How to Change a Dirty Diaper: a Step-By-Step Guide for New Dads, By a New Dad
1. Notice a funk.
2. Double-check to make sure it’s not you.
3. Glare suspiciously at the dog.
4. Nope, it’s the baby.
5. Remember that you’re a modern man – a man who understands that being a father is different today than it was in your grandfather’s day, and that you share responsibility with your wife (or your fiancée, I won’t judge you), and changing diapers is something that you can do – a small chore and a somewhat distasteful one, but one tiny little gesture that will let your wife (or your girlfriend, I won’t judge you) feel just a little more secure, knowing that you are willing to step up, unasked, to save her stress when you can.
6. Confident that this means you’re a nice guy, cut yourself some slack by telling your wife (or your baby mama, I won’t judge you) that you think the baby needs to be changed.
7. Deploy glare shield. (Poker face is a minimum. If you can appear distracted with an important task, so much the better.)
8. Acknowledge glare shield breach. (Let’s face it, you knew this was a losing effort when you undertook it.)
9. Selflessly offer to change the baby.
10. Wait for your wife (or your boo, I won’t judge you) to decline your offer.
11. Realize that ain’t gonna happen, and you’re on, bucko.
12. Wash your hands. You don’t know where they’ve been.
13. Approach the sleeping baby in her bassinet.
14. Locate the all-important pacifier. Make sure it is within easy reach.
15. Get the wipes and set them to the left of the bassinet, because you don’t have a flat surface to the right of the bassinet.
16. Get a fresh diaper and set it on the bassinet.
17. Take a deep breath.
18. Acknowledge that maybe that was a mistake, as the baby is particularly overripe.
19. Un-snap the baby’s sleeper. This will immediately increase your baby’s awareness from “Sound Asleep” to “Defcon 2.”
20. Plug in that pacifier.
21. Wrestle the baby’s limbs out of the sleeper’s sleeves and legs. Bear in mind that the typical baby of six to eight pounds creates resistance roughly approximate to that of a Sherman tank being pulled by a bungee cord.
22. Plug in that pacifier.
23. Pick up the baby and cradle her in your left arm.
24. With your right hand, remove the sleeper from the bassinet.
25. With your right hand, lay a towel down in the bassinet, even if your wife (or your hookup, I won’t judge you) has suggested it’s overkill, because if you don’t the baby will be sure to make you regret it.
26. Catch the pacifier, which your baby has spit out. Note: your baby will now be livid that she does not have a pacifier.
27. Plug in that pacifier.
28. Put the baby back in the bassinet with her lower half on the towel.
29. Unsnap the bottom of the baby’s “onesie.”
30. Ignore the masculine voice in your head telling you that you’re girly if you use the word “onesie.”
31. Plug in that pacifier.
32. Pull the onesie up, in front and in back, to roughly the armpits, so as to expose the Toxic Diaper of Doom.
33. Plug in that pacifier.
34. Slide the new diaper underneath the baby so that it is in position to be immediately folded up and secured.
35. Reposition the baby, who wanted to wiggle off of that spot.
36. Repeat step 35.
37. Repeat step 35.
38. Repeat step 35.
39. Plug in that pacifier.
40. Repeat step 35.
41. Unfasten the Toxic Diaper of Doom.
42. Fold the top front of the Toxic Diaper of Doom down towards the baby, using it to wipe clear anything you can.
43. Discover a horror previously unknown to mankind. Congratulations: you have discovered the source of the funk.
44. No, don’t touch that pacifier. Your hands have been dangerously close to toxic sludge. She’s going to have to scream.
45. Oh, God, she’s kicking.
46. Try to soothe her by making “Shhhh shhhh shhhh” noises. (It doesn’t work, but they told you in class that it would, so do it.)
