact, those days become a distant memory faster than you can realize. My premature newborns have become rambunctious 11 month olds and I really do need a lesson on how to change their diapers. The changes have become a wrestling match that often results in my win, if loose, sideways diapers count as a victory. I have to change them while they flail, and twist, and roll and stand. So far, I have not diapered their heads, nor suffered any leaks, but I don't get the reward for the perfect diapering either. Today, when I took Ryder out of his crib from his morning nap he was not wearing a diaper. The diaper lay 6 inches from his feet. I gave him a lot of credit as I wondered how he managed to get himself out of it, but the reality is the diaper was probably half hanging off when I put him down, since I had just changed him. Occasionally, one of them will behave for me. Finding enough interest in the toy (ie: brush, shoe, toothpaste, anything within reach) I have given him to give the few seconds I need to get them changed. Usually, however, its a battle, a battle of mom vs. son, of flailing vs. pinning, that leaves me winded and him changed. There really should be a manual for this!!

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