As an experienced mother of 3, I am amazed at how many parents and grandparents do not know how to properly change a baby's diaper. How you change baby's diaper at your own house is your business. If you like to change poopy diapers directly on your couch and don't mind if your toddler runs around with poop on his sock, that is up to you. However, when you are at someone else's house, there are some basic rules that you must follow in order to be sanitary and courteous.
1. Always change baby's diaper on the floor unless the host requests that you use another place. Do not change the diaper on the couch, bed, or kitchen counter. If possible, go into a different room to change the diaper so all of the birthday party guests don't have to witness it.
2. Always put a changing pad underneath baby's bottom. There must be a protective barrier between the baby's diaper/bottom and the carpet. I have had friends change poopy diapers directly on my carpet on numerous occasions. I don't care how good you think you are at containing the mess. It is rude and unsanitary. If you forgot to pack a changing pad, ask your host for a towel to use.
3. Use as many wipes as it takes to get baby's bottom perfectly clean. Be sure to check his legs, clothes, and bottoms of his feet for renegade poop. Change the baby's clothes if they have any traces of poop on them.
4. Put the dirty diaper and used wipes directly into a trash bag. If you forgot to bring a trash bag with you, ask your host for a grocery bag before you start. I have had people set poopy wipes directly on my carpet and then ask for a trash bag when they were all done.
5. Ask your hostess where she would like you to dispose of your diaper trash. Don't just hide it in a remote trash can somewhere for your hostess to stumble upon a few days later when she is trying to figure out why her house stinks. She may want you to take it directly out to the trash can in the garage. If you use cloth diapers, than you can take the whole mess with you.
6. Always wash your hands when you are done changing a diaper. Poop can carry millions of germs that can make people sick. If a baby is sick or recovering from an intestinal illness, he will have millions of viruses in his poop. If you get even a tiny spec of poop on your hands, sleeves, etc., you can spread the illness to the rest of the family. Even if it was just a wet diaper, you should wash your hands anyway.
Please follow these rules and you will be a welcomed guest at anyone's house.
--Annie Pryor, Ph.D