47. NO NO NO, DON’T KICK TOWARDS THE POO. NO. SHHHH. SHHHH. NO, WE DON’T WANT TO GET OUR FEET IN THAT.
48. With your left hand, take hold of her ankles and hold them up in the air.
49. Whoops, there goes one ankle. Get it back.
50. Now the other one.
51. Come ON, baby, how are you getting your legs free? You’re tiny.
52. GRIP those ankles, telling yourself that you are NOT hurting her, you are NOT hurting her, you are NOT hurting her.
53. With your right hand, reach awkwardly across your body to reach the wipes on the left side of the bassinet.
54. Try to shake the top wipe free from the rest of the wipes that want to come with it.
55. Try harder.
56. Nuts. Let go of the ankles so that you can use both hands to get that wipe separated from the rest. Move quickly, those feet are still swinging towards the poo-swamp.
57. Grab the ankles again in your left hand and use the wipe in the right hand to start cleaning.
58. No, really, all the bits. Everything. It looks like somebody made baby-sized Underoos out of poo, and you have to clean all of that with the wipes.
59. Repeat steps 53-58 as needed until everything is clean.
60. Tuck the used wipes into the Toxic Diaper of Doom and pull it out from under the baby.
61. Be sure that you have fully cleaned anything that went up the baby’s back, too.
62. Fasten the Toxic Diaper of Doom closed with the Velcro tabs.
63. Open the Diaper Genie and put in the Toxic Diaper of Doom.
64. Turn back to the baby in the bassinet.
65. Oh, NOW you’re peeing? On the clean diaper and the towel?
66. (That’s why you have the towel. Score yourself a point.)
67. Wait until the peeing is done.
68. Wait for it. She’s going to poop a little more, too.
69. See? Told you.
70. Get another wipe and clean her up again.
71. Pull out the “new” diaper. Put it in the Diaper Genie.
72. Check the towel for wetness. If dry, give a mental high-five to karma. If wet, remove towel and pray she doesn’t make another mess before she’s re-diapered.
73. Get a second new diaper.
74. Remind yourself that any minute now you’ll be able to clean your hands and give her back that pacifier.
75. Put the new diaper on the baby, battling the kicking legs and the one Velcro tab that doesn’t want to release from its initial position.
76. Check the diaper for snugness.
77. Re-fasten the diaper.
78. Repeat steps 76 and 77 until satisfied that the baby will neither slide right out of the diaper nor lose feeling in her lower half.
79. With your left hand, take hold of the baby’s ankles – firmly but gently – and lift so that you can reach the back of the onesie to pull it down.
80. Wet? How is the onesie wet?
81. Realize that in all her wiggling (see steps 35-40) she managed to get her onesie low enough to be in the splash zone for step 65. If you’re fortunate, it was not also in the splash zone for steps 68-69. Either way, your hand is gross now.
82. Realize you’re going to have to get the onesie off of her.
83. Realize that taking it off the normal way will cause her to get pee and/or poo smeared up her back, including in her hair.
84. Double-check to see that your wife (or your roommate with whom you had one drunken encounter that has turned your life upside-down, I won’t judge you) is not looking.
85. Wrestle with the baby in order to get the onesie peeled off downwards.
86. Liberally use wipes to give the baby’s back a “bath.” (BONUS: also clean your disgusting hands this way.)
87. Dry the baby with whatever clean cloth you have at hand (unused spit rag, blanket, sleeve).
88. Check the sheet in the bassinet to see if the towel failed.
89. It didn’t! Score another point.
90. Even though you used wipes to clean your hand, wash them or use hand sanitizer.
91. Apply a new onesie to the baby. I’d break this down into more steps, but psssh, you’re on your own, bro.
92. Plug in that pacifier.
93. Put the sleeper back on the baby.
94. Plug in that pacifier.
95. Realize there’s one half of a snap that is not connected to anything else. You’ve fastened the sleeper wrong.
96. Unfasten the sleeper.
97. Refasten the sleeper.
98. Repeat steps 95-97 until the sleeper is on correctly.
99. Plug in that pacifier.
100. Make sure your wife (or your contractually obligated surrogate who just hasn’t figured out that her job is done now, I won’t judge you) knows what an ordeal it was so that you get full credit for your efforts. For maximum points, be sure to compare it to the relative ease she has, considering she gets to stay up late and watch TV and just HOLD the baby to feed her.