According to a survey done by Pamper’s, a full 10% of men won’t change a diaper.
“I love my man…he loves our family…but, he won’t change a diaper,” commented a close friend of mine, together with me for a much-needed two hour girls-night-out.
In a that survey of parents by Pampers, 69 percent of men responded that they changed diapers as often their wives, while 11 percent said they did so even more often. Although men’s perceptions differ from women’s (only 31 percent of mothers said fathers split diaper duties equally, and just 4 percent said fathers did more), the findings are consistent with other reports about men’s growing involvement in the home.
But sadly, I hear many of my friends, both male and female, lament over the fact that the other won’t change a diaper.
Now, I’m not sure what gives any parent the free pass to remove oneself from diaper detail. I have not yet met a parent who “likes” to change a messy diaper. Nor have I met one who looks forward to middle-of-the-night blow outs, the leaky dipes in public and the “but-I-JUST-changed-your-diaper” diaper change.
For the parent who proclaims they are a “great parent,” or those folks who tell them they are a “wonderful parent,” perhaps they ought to take a step back.
Related read: How to Be a Better Mom
Wonderful, great parents do not a la carte parenting. A wonderful, great parent will recognize that a baby sitting in a wet diaper leads to yeast and bacterial infections on the skin and in the body, triggers chafing and diaper rash, and, is downright uncomfortable for the baby, for any amount of time. Whether that be a few minutes or all night.
I remember hearing that my own father refused to change a diaper. Granted, this was before the convenience of disposable diapers and you had to literally wash the poop into the toilet immediately. But still, this was a man who would not change a diaper. There was no diaper service, no diaper Genie, no throw-away diapers. Just a cloth diaper and noisy rubber pants.
I would challenge the “won’t-change-a-diaper” parent to sit around in an adult undergarment for a full 24 hours, following the same non-changing or wait-to-change schedule as they allow their own child.
It’s only 24 hours… Right? What happens after sitting in your own waste for any amount of time? Exactly. The skin IS affected and here’s how:
(An excerpt from healthychildren.org): The first and most obvious symptom is redness of the skin on areas in direct contact with the diaper. “Parents may notice redness, bumps or breaks in the skin in or around the diaper area,” says Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D., FAAP, associate medical editor of Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5 (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009) and a pediatrician in Westlake Village, Calif. “Sometimes the skin can be uncomfortable or tender to touch. Some babies will fuss or cry when changed if the rash is bothering them.”
Most rashes are the result of leaving your baby in a wet or soiled diaper for too long. Moisture from a soiled diaper can harm your baby’s skin and make it more prone to chafing. In more severe cases there may be painful open sores. Once the skin is irritated and damaged, your baby will become vulnerable to yeast or bacterial infections.
There is no excuse for the parent who won’t change a diaper other than selfishness. No parent enjoys the messy side of parenting. I’ve been peed on, puked on and pooped on. And, hopefully, should I ever as an adult become ill and lose control of my bodily functions, I will have a caring partner who will put their own interests aside and discover compassion over pride to help. It’s ‘who’ the person is… let’s just hope they are as “wonderful and great” as the world proclaims them to be.
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