I somehow managed to change two full diapers on my two babies without waking them — or my wife. It made me feel capable, and like a part of my family.
Welcome to Great Moments in Parenting, a series in which fathers explain a parenting hurdle they faced and the unique way they overcame it. Here, Pierre, a 42-year-old father of three kids from the Bay Area, reflects on the night he was miraculously able to change the diapers of his two babies in the middle of the night without anyone waking up.
We had back to back kids. The first one was so easy, we thought at the time. We were like, oh, we can do this again. My wife was literally nursing our one-year-old while pregnant and about to give birth to our next one. It was a lot.
When our second son was born, it was almost like having twins in many ways. We had a lot of sympathy for folks who had twins after we had our two back to back. A lot of things started to happen in pairs. Diaper changes. Feeding. So everything became a team effort.
My wife, luckily, was able to stay home with the kids and I worked. When I came home, I really wanted to try to give her a break.
This one night, one of the kids had woken up. I got up to put him back down, and then I noticed that both of their diapers were really loaded. But at that point, they were both passed out. This was in the midst of trying to sleep train one and also when the other was not sleeping at all. It was this mean war. They just woke up whenever they wanted.
So, that night, knowing I needed to change their diapers, I was freaking out. I really didn’t want to wake the kids up, but I really needed to.
Eventually, I resolved that I was going to do this, and they weren’t going to wake up. I picked up one of my sons and started to change his diaper, and gently laid him down. He had a couple of moments where he was about to wake up, but he didn’t. I felt like I was moving so slowly.
I turned into a diaper-changing ninja. I wiped up and cleaned up everything. I put one down. Picked up the second, changed him, and got him down. It was a complete victory.
When I crawled back to bed, my wife woke up a little and asked, ‘Are you okay?’ I was like ‘I just changed two diapers and they didn’t wake up!’ That was my ninja-diaper change. I even talked to my friends about it. I said: You know you’re a dad when you can do a ninja diaper change. It’s a special gift.
Part of what made me so proud was that I had to work, and I still do. As the working parent, I sometimes feel guilty that I’m not contributing or doing the little things. So this was something I definitely care about. I really wanted to give my wife a break beyond a paycheck.
That night became a very ‘check-mark’ moment for me. I was able to change their diapers when they were passed out, and my wife didn’t have to help, and I got to go back to bed. My wife still refers to the moment as the diaper ninja moment.
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