Teaching Children To Change Diapers

How to teach an older sibling to change a baby's diaper.

Changing a diaper may seem like a relatively easy (although rather unpleasant and stinky) thing to do. However, before you ask your older child to change a baby sibling's diaper, you have to teach them how to do it properly. Also, you shouldn't give this responsibility to a child who is under twelve years old. Even though it seems like a simple task, changing a diaper could actually become dangerous if the person doing the diaper changing is not mature enough to be trusted to make sure the baby, for one, doesn't fall of the changing table. Also, if the diaper changing is done improperly, then your baby could end up with painful diaper rash. Therefore, the first thing that you have to explain to your older child if you intend to teach him or her to change diapers is that they have to be careful, watchful, and thorough from start to finish. Here are the three steps that you will have to teach your older sibling before he or she is diaper-changing ready:

Step #1: Prep

There are certain tools of the trade when it comes to changing a diaper. It is important that you tell your older child to have all the supplies ready before putting the baby on the changing table. Explain to your child that the baby can never - not even for a split second - be left unattended on the changing table. The baby could roll over and fall of the table in two seconds flat and a fall like that could cause serious harm - even death -- to a little one. The supplies that should be readied prior to putting the baby on the changing table are wipes, powder, cream or ointment, and a new diaper.

Step #2: Ready Your Subject

Lay the baby down on his or her back on the changing table. Remove all clothing below the waist except for the soiled diaper. If the baby has a one piece body suit on that has snap clasps at the crotch, just unsnap them and pull the suit up so that it is just below the armpits. It is important to get all of the clothing away from the baby's lower body in order to avoid a mess. Next, lift the baby's bottom up slightly by holding his or her ankles with one hand - you just want to angle the bottom half of the baby up ever so slightly, and not so much that your are contorting the baby into an uncomfortable position.

Step #3: Out with the Old, On with the New

Use your free hand to remove the diaper. Keep the legs lifted so that the baby's soiled bottom doesn't touch the surface of the changing table. Discard the dirty diaper in the appropriate waste receptacle (which should be adjacent to the changing table). Use your wipes to slowly and gently clean up the baby, making sure to clean in all the folds and creases of the skin where dirt and bacteria will hide. Once the area has been cleaned, use your fingertips to apply the cream or ointment to the genital and anal areas. Next, slip your new diaper underneath the baby, and then apply a small amount of powder to the inside of the diaper and to the baby's bottom. Close the diaper, making sure that the closure is tight enough that you cannot fit two fingers inside the waist, but loose enough so that you can fit one finger easily. Basically, you don't want the diaper to fall off, but you don't want it to be restrictive. Finally, put the baby's clothes back on, and you're all done.

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