As a parent, when "doody" calls, you know things can get frustrating. An active baby—one that wants to move and roll—can make the diaper changing process feel like rocket science. And once your baby reaches a certain age, the last thing she wants is to be held down. If you're struggling with a baby who'd rather explore the world than lie on a changing table, we've got some tips to make things easier. Here's how to keep baby happy during diaper changes.
There are so many things that happen during a diaper change that can make baby fussy or unhappy. She may be upset by the shift in temperatures (opening the diaper or using a cold wipe), so it's important to manage her comfort level. Be sure that supplies (baby diapers, wipes, baby diaper bags, baby diaper rash cream, etc.) are readily available. Pack a small basket and keep it by the changing table! Keep the clothing shifts very gentle. Be mindful of sudden actions that create a uncomfortable draft. Make sure the wipes are warm by using a wipe warmer or by running warm water over them. Also, if your baby loves the sounds of your voice, try talking in a calm tone or humming a nursery song.
Here's excellent news! Babies are easily distracted. With this fun fact in mind, try bringing your baby's favorite toy to the baby diaper changing station and let her play with it there. Try singing a song or using funny facial expressions to tell a story playfully. Allow your little one to hold a diaper while you use another. There are so many ways to use exactly what you have!
A great way to create a happy experience is to add some fun visuals to your changing area. Position the changing table towards a window where your little one can find interest in the view. Add a few hanging toys or pictures on the wall next to the baby diaper changing station. Change up the décor a bit. According to researcher Alice Skelton for The Guardian, babies enjoy black and white visual swirly combinations.
Children love games, so when you add this to baby diaper changing time, things get so much easier! A fun one to try with your little one is a Silly Sound Symphony. Make oink sounds like a pig or funny frog sounds with a hop. Add any and every sound to the fun symphony. The goal is to be as silly and random as you possibly can. Give yourself a break from the serious parent role, and you might find yourself enjoying the Silly Sound Symphony just as much as your baby!
Have you heard the phrase "It takes a village"? Sometimes you need some extra help, and that is okay. Reach out to your village. Get help where it is needed. If you are mostly home with the little one all day, find a family member or babysitter to help lighten the load a bit. You don't have to do this alone.
Raising a child can be tough enough. Why make it any more complicated? Try adding these helpful tips to your everyday diaper changing practices, and "doody" calls will be so much easier.
What is your biggest struggle with diaper changing time? Let us know in the comments!
Sophia Clark is a psychologist who transitioned her career into parenting. She coaches over 60 couples on how to raise their children. Currently living in Atlanta, she has begun writing her first book on how to raise healthy children.