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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dear Nanny - Changing Table Wiggles

Dear Nanny,

My baby has never liked having his diaper changed, but he has always tolerated it. That is, until now. He will do anything to avoid having his diaper changed, including crying, yelling, rolling away mid-wipe, and making a grand escape. It is an exhausting battle to change his diaper. How can I get him to stop?



Dear Frustrated,

Most babies go through this phase, and unfortunately they don't all outgrow it. The key is to be entertaining, surprising, happy, and quick. If you are worried for your child's safety, then it is time to move to the floor for diaper changes.

Here are some ideas for keeping baby still:

  1. Give baby a toy or book to look at, or hang a mobile above the changing table. Distraction is always helpful, and this way they aren't upset that they can't be playing.
  2. Talk to baby. If you are a silent changer, than it is time to liven up the conversation. Talk to baby about what you are doing, how the day is going, or your latest drama at work.
  3. Sing! Babies love to hear people sing, and they don't care if you are good. In fact it is funnier if you aren't. If one song isn't working, then it is time to change tunes. You may sing three different things in one change. Songs can be your favorite Adele song, a learning song (like the alphabet), or a commercial jingle. It really doesn't matter
  4. Be surprising! Make silly faces and noises. Baby will be so surprised that he'll stop moving to stare at you in either wonder or confusion
  5. Plan wisely. Don't pick up baby when they are in the middle of something fun, and warn them that it is almost time for a diaper change. It doesn't matter if they don't understand you yet.
  6. Get out all supplies before hand. If baby is really upset, unfold the clean diaper and have it at the ready. Also try warming the wipes with your hands before putting them on baby's bottom. Cold water in a sensitive area is never fun.
  7. If baby can stand, change them while they are standing (on the floor), many daycares do this to save time and tears.
  8. Use the belt attached to the changing pad if you have to. I never found that this worked for me, but some people swear by them. Once baby realizes he's immobilized he'll either freak or calm down.
  9. There is actually an aftermarket product available for this problem. The Hulabye Happy Changer is a vest that attaches to the changing pad to keep baby in place. People swear by this. I have never used it (the first four points have always worked for me), but every child is different.
Hope this helps!

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