Changing diapers, whether it’s the middle of the night, after a blow out dealing with a squirming child, is never fun. If you are a mom with MS and experiencing upper extremity weakness, tingling, spasticity or any other MS related symptoms, this is the blog post for you. With some preparation, problem solving and using products that work for you, this can be manageable. Give yourself grace and room for creativity as your baby grows. For products, look out for possible allergies or sensitivities and always consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.
First, look for non-toxic options such as Honest Company or Seventh Generation (there continues to be more safer options on the market for you and your baby). A common problem moms experience is a ton of wipes coming out at once (not ideal for changing or the environment), so try wrapping a rubber band around the sides of the wipe pack; this helps with not letting them all come out at once!
What about wipe warmers?
The majority of mamas have said this was a waste of money and one more thing to think about cleaning and maintaining. You can place packages of wipes throughout the house and not have to worry about where to change your baby.
Opt for larger containers of diaper balm, which are easier to open such as 3-4 oz versus 1-2 oz. MotherLove is a favorite given its size and organic ingredients. For diaper rashes, Badger Diaper Cream is a well-known option.
This is great substitute if twisting and opening containers for diaper balm is challenging. After you’re done cleaning the area with wipes, just spray this on! Little Bottoms Diaper Area by Mambino is a popular choice for Moms with MS. For diaper rashes, Babo offers many great products.
A popular choice with moms with MS has been Pampers Pure. These diapers are the best for minimizing epic blowouts and leakage. Placing a clean diaper under your baby before changing can also help things stay cleaner. Also, make sure to use the right size diaper for your baby.
Magnetic Baby Outfits
This is becoming a popular choice given its ease for outfit changes. Clasps are the trickiest and most frustrating if you have upper extremity challenges, so try to find outfits with double zippers or magnets. Research shows that magnets are not harmful to you or your baby if worn. Just make sure to inspect the clothing for wear and tear or exposed magnets. Here are some organic options:
Use lightweight pads to place your baby on. Keep at least two in each area. BlueSnail is a great choice.
There’s a chance that poop or pee might fly during a diaper change, so keep a spray nearby. A non-toxic option that is a popular choice for moms with MS is Biokleen. Small towels are a great standby too.
Put together a changing basket in areas of your home where you spend the most time with your baby so you’re not rushing from room to room. Put in a pack of wipes with the rubber band, small towels to use with your cleaning spray, enough diapers for the day, two extra outfits, light changing pad and diaper balm or spray (put in a few burp clothes too!) Nothing too big or fancy.
What if I use a changing table?
Make sure the changing pad is securely attached to the table first and foremost. Have a basket close by with all the products you need to make changing easier. Practice with your partner to determine the best set up possible for you i.e. where to put the changing basket, pad etc. You never want to feel like you are hunching over, items are too far away or feel unstable when changing your baby.
If you find yourself changing diapers in different areas or having difficulty with keeping up with your baby or toddler, check out the Neuro Mama Tribe Library (coming soon) for exercises and more tips to help you stay on the move with your kids.
If things get to be challenging, never be afraid to ask for help and support. Also, reach out to a physical or occupational therapist who has experience helping mothers with various medical presentations or Dr. Irina Fedulow Plante for either a wellness or physical therapy consultation.