Katherine Heigl Reports for Diaper Duty

09/30/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Cheyenne Ellis/AP

Paging Katherine Heigl for diaper duty!

The former Grey’s Anatomy star and proud mama to daughter Naleigh is an expert when it comes to changing the dirty diapers.

“I’m a pro now. I can get it done real quick,” Heigl told PEOPLE at the New York press conference of Life As We Know It on Saturday.

“I am very particular with these sorts of things. I want everyone — like my husband [Josh Kelley] and the nanny — to do it exactly the way I do it. Using just the right diaper cream because I swear that’s what helps her, and the right kind of wipes and diapers — so I prefer to do it myself.”

She adds: “It’s very apparent that I’m kind of a control freak. So it’s better if I do it myself!”

But Heigl’s do-it-yourself mentality got her in deep doo-doo on her Sept. 24 flight from Los Angeles to New York.

“They didn’t have those fold down tables to change her on and it’s just a tiny little bathroom stall. I couldn’t put her on the floor so I had to jam her head in the corner and lay her across the toilet and kneel below her. It was brutal,” she recalls.

“The whole part of the plane smelled badly. In the beginning when they are little, it’s not that bad. It’s pretty tame. She’s almost two, she really needs to get potty trained because this is grown-up kind of poop. Now I’m so committed to potty training. I’m going to make this happen!”

One parenting tip that Heigl, 31, learned from mom Nancy is to utilize white noise to help Naleigh to fall asleep.

“We use a big standing fan. We put it on high wattage to drown out everything,” she explains. “Her bedroom is right over the kitchen and living room area so you can really hear us down there when we are up watching TV. My mother taught me that. She said she used to leave a vacuum running in the baby’s room and it really works. There’s something about white noise. I’m a big believer in it.”

— Paul Chi

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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TC on

LOL, when she gets to baby number 3 she wont care what cream is on her bottom or who changes it just as long as the kid gets changed in a timely fashion.

I’ve become an expert at changing diapers, yes even dirty ones, while the kid stands up. For some reason there are still TONS and TONS of places that don’t have a changing table I can use and I refuse to change a diaper on the nasty dirty floor. The first few times the diaper didn’t go on just right but by the 10th time it looks like I changed it laying down.

jessicad on

She sounds just like me! I used to get so stressed when others would keep my daughter, I’d leave ridiculously long lists of how to do every little thing my way, I got laughed at a lot so I tried to let go a little bit:) I’ve also used a fan with my daughter since she was a newborn, she’s almost 3 and now requests it. Seems like I read something about fans helping cut down the risk of SIDS? It really does soothe her and drowns out noise, I use one as well!

I saw an interview with Katherine last night and think she’s just the cutest thing, she seems really down to earth and in love with her little family, but honest about the struggles and I love that.

Tee on

I giggled when I read this article. Katherine is so obviously in love with her daughter and Naleigh is absolutely beautiful! TC, I totally agree with your comment. With the first baby, most new mommy’s are so particular about the way certain things are done. By the time you reach baby #5, all that matters is that baby has a clean bottom!

I love reading about Katherine and her family. She seems like such a normal new Momma, worried about all the little things!

Amy on

I flew across country with my daughter who was 11 months old at the time. 11 months old, getting 4 teeth in. 11 month old who had THREE explosive diapers mid-flight on an airplane with NO changing tables! Thank the lord I am an over-planner who brought FIVE, yes, five extra outfits on the plane and ziplocs for dirty outfits/diapers/whatever! But oh my goodness! Trying to change a baby’s diaper AND clothes in a bathroom that’s smaller than my hall closet, while trying to keep her still (she’d just learned how to walk) gave me a newfound love for car travel. We’re getting ready to go to Texas for Thanksgiving from North Carolina. My daughter is now 19 months old.. We’ll be driving to and from. THAT is how much I hate plane travel with an infant/toddler. I’d rather spend 19 hours in a car, than 5 on a plane!

H on

hahahah this made me laugh because i and i think most mums have BEEN there!, i remember christmas eve with my 15 month old son and my new born daughter and they BOTH had terrible tummies with HORRIBLE nappies and i was all alone on a train traveling up to my parents lol

i can look back and laugh but at the time not freakin funny!! 🙂 bless her, i like katherine, she makes me laugh.

Steph on

First up, I love how Katherine can poke fun at herself about motherhood! I’m sure every mum can agrees that there are some things in life you just can’t control!

Second, I’d like to really thank the first few posters. Lately, this site has been dragged down badly by people being nasty, and other people being offended over that nastiness etc.

All it takes is one thoughtless comment so I’m really grateful to see posters sharing their experiences and not ragging on a fellow mum.

P.S. I’m not a particular fan of Katherine’s, but she does seem to get more than her fair share of nasty posts!

meghan on

Can definitely relate!

Angi on

Just had a long airplan journey from the US to UK a few months ago. Let’s just say the two year old flew without pants for most of it. So,I can relate to this situation a great deal.

Julie on

Now I too am a Mummy I know how important it is to be organised with all these sorts of situations!!

terri on

I agree about the white noise, I still sleep with a fan on today, as do my three boys. the oldest being 16 and the youngest is 4, None of us are able to sleep without it.

HJB on

I have been known to a change a dirty dipe with baby laying across my lap in the front seat of the car (obviously we were parked!). Desperate times and all that!

I love white noise! We co-sleep (every one in one room, not one bed) as a family of 4 and have a white noise machine insures we don’t wake each other up. Vacumming while wearing my baby is the BEST way to get a teething over tired baby down ASAP. Works like a charm every time.

Rob on

Just to add a dad’s voice, I remember a time I had our daughter in her stroller at a huge shopping mall, and she and I were in a bookstore buying a Christmas gift. I just found the book I was seeking when I heard that sound one hears when a baby (she was 8 months old) has struck oil. This was the liquified kind that overflowed her nappie. I had the equipment, which my wife left with the baby whilst she shopped in one of the large department stores. The stroller was the kind that was more like a hammock slung on a metal frame. The bookstore had no toilet facility. In fact, the closest one was across the mall in a department store two floors up. Baby was calm, but the smell was noticeable and as we walked across the mall, I realised it was seeping through the fabric of the stroller and leaving a little drip every few feet. I could nothing but walk faster.

I finally made it to the men’s room, which did have a changing table, cleaned up my daughter then tried to clean the stroller with one hand whilst holding it in place with my feet. After we finally returned home, I took the stroller to a car wash and used the high pressure water to clean the stroller and the frame. I was still at university and my wife was a secretary so we could not afford to replace it. I still feel slightly embarrassed about the little trail we left in the mall thirty years ago, but it couldn’t be helped. Three years later and another child later, we were at Easter Mass when our son became ill and vomited abruptly and my wife had to catch it in her cupped hands. I actually miss those days in a way.

ANY on

First time moms are so funny. She’ll get over the diaper obsession after she’s changed a zillion of them.


Very cute, I think she is doing a good job as a mother.

Erin on

My parents used to vacuum while holding me instead of rocking me to sleep. I have since slept through a tornado – not great, but it didn’t damage anything but a large tree. I’m so glad I’m a heavy sleeper, because I know too many people that wake up when the wind blows!