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Ready, Set, Change!

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

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