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Ready, Set, Change!

By caitlinhtp |

Hi. I’m Caitlin, and I’m a diaper changin’ newbie. As I wrote in my last Huggie’s post, I’m doing loads of Internet research to prepare myself for diaper duty.

One aspect of diaper changing that I’ve been reading a lot about is how parents make diaper duty an inherently negative experience, both for themselves and for their baby. I think this is natural; it’s a bit of a chore, it stinks, the baby might not like the experience. But when I really think about it, diaper changing should be a positive experience. It’s so intimate. It’s a moment for the baby and the caregiver to focus on one another.

Here are a few tips that I’ve collected on how to make diaper changing more bearable.  

  • Let the baby know what’s up: Don’t just grab your child and haul him towards the changing table. Let the baby or toddler know that it’s diaper time. If the child is playing, wait for a break in the action to do the change. This is especially important for toddlers who, just like adults, don’t want to be torn from one activity and thrust into the next. Try not to interrupt a game unless it’s an emergency.
  • Watch your tone: Most caregivers will stick their finger in a diaper and exclaim, “Oh, your diaper is so DIRTY! That is gross. Let’s get you all clean because you are stinky!” Using these negative words and negative tone sets the situation up as a chore. Instead, make diaper changing a positive experience with games and kisses.
  • Change the scene: If baby won’t stop fussing every time you bring her over to her changing table or put her down on the couch, change the scene. Moving the table or changing pad to another side of the room (or even another room) can make a big difference.
  • Stand up: For older children, consider doing a stand-up change for wet – not messy – diapers. The child may react better to being changed while standing.
  • Reach out: From the very beginning, end a change by asking, “Would you like me to pick you up?” and stretching out your arms. Eventually, the baby will begin to reach back out. This helps them feel loved and in control

For even more tips on how to make diaper changing bearable, stay tuned for my next post, which will explore games to play with baby during a diaper change!

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A big thanks to Huggies for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Read more from Caitlin on Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  Follow all her Babble posts here!

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About caitlinhtp

caitlinhtp

caitlinhtp

Launched in December 2006, Babble has a National Magazine Award nomination for Best Overall Website (opposite Slate.com) and a Folio magazine award for Best Online Magazine (beating out everyone but Time.com). Time magazine named it one of the Top 50 websites of 2010. Babble was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in November, 2011.

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0 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Change!

  1. Amanda R. says:

    Caitlin, have you read the RIE method of childcare? All this goes right along with their philosophies and I think you would really agree with it. You should check out “Your Self-Confident Baby.”

  2. Anne-Marie says:

    It’s also a great time to make eye-contact and “talk” with babies! I usually let them hang out and air dry with a diaper under them before I close it up, giving us time for a chat or a little tickle. It’s a nice little break in a hectic day. Of course, there are the toddlers who just do not quit trying to get up and walk away in the middle of everything… But I still like to focus on “Doesn’t that feel nice to be dry again?” instead of using words like dirty or stinky. (I’m a child care provider.)

  3. guajolote says:

    Yes to all of this! Works great for us. :-)

  4. heather says:

    This was something I read about while pregnant with my first. One of the comments I read is that if you talk about how disgusting it is or make faces and stuff like that, how can a baby discern that you are only disgusted with the diaper and not them? Sort of hit home for me. We made it a point to be cheerful and playful during diaper changes, always talking and trying to engage our daughter. I can’t say if it was the way we acted or just our daughter’s disposition, but we never had issues with fits at changing time even when she was a busy, squirmy toddler.

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