So it’s happened. You’ve been dreading it for months now and, finally, it’s here!!
HE/SHE (delete as appropriate) is…
In a moment, they’ve finally mastered forward propulsion and, with an unremarkable shuffle, your life just changed forever.
What happened next? You panicked, didn’t you? Don’t be coy, everyone does. Suddenly, the realization dawns that your little crying and pooing creature (that you’re not allowed to return to the shop because you lost the receipt or something) has cast off its most endearing quality – complete immobility. That’s right, from now on it won’t be staying where you put it and that’s bloody scary!
The blind panic that this triggers lasts around 24 hours (usually), during which time you tape the furniture to the floor, blunt all the butter knives and rip up the carpet (replacing it with Velcro).
Don’t worry it’s all perfectly normal.
Now that you’ve ruined your house, bubble-wrapped the dog and sanded down all the sharp edges on grandma in a futile bid to overcome your little darling one’s kamikaze tendencies, another horrendous thought strikes: “How the hell am I going to change their nappies?”
Fear not, you’re in the right place.
Here’s my guide to nappy changing a crawler.
You can thank me later.
1: STAY CALM
What you’re about to do is like sitting down to watch Sex & The City 2 – essentially no good will come of this situation. It will (I promise) be a living hell from beginning to end. Reconcile yourself to that. Perhaps have a few moments of quiet contemplative swearing before you begin.
It can help.
2: BE DETERMINED
Crawlers can smell weakness, just like you can smell the contents of their Pampers. Don’t let them think they’re going to win – otherwise, they will test you. Place your crawler onto their changing mat and tell them (as confidently as you can) that their nappy is about to be changed.
3: DON’T FORGET WET-WIPES
Crawlers have a special sixth sense that instructs them in the best way to create maximum carnage during a nappy change. If said diaper is merely wet they may just conserve energy. If, however, it’s messier than an explosion in a gateaux factory it’s guaranteed they’ll move quicker than a Jeremy Kyle show guest when the free bar opens.
THERE WILL BE POO EVERYWHERE.
Wet-wipes can hide a multitude of sins. By ‘sins’ (of course) I mean poo. I’m yet to meet a surface that a wet wipe couldn’t clean. When cleaning a crawler the wet-wipe is your friend. There have been times, if I’d laid them all out, I could’ve created a baby wet-wipe version of the Turin shroud.
I may have over-stated wet-wipes’ cleaning abilities. They don’t (necessarily) get rid of the smell. Don’t worry, you’ll get used it. But if you’re planning to have visitors (ever) you’ll probably want to re-decorate – once a week should do the trick. If you have a spare room, consider getting a painter and decorator to move in on a permanent basis. Trust me there’ll always be stuff for them to do – mainly painting over pooey hand-prints.
5: BUY BROWN CARPETS
You’ll never regret a brown carpet. It may be covered in skid-marks but no-one will ever know*. The smell is something of a giveaway. Consider recruiting people with no sense of smell as friends.
6: BUY YOURSELF BROWN CLOTHES
For further elaboration, see my thoughts on brown carpets. If brown isn’t your color, perhaps try getting into the vinyl or rubber scene**. Either material is very easily wiped down – although a lack of pockets may be an issue.
7: STAY CALM
You won’t. Running around after a crawler who is smearing every item you hold dear in excrement is unlikely to have this effect. That said – I’m trying to fill up space.
8: IT CAN WAIT
Why not just keep putting off changing the nappy? I find the morning alarm-clock approach works a treat: “I’ll get up in 10 minutes” can easily become “I’ll change them in 10 minutes.”
Why do now what you can put off until later? Words to live by if ever I heard them!
9: DON’T NEGOTIATE
It’s likely that you’ll find yourself pleading with your crawler just to stay still for a moment – this is often accompanied by tears (yours).
“Daddy’s had a long day, please be still.”
“Be nice to daddy, don’t put your pooey hands on the wall.”
“Please don’t wipe your bottom on the carpet!”
Don’t do this, it won’t help. Have some self-respect.
10: WINE HELPS
I find the best solution is just to go with the flow. Reconcile yourself to the fact that your home and all your clothes are going to have a ‘funny smell’ for the next few years and relax. Rather than worrying about avoiding the inevitable, just close your eyes and think about the copious amounts of alcohol you’re going to drink when your crawler goes to bed. I’d recommend something with a strong bouquet, to mask any nasty niffs.
Chris McGuire, The Out of Depth Dad.
*This isn’t strictly true
** This may make raise a few eyebrows among the neighbors – although they probably hate you already because of all the crying (from the baby).
For an unabridged version of this guide, click here: https://outofdepthdad.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/the-oodd-guide-to-nappy-changing-a-crawler/
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Originally published on Huffington Post