Avery has always been one of those babies that always wants to be on the go. As soon as she figured out how to crawl, she didn’t ever want to sit still again. I love that she is so active and wants to be everywhere, but there are many times when I just need her to sit still and she doesn’t want it to happen.
For the past month, she has really disliked getting dressed and undressed. It’s become more of a wrestling match than a quick change. She fights me when I try to put on her shirt, will try to roll over and make a getaway. It makes it extremely hard and time consuming to get her dressed in the morning.
Through the squirms, getaways, and the occasional fussiness, I’ve found ways that I can make the process easier and less stressful for both of us.
Ditch the Changing Table 1 of 10I got rid of this as soon as Avery started to roll over. Even with her strapped in, I was so nervous to have her up there. She is such a squirmy baby and wants to wiggle around not matter where she is. The changing table is a little bit too narrow for her to be so squirmy that it makes me uneasy to change her when she could potentially roll off.
Image via Flickr User Magpie37
Move to the Floor 2 of 10Rather than changing Avery's clothes on the changing table or a bed, I've moved to the floor. She moves so much that I just can't change her on an elevated surface. By moving to the floor I feel much more comfortable if she rolls over and tries to make a getaway. She doesn't have the potential to fall off anything.
Image via Flickr User Abby Batchelder
Get Another Person Involved 3 of 10Having an older child makes it so much easier for me to change Avery. Harlan wants to be involved in almost anything that Avery does, so I always find a way for her to help. Avery needs to be distracted when I am changing her otherwise she will roll over, kick her legs, flail her arms, basically anything else she can do other than help me get her dressed. Harlan loves to sing her a song and talk to her so I have her do this while I am putting on Avery's clothes. It's much easier when there is someone there to solely focus on entertaining Avery while I focus on quickly getting her dressed.
Image via Flickr User The Adventures of Dan
Don’t Make it Complicated 4 of 10I learned my lesson with my first baby that I should never buy clothes that are complicated to put on. If it takes more time to put the clothes on than it does to change a diaper, than they are not worth buying. Clothes need to be easy to pull on and off to that it is quick and simple for both you and your baby.
Image via Flickr User oksidor
Make it a Game 5 of 10Avery is just getting old enough to love simple games. Her current favorites are peek-a-boo and the drop things on things on the ground so that mommy will pick them up only to do it again game. I try to make getting dressed a game so that she enjoys it more and doesn't try to escape. As I'm trying to put on her shirt I will play peek-a-boo with it in front of my face. As I'm putting it over her head I do the same with her. Doing this allows me to engage her before, during, and after putting on her shirt so that she isn't thinking about anything else but the fun game we are playing.
Image via Flickr User Tim and Selena
Grab a Toy 6 of 10There are times when none of my usual tricks are working, so I have to get something so that she can entertain herself. I try to grab a toy that she hasn't played with within the last couple of hours so that it is new and interesting to her. I also want to make sure that it's easy for her to grasp so that I don't risk having it fall on her face as she is holding it above her head while laying down. The toy keeps her distracted while I get her clothes on.
Image via iStock
Sing a Song 7 of 10Avery loves music. Although my voice isn't the best, she doesn't know any better. I sing any song that comes to my hand and dance up and down while putting her clothes on. She smiles, laughs and dances while I finish getting her dressed. This is my favorite thing to do when I change her clothes because it's really fun for the both of us.
Image via iStock
Take Your Time 8 of 10It may seem like you want to hurry up and put their clothes on while you have them down on the ground and not moving, but I've found that the quicker I try to put on Avery's clothes, the fussier and more active she gets. If I take my time while playing with her and making it a game, she is much more relaxed. Ultimately I want to teach her that getting dressed is fun (even if this is just a stage) and that it's a part of our everyday routine.
Image via Flickr User DHarrels
Don’t Get Frustrated 9 of 10I can get frustrated very easily. Especially if I am in a rush and need to get the girls ready and out of the apartment. But over the years I've found that it gets me no where and actually makes me even more late than I would have been in the first place. No matter how squirmy Avery is or how much she tries to fight me from putting on her clothes, I try to remain calm and continue doing what I am doing. I try to make it seem like I am having the best time getting her dressed because I don't want to make it something that she dreads doing.
Image via Flickr User JessicaFM
Last Resort, Grab the Smartphone 10 of 10It's something that I've very rarely had to do, but if Avery is really fighting me on getting dressed, I'll grab my iPhone, find some sort of baby entertainment on an app and let her watch it while I finish getting her dressed. This is my last resort, but sometimes has to be done on those days when she just isn't having any of it.
More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:
- 12 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues With Your Baby
- 10 Toys My Baby and My Toddler Play With
- My Favorite Photos from Avery’s 10th Month
- 13 Ways I Want to Become a Better Mother in 2013
- 12 Favorite Avery Moments of 2012
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.