Baby changing made easy - One father's perspective.

Published: 02nd May 2012
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There are few things in life which can afflict as much psychological distress as a howling baby sporting an overflowing nappy. Even on the coldest of days, the mere thought of this dreadful scenario is enough to trigger beads of sweat across the top of my brow.

The trick is to make sure ‘that you are fully prepared’, as any good parent or good parenting book will tell you. The definition of fully prepared varies somewhat, but in my experience that means planning in advance your travel route (preferably the night before), carrying an extra 10-20 kilos of additional baby equipment and attempting to listen to your wife as she dictates a seemingly endless checklist as you head out the front door.

With that in mind, the option of taking my chances on a home run without the need for these cumbersome props or the advice of my wife appeared rather tempting. Such was the case one Saturday morning when I volunteered to take our 6 month old daughter into town, leaving my wife at home to recover from a whole week of being a mum.

So far my morning excursion was going well. I had managed to park the car without any troubles, whilst the ominous rain clouds had shifted from sight to reveal the first glimpse of sunshine. As I briskly walked to the first shop on my list, the baby on my arm settled back into a slouch position and appeared to be enjoying the ride.

The initial alarm bell started to ring as I was browsing around the men’s underwear section. A peculiar odour had been tailing me since I first entered the shop, which I had failed to instantly recognise. That is until I looked down at the baby in my arms to see her gazing back at me with a beaming smile, radiating a certain sense of achievement. I was in trouble.

I held the pose for a few moments as I pondered what my next move would be. Strangely enough my first thought was whether any other Saturday shoppers had smelt the lingering odour, which now must have been wafting down all aisles towards the busy checkout. I was just about to action my plan of a fast retreat to the car, when I felt a dampness seeping through the cotton fabric of my shirt. “Eeeekkkk!” My spontaneous yelp even took myself by surprise, at which point the real victim in all of this started to wail. The beacon of sound was now being sent out directly to every shopper, informing them to stare in our general direction.

With a gut-wrenching feeling I realised I had made a grave mistake. I had ventured far away from the comfort of home, with a 6 month old baby, without the means to change a nappy. What had I been thinking. I now had a clear up operation to oversee, after what can only be described as the triggering of a miniature mudslide in her nappy.
With some stroke of luck, the first shop assistant I came across was very friendly and offered me a key to the Staff Only door. She was certainly a mother herself and gave me a knowing grin as she handed me the key to a small door on the side wall of the shop.

Once past the small door I was greeted by a lavatory which had been installed in a cupboard, something which felt very Alice in Wonderland. My baby daughter was obviously thinking exactly the same thing and promptly stopped screaming and looked cautiously around her new surroundings. I got to work assessing the damage and peeled back as many layers of baby clothing as I could.

I finally opted for a little Do-It-Yourself repair work and turned on the tap to wash away as much nappy debris as I could. Once the papa-daughter team were happy we had done our best, the soggy nappy was thrown in the bin. A makeshift nappy fashioned out of recycled toilet paper was then fixed around the now rather bemused baby, which reminded me of building paper mache forms when I was somewhat younger.
It is fair to say that we exited the shop premises rather quicker than when we had first entered. I had a shirt which was soaked all the way up to the shoulder and it was now sticking to my skin like some type of funky wetsuit for trendsetters. In my arms was a badly mummified baby, with wet toilet paper trailing from her midriff. As we slid between the bustling crowds of weekend shoppers, I caught a glimpse of a few fellow fathers giving me an encouraging nod of the head, almost saying “Well done. You did alright in there”.

The whole experience taught me a few things, notably that I should leave my daughter at home the next time I decide to go to town. It also persuaded my wife to leave a fully equipped baby changing bag in the car, which would ensure we would not find ourselves in this situation again. For parents looking for a reliable baby changing bag which will greatly assist you in changing your baby pretty much anywhere, check out a baby changing bag made by a brand called ‘Boo Poo’... funnily enough.

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