The Dream Feed Change: How Not To Do It one nappy change, five nappies

The dream feed nappy change challenge: keep baby asleep, while mum breastfeeds and dad simultaneously changes the nappy. Then place baby seamlessly and sleepily back in the cot. Easy?

It is 2am and I’ve had 4 hours sleep! In a row! I feel amazing! Lyra is four days old, and before tonight I’ve spent most of those first days awake, giving birth, feeding, or just trying unsuccessfully to sleep in a busy hospital. An unexpected rush of sleep has brought ill-placed over-confidence. We are second time parents; we’ve got this. So when I awoke to feed and change Lyra, I figured we could skip the beginner stage, and jump straight into advanced nappy technique.

Advanced Parenting: The dream feed change

The dream feed change is the pinnacle of parenting smugness. Attempted by the brave, mastered by few.

The challenge: Keep baby asleep, while mum breastfeeds and dad simultaneously changes the nappy. Then place them seamlessly and sleepily back in the cot. Easy.

With hindsight, day four was probably a little too ambitious to be trying such an advanced manoeuvre, even on a super sleepy newborn. Five nappies, one tiny outfit, a full set of king-size bed linen, and a whole lot of giggles later, we placed a wide awake Lyra back into her cot. Not so easy after all.

The dream feed change: How not to do it

Step one

I’ve got a boob in Lyra’s face, which she accepts contentedly while Joe undoes her swaddle and the tiny poppers on her onesie. We’re in. Quick wipe and we’re good to go. That’s nappy one.

But on day four we’re not quite back up to parenting speed, and the first rookie mistake creeps in. Lyra is left for a millisecond without a nappy and seizes her moment.


Step two

In our sleepy haze, the new nappy underneath her is inside out, so instead of absorbing the mischievously-timed wee, it runs off the outer layer and onto her clothes. And onto the unprotected sheets of our bed. Oops. That’s nappy two.

Lyra’s still sleeping, so we plough on. Quick wipe down and nappy three goes on. Changing clothes while feeding is tricky, but with some deft manoeuvring and only a few squirms of complaint, we wriggle her floppy limbs into place. She opens one eye contemptuously, but surrenders to sleepiness. Success!

We eye our dampened sheets skeptically. How wet is too wet? Second child, lower standards. It’s our bed not hers. I’ll just shimmy over a bit and it’ll probably just be fine til morning, right?

Step three

We place Lyra gently back in her cot and get ready to drift back to sleep.


I’m certain I spy a cheeky smile on Lyra’s newborn face as she thunders into her fresh nappy. By now, the nappy change has become a farce and Joe and I are laughing as we concede defeat to the dream feed change and Joe whips Lyra away to the bathroom for nappy four. If we’re all awake anyway, I may as well change the sheets on our bed.

Step four

Fresh nappy, fresh sheets and Lyra’s back and beaming happily, until… PARP.

SERIOUSLY? That’s nappy five.

Step five

Finally, we all settle down to sleep.


We sit up.

It’s definitely just a fart. Don’t look. No need to change. She’ll be fine.