< 1 min read
Six months ago I gave birth to our beautiful little girl. She was a planned pregnancy and my partner and I are thrilled to be parents. Before she was born, my partner told me that he would be ‘off duty’ when it comes to changing nappies because he doesn’t feel comfortable changing the nappy of a little girl. I disagree with his opinion and think he is going to have to do it at some point. How can I convince my partner that it’s ok for him to change our daughter’s nappy?
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When my first child was born - also a girl - my husband was also adamant that he would do any tasks except changing her nappy. In the first few months, we would get into a routine where I would change her while he prepared her bottle. One day I had to go out unexpectedly and he called me in a panic because she needed to be changed and he didn't know what to do. It turned out that as he had grown up in a family of boys, he was not only uncomfortable about changing our daughter's nappy, he was worried that he might do something wrong and hurt her. He hadn't wanted to admit that and so instead he had just refused to do the job.
It is possible that the same might be true for your husband. My suggestion is that you tell him that he needs to know how to do the job in case there is a day where he is alone with her and there is no other option. You can show him how you clean and change her and talk through the reasons for doing what you're doing, for example wiping from front to back, applying cream etc. If he is not confident enough to try changing her himself, see if you can find a lifelike newborn doll for him to practice on. Try and involve him at bath time and put a routine in place where you take turns doing each task.
It might also be a good time to remind him that at least with a daughter, he is unlikely to get peed on! Good luck.
It can be daunting for new dads to know what is ok and what feels right when it comes to intimate situations with their new child. If your partner is feeling uncomfortable it might be helpful to firstly acknowledge and normalise that it must be hard for him as a new dad with a daughter to be faced now with bathing and changing nappies as a whole new way of being. You might also reframe the situation for him by suggesting that nappy changing can be a time to help his daughter connect with him by using eye contact, singing and being close with her. You might also suggest that connection during nappy changing helps your daughter learn to feel safe with her dad and feel safe about herself as well.