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Mum and Dad

How to change a diaper at 30,000 feet (in only 31 steps)


Becky Vieira

posted in Parenting

Changing my child’s diaper is challenging, at best, on a good day. I’ve never wrestled a greased pig, but I imagine that would be easier.

He squirms, turns, and flips, and it often ends with him standing. While holding one leg to keep him from running off I try to secure the diaper with the other hand. If you are keeping score, yes — that is indeed a one-handed diaper change.

When my husband suggested a family vacation to Europe I had one question.

 “How can we expect a baby to go almost eleven hours between diaper changes?” I asked (with sarcasm hanging from each word). Yes, I was that anxious about changing a diaper in an airplane bathroom.

Luckily my fears were unwarranted. Changing a diaper in an airplane bathroom is easy. Which is surprising, because there have been times when I felt so claustrophobic in one that I wasn’t convinced there was enough room in there for only me. Yet somehow I managed to make it work for a diaper change with my husband by my side, no less.

How to change a baby's diaper on an airplane in just 31 steps

I chronicled the process in the hopes that someone else will be able to duplicate my method and enjoy equal success. This was a total diaper blowout, so I imagine a “regular” diaper change should be even easier.

The best part is that I did it in only 31 steps. Yes, I know what you must be thinking. And you are welcome!

1. It all begins with a whiff. The unmistakable smell hits you, followed by everyone else in a five row radius. It’s time to get to work.
2. Gather supplies, only half of which are under the seat. After a few choice words you discover the rest somehow endued up in the overhead storage. Simultaneously blame and glare at husband. Take baby and wait in line for bathroom.
3. After waiting in line for nearly ten minutes you discover only one bathroom has a changing table. And it’s not the bathroom you are now standing inside.
4. Wait in line a second time for the correct bathroom.
5. Child screams and tries to leap from your arms as the total line wait time passes the 14-minute mark.
6. Return to seat for reinforcements (a.k.a. husband).
7. Wait in line for third time.
8. Once inside the bathroom realize you forgot the changing table cover and begin laying out paper towels while child screams. Husband looks at you and asks, “really?”
9. Glare at husband.
10. Lay down child who kicks off carefully arranged paper towels, ending up directly on changing table that you’re positive hasn’t been sanitized to your liking. Or at all.
11. Child screams.
12. Husband decides this is the perfect time to mention that there is enough room to join the mile-high club once child returns to his seat
13. Repeat step 9.

Exhausted parents on airplane

14. Child arches back and screams even louder, then contorts with ninja-like speed into a standing position.
15. Hand child to husband and begin to undo diaper while child is being help under armpits, essentially dangling in the air.
16. Pants and offending diaper are removed.
17. Husband begins squirming even more than baby, claiming he is worried baby will pee on him.
18. Diaper contents transfer all over mom.
19. Repeat step 9.
20. Husband says, “Better you than me!”
21. Repeat step 9.
22. Attempt to put clean diaper on child.
23. Child squirms, diaper twists and becomes a thong.
24. Pull diaper out from between child’s butt cheeks.
25. Pull up child’s pants and pat self on back for a job well done.
26. Send husband and child back to seat.
27. Spend next 10 minutes cleaning self, bathroom and quadruple bagging offending diaper.
28. Return to seat.
29. Husband says he thinks child pooped again
30. Smell child’s rear, confirm it’s just gas and ask husband why he was unable to do that.
31. Repeat step 9.

For more of my mom shenanigans follow me on Instagram at Witty Otter.

Have you changed a diaper in an airplane bathroom? What tips can you share with others?

Images by Becky Vieira

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