My lady and I have developed the following easy 5-step program to diapering your goat kid or lamb.
- one goat kid or lamb needing to be diapered
- one diaper (size depends on size of kid or lamb, I have used newborn through size 5)
- baby wipes (for goat/kid as well as walls, counters, sink, etc)
- clean and dry towel, hand towel size is best
- time (Do not try to do this in a rush, it will backfire. Trust us on this)
- bathroom, preferably with lidded diaper pail handy
- old apron of some sort
- patience (love your kid/lamb, they may get squiggly)
1. Approach your subject calmly and pick them up. They will start to notice if you do the changing at the same time every day. My lady says I began to wail as soon as she picked me up at diaper changing time, but not at other times. She said I could also tell as soon as we headed to the human bathroom. At this point, holding an otherwise calm and well-behaved kid or lamb may become the equivalent of holding a greased piglet. Be firm. My lady recommends wearing an old kitchen apron for this procedure.
2. Human should sit on toilet (put lid down first, of course!) and put subject across their knees with the front legs on the right and the rear legs on the left. This might be different if you're left handed, she said. She isn't sure because she isn't left handed. Undo tabs of previous diaper and remove carefully. It is liable that the subject will begin wildly waving their tail at this point, causing the possible flinging of sticky-poo in multiple directions. See point 1 regarding apron. Also keep baby wipes handy (for the walls). If your baby is not in sticky-poo stage, this step is much easier to manage. Dispose of diaper and wipes.
3. Lift subject under belly, putting their back towards your chest. This puts back legs forward. Grasp back legs with your left hand while resting tail/upper back area of subject on the edge of sink. Keep firm grip on back legs (around ankle area) with the left hand while resting subject's back against your chest, and also using your right hand to gently clean subject's nether regions. Expect loud wailing and carrying on by your subject at this point. Do not make the water too hot or too cold. Comfortable temperature is a must. If necessary, use a mild shampoo for cleaning. Ear plugs may be required at this stage if your subject is as vocal as I was when I was a goat kid. My lady says that this, at first, will seem awkward and difficult. It gets easier, she said, with repetition. At all times while doing the cleaning part, make soft little cooing noises to your subject and assure them that their life is not in jeopardy.
4. Following the cleaning part, grab clean towel and lift subject out of sink area, putting towel under bottom. Re-seat yourself on the toilet (lid is still closed, of course) and put the subject back over your legs. Finish drying subject and make a big fuss of them while they are on your lap. Have clean diaper ready, with tail hole cut, or not, depending on sticky-poo status. Spread out the side of the diaper with the tabs attached and lay it under subject's back end so that the tabs stick out on either side of subject. Snug the other end of the diaper up over the back of subject. Attach tabs FIRMLY despite any further squiggling of subject. Subjects can be quite adept at flinging diapers hither and yon, if you do not attach them FIRMLY. The diapers of modern manufacture have stretchy sides and accommodate fairly tight adjustment of the tabs without causing discomfort to the subject animal.
5. Make enormous fuss of subject following new diaper placement. Give treats or bottle. More fuss. Love them and hug them and play on the floor with them. Be mindful of flingers, in which case you will have to repeat step 4 and 5. Then go clean bathroom and sink. Once you have this down to a routine, it is not that bad. After the first few days, my lady was able to diaper me first in the morning, feed me, go feed the other animals, do her morning routine, change me again just before putting work clothes on, then come home by 5 pm and do a change, feeding, and then another change at about 10 pm. I didn't mind except for the washing step, and that was only bad when I had sticky-poo. After that got better (about 2 weeks) it was much less traumatic.
My lady would like to point out that since she doesn't have any children, she feels a strange compulsion every time she buys diapers or baby wipes, to inform the grocery store clerk that these purchases are for her goat/lamb and not for a baby. This has led to many interesting conversations and is an optional step in the process. The first time she bought diapers, she bought size newborn, size 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, all at once, because she had no idea what would be needed. As it turned out, they were all needed, over time, but the clerks have a tendency to give you the hairy eyeball when you buy 6 different sizes of diapers all at once.
The following picture is the very best reason why you should diaper your goat kid or lamb...snuggle time!!