Sunday, September 26, 2010

Diapering Away from Home

Most parents get the hang of diapering pretty quickly. There really isn't much of a choice and you get a lot of experience quickly. Changing Natalie at home on her changing table has been easy pretty consistently. However, we've had some troubles changing her away from home, especially as she's gotten older. Here's what I've learned:

  • Have a distraction. This holds true for diaper changes at home, too. A distraction can be a toy, a clean diaper, a mirror, or playing a game (raspberries on the tummy and This Little Piggy are our favorites). I learned about the mirror in an airport changing station. Natalie as pretty fascinated seeing her diaper changed in the mirror and didn't make a peep.
  • Put something extra under baby's head. Even though I would use the portable changing pad, Natalie would still get upset. But, when I would fold it up and put it under her head, she was much happier. I've also used a sweatshirt, a receiving blanket, and my shirt (I just whipped it off since I was locked in there alone anyway).
  • Avoid bright sun. Bright sun in her eyes was a contributing factor to a meltdown at the zoo where the only changing station was affixed to a fence outside the restrooms. She was also bothered by it at the beach, but we had more flexibility in how to make a shadow over her that time.
  • Avoid the floor. For Natalie, being put down on someone else's floor for a diaper change was the end of the world! I would try to use the floor because I'd worry about her soiling someone's furniture, but it really wasn't worth the meltdown. I'd have to pin her down as she howled. This is also not the type of thing you want to do in front of others.
  • Don't forget about the car. We've changed Natalie pretty successfully using both the passenger front seat of the car as well as the flat surface inside the trunk.

On a related note, I've also learned that I didn't use almost any of the things I used to bring when we went out to run errands. In fact, I usually didn't even need to change a diaper during a shopping trip. After a while, I got sick of carting around a big diaper bag and downsized to a purse (that was also more fashionable). If we got out for a longer trip, I pack more thoroughly, but we only bring the essentials for a trip across town that will last an hour or two.

What I used to carry in the diaper bag:
  • 3 diapers
  • wipes
  • changing pad
  • back up outfit and socks
  • hand sanitizer
  • Desitine
  • hair brush (she didn't even have hair yet!)
  • sun screen
  • tissues
  • travel size lotion
  • receiving blanket
  • 2 toys
  • my things (wallet, keys, phone, etc)
  • extra clothes, such as a sweater
  • baby snack and cup (when she got old enough)

What I carry now in an purse:
  • 1 or 2 diapers
  • wipes
  • 2 or 3 toys
  • baby snack (usually rice rusks because they are prepackaged)
  • sippy cup (water and juice mix)
  • extra clothes, such as socks, shoes, or sweater
  • hand sanitizer
  • my things (wallet, phone, keys, etc)

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