When You Forget the Baby Wipes
Parenting tends to come with its own unique set of rites of passage. Some would argue to say that you aren’t truly a parent until you’ve been under the pressure of running out of baby wipes during a massive diaper blowout in a public bathroom, with limited resources and even less hope for just making it back to the car with clean hands.
Nothing paints a picture of desperation for a parent quite like having to handle any kind of diaper change sans baby wipes, let alone a blowout you never saw coming. Kids have a tendency to do that: spring on their parents shocking, unanticipated surprises they never fathomed or dreamt of – the good, the bad, and yes, the blowout.
Whether you left the house without a fully-stocked diaper bag, or just innocently ran out of the needed supplies, when you’re faced with a messy situation, giving up is not an option. It helps to think of the task as a drill sergeant might: as a mission. When you’re in the right frame of mind after that, here are some tips for not only surviving it, but passing this parenting test with flying colors:
- Just as a medic would assign treatment urgency based on wound severity, you can determine a strategy based on both mess severity and temperament of the child. If your little one is mobile and laughing at you trying to do a catch-and-clean, then an over-the-counter stand-up change might be called for. If your baby is hysterically upset while also hungry for their bottle and inconsolable, a more involved changing-table with combined feeding plan might be necessary. Determine what your little one needs most first, and triage based on the seriousness of the situation you’re dealing with.
Assess your resources.
If you find yourself tackling a messy diaper change single-handedly and without baby wipes, there might still be other resources around you that can help. If the bathroom has disposable towels for hand-drying, those can be turned into wipes easily with a little bit of sink water. If the bathroom offers forced air hand-drying stations, toilet paper – while less preferable due to frailty – is better than using a hand. In the direst of circumstances, parents have been known to use the clothes the child was wearing to help with clean-up – even baby socks can be a life-saver when there are no other options.
Use the available surface.
Even though this is the 21st Century, not every public bathroom includes a changing table in both the men’s and women’s restrooms, and even a family bathroom. If you find yourself in a problematic situation without location of a changing table, don’t be afraid to use whatever other surfaces might be available. That means countertops and even a small portion of the floor might be fair game.
There is no bonding experience like that of sharing a clean-up task of massive poop-ortions. If you see a fellow parent or adult walking by or in the stall next door, don’t be afraid to ask for help. They won’t be getting elbows-deep in the mess like you, but they could easily run into the Target (or restaurant, or store, or gas station) to purchase and fetch you supplies in an urgent situation.
The successful parent is the resourceful parent and showing your children that you can handle the most chaotic of circumstances with control and confidence will ultimately teach them to do the same. Above all, remain calm and complete your mission. Good luck, soldiers.