Dads and Diapers

Dads and Diapers

Changing dirty diapers is one of the more daunting and unpleasant tasks of parenthood.  And it is one that mothers are stuck with mostly if not exclusively in many families.  Why is that?  Well, fathers may not be physically incompetent when it comes to the chore, but it is highly likely that they are psychologically intimidated by it.

Think about it.  Every time you see a father changing a diaper in a television show or movie it is always a comedy scene that ends in disaster.  It’s like the guy was running around in high-heel shoes or doing something else that he really had no business even attempting.  Consequently, when a male in our culture becomes a Dad and is confronted by a dirty diaper, he has been well-conditioned to run.

It may not be easy, but it is imperative to alter that mentality.  So say to a first-time father, “Diapering a baby is easy.  Lay out the diaper like a baseball diamond.  Put the kid’s butt on the pitcher’s mound, bring home plate up, then fasten the tapes at first and third base.”  Present the task to him in a way that is familiar, to which he can easily relate, and inspires confidence rather than fear.

The fact is that a Dad who will change a diaper with ease and proficiency is simply one who has not been convinced that he can’t.

Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll.  After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project.  He may be contacted via e-mail at