Changing Dirty Diapers Really Isn't That Gross or Bad

Eric Dane, Rebecca Gayheart
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As one gets older it's illuminating to take stock of which adult tasks meet long-held expectations and which are totally different. In doing so, something stands out as having the furthest gulf between how bad I believed it would be versus how bad it actually is in reality.

That's right, this is a pro-diaper-changing blog. And one on a markedly mainstream site, not those freakish corners of the internet one would usually be forced to get their fix. Changing soiled diapers is, in fact, not a big deal and arguably one of the more unremarkable and challenging aspects of having small children.

If you don't have kids, there is a 97 percent chance that you have already spent too much of your life thinking about the looming obstacle that is doing a little baby pit-stop action and giving the little guy or gal a new fit. And for probably obvious reasons. The combined forces of feces and the unknown create a powerful cocktail.

But dear readers, I am here to ally those concerns. Perhaps the most important bit information I can bestow upon you is that it is not, scientifically, icky in any meaningful way. The smell is not great, of course, yet rarely awful enough to cause any choking or retching. In fact, the first few efforts from a small child are borderline humorous. Seeds? Adorable. One realizes things won't be as stomach-turning as feared. One feels invincible.

The second most useful nugget to process is this: Diapers are incredibly effective at doing their job, which is to keep human waste contained in one area. Blowouts are extremely rare. Not to jinx myself here: after about five combined years of attending to non-potty-trained individuals, I can count the amount of true blowouts on one hand. I have to assume your results will not vary much as fastening one of those bad boys is fairly basic stuff where no parent enjoys a significant WAR.

Those are the two most daunting obstacles, right? The smell and mess? And you've now had your eyes opened to the reality that the sum of all fears is using some fuzzy math.

Look, am I saying changing diapers is the most enjoyable, rewarding, or intellectually stimulating tasks? No. Of course not. It's just one of the least annoying aspects of having young kids. A big part of this is because there are such low stakes. Any idiot can clean up a mess. It takes detective work to figure out how to quell a baby's cries. It takes a strong will to not get broken by the constant neediness. It takes grit and perseverance to plow through the cumulative buildup of sleep deprivation.

Diaper changing. Nothing to worry about. Not exactly fun but certainly something that's been made into something it's not through generations of fear-mongering.