*For the benefit of North American readers, ‘nappies’ are what us folk from over the pond called ‘diapers’.

Just as I was writing my last post about images of dads and men on television, these types of images of were making the news in the United States. Nappy maker Clorox pulled an advertisement that was seen as insulting to dads and that had provoked considerable anger among members of the Dad bloggers group, as has been described on the website of the Good Men Project. Armin Brott, who runs the Mr. Dad blog, and has written many books on parenting was particularly critical of Clorox. He responded to the Clorox ad ‘6 Mistakes New Dads Make’ with a post entitled 7 Mistakes Clorox Made in Taking a Swipe at New Dads. Rather than wade into the debate surrounding the controversial ad itself, I thought that I would instead take a more personal and slightly light-hearted look at the subject of nappies with a post entitled 3 Thoughts about Nappies. At the moment, I am intending to make ‘3 Thoughts about…’ a regular midweek feature on this blog. Anyway, here goes with my three thoughts about nappies…

1. Beware of the hot air dryer.

On a recent trip to a cafe, I was tasked with finding nappy changing facilities and changing our son’s nappy. The nappy changing facilities were cunningly hidden in the disabled toilet, and the sign on the door offered no clues to this. Our son started crying fairly soon after I put him down on the changing mat so I felt under pressure to carry out a quick and efficient nappy change. I was about to congratulate myself on managing to do this in new and somewhat cramped surroundings, especially as our son stopped crying fairly soon after I’d put him in a new nappy. However, after washing my hands I committed what I now realise to be a cardinal sin. I pushed the button on the hot air dryer, which was pretty close to the nappy change table. Instantly I saw a look of terror on his face. He became still and looked stunned before he started to cry loudly. I now know not to use the hot air dryer in a nappy change room, especially if it is close to the changing table.

2. Nappy changing improves multi-tasking skills.

At first it seemed like a bit of a complicated task: a baby, a mat, old nappy, new nappy, cotton wool, wet wipes, water, new clothes close at hand, something to put old nappy in… However, I feel that having now changed quite a few nappies it is a lot quicker and easier and my multi-tasking abilities have improved. With all the bits and bobs that form part of re-usable nappies (inners, outers and liners), they’re particularly good for honing multi-tasking skills.


3. How do members of motor racing pit teams change nappies?

With trying to use all the various bits and bobs in order to quickly change a nappy as quickly and efficiently as possible, it struck me that changing a nappy is in many ways a bit like when a car comes into the pit lane for refuelling. In the pit lane, a team of mechanics can often re-fuel a car and change all its wheels in under ten seconds. But how quickly could they change a baby’s nappy? Would they use the same equipment? I hope that the answer to the second question is no! 🙂 I did have a silly vision a while back of motor racing drivers ringing their pit team any time their baby’s nappy needed changing and then each member of the team turning up on their doorstep more or less instantly turning up on their doorstep, each armed with a different thing that’s involved in the nappy changing process before they all set about the task and complete it in under ten seconds. It was quite a vision. If Formula 1 racing teams actually do this, I’d love to know what their record nappy change time is.

I’ve set up a Facebook page for this blog and am also tweeting about at it at @j_ervine. Feel free to like and follow in order to stay up-to-date with this blog and remember that you can also subscribe to posts via e-mail using the link on the right. In the next week I’ll be doing a post about paternity leave and maternity leave.