- Written by Peace Loise Mbae for KenyaKidz
Changing of diapers by men is a sensitive social topic that has attracted a lot of debate, with majority of men distancing themselves from this activity, unknown to them lowering the chances of healthier kids and risking their children to diaper related health problems like, rashes, yeast infection, Urinary Tract Infection(UTI) and even bladder complications.
According to a 2013 research by National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, there is a correlation between dads' involvement in the baby's life and children outcomes in life.
"Children with dads who are more involved in their growth process have more academic success, fewer behavior problems and healthier eating habits which are just some of the ways fathers' involvement has been linked with children's well-being," said researcher Jo Jones.
Although Pampers research shows that nearly 70 percent of American men change diapers just as often as their wives, several men celebrities like Kanye West, Actors Will Farrell and Gavin Rossdale have been on record for not being interested in diaper changing.
In Kenya, gender inequality and roles have very clear definitions with a 2017 study by the Global Early Adolescent Study revealing that Kenyan children have already culturally enforced gender stereotypes by the age of 15.
A 2011 International Center for Research on Women which took a closer look at gender equality in developing countries revealed that men's practices and attitudes leaned towards the belief that there are duties for men and women.
Men in the research group were asked whether changing a diaper was the responsibility of a woman.
Eighty-six percent of Indian men responded yes, 61 percent in Rwanda, and 46 percent in Chile, compared to 29 percent in Croatia, 26 percent in Mexico, and 10 percent in Brazil.
While the recommended frequency of changing a diaper stands at two to three hours by the American Pregnancy Association, children risk serious health issues especially when mothers are overwhelmed with other duties of the home or work.
Here are ways to get your spouse interested and involved in changing diapers;
1. Communication- Talk to your partner about it to create an interest and change of perception
2. Assurance - Reaffirm your partner that they are not less masculine by changing diapers but rather they are more for being responsible parents
3. Not complicated- Simplify the process by teaching your partner to change a diaper until they are comfortable to do it themselves
4. Read about the risks, benefits of diapers changing together
5. Observe the baby and daddy on the progress after they begin to change them.