Changing nappies can be a chore. The squirming. The squealing. The wriggling. Each time I go to change my son's nappy it feels like I am wrestling a baby gator!
As your baby grows and begins to explore the world around them, nappy changing time can be a source of anxiety, frustration and stress. While your baby fights their nappy change, you try to fight the urge to scream at the top of your lungs.
After months of fighting a losing battle, I knew that I had to find ways how to distract my baby during a nappy change. I tried everything in the book and didn't stop until I figured out the most effective ways to distract my little bundle of joy during his nappy change.
Now, it's time to share my hard-earned knowledge. Below you will find 10 tips and tricks on how to distract baby during a nappy change. Not only are they totally safe - but they can be a fun and loving way to interact with your child.
1. Talk to Your Baby
This may sound way too simple but it works! Using a calm voice and keeping eye contact works wonders for little babies who are just wanting some attention. You can talk about what you are doing as you’re doing it, or really anything you like.
If you really want to distract your baby during the nappy change, holding eye contact is key. I found this method the most effective during the newborn phase. It’s when I found that my children found me the most interesting.
2. Sing a Song
Sometimes a simple song that they know will work, and other times you will have to get creative. The more seasoned you become at parenting, the more you will be able to come up with songs on the fly.
I remember that I made up a song about nappy changes and made silly sounds, my littles forgot what was actually happening and just giggled the entire time. It was my favorite way to distract them.
3. Designate Toys for Nappy Changes
Once my sons approached around 1 year old, holding a toy or a small book was enough to distract my baby during a nappy change. I created a small bin that was kept next to the changing table, and they would choose one toy from it to hold while I changed them.
They enjoyed having that sliver of independence since they got to make the choice, so I found it really helped keep them calm while I cleaned them up.
4. Take Your Time
Rather than asking "How do I distract baby during nappy change?" the better question to ask is: "How do I make baby feel most comfortable?"
If you are rushing to get your baby’s nappy changed, then your little one will pick up that you think it is a negative and not so good time. This will make them react as if the experience is negative.
Instead, slow down and connect with your child. Believe it or not, making it more of a time to bond will help your baby cooperate better!
5. Make It an Easy Transition
Often, you will find that the reason your child doesn’t want to get their nappy changed is because they are busy playing. You will find with a toddler that it is hard for them to stop what they are doing.
Remember, for them play is work and it’s very important! If having toys next the changing table isn’t enough, you can help your little one transition by asking them to bring their toy with them. This way, they aren’t hanging around with a dirty nappy and they get to continue playing to keep them distracted.
6. Ask For Their Help
A method that works with my kids is asking them to help me. It makes them feel important while also providing the independence they are craving at the toddler stage.
You can ask your little one to undo the tape of the diaper or to hold the wipes. If they are involved in the process, they often forget why they were fussing in the first place.
7. Change the Nappy of a Stuffed Animal
One of the best ways to distract baby during nappy change is to change the nappy of a stuffed animal. This may sound silly, but desperate times call for desperate measures!
When your child is on the outside looking in, they will get to see how a nappy change goes one someone or in this case something else.Talk to them and get them involved. Then let them hold that stuffed animal when it’s their turn.
8. Name Your Baby’s Different Body Parts
When your baby is still a baby, they will be happy enough just to hear your voice. A great way to distract your baby during a nappy change is to start pointing to several of their body parts and naming or counting them.
Count their toes, name and tickle their belly, play with their legs or anything else you can think of. This may not work with a 2 or 3 year old but I have done this with my kids and it is enough to keep them occupied as babies.
9. Check for a Problem
If fussing and screaming about a nappy change isn’t something that your child normally does, maybe there’s something wrong. If their bottom is sore, it makes sense if they don’t want to be touched.
Just be extra gentle! I’ve used these tips for diaper rash and they can be very helpful. It’s important to remember to keep calm and not react negatively. Your little one will be looking to you for guidance.
10. Change Them Somewhere New
There’s always the possibility that your little one just doesn’t like being on the changing table. Most of the time it’s because they are uncomfortable. Why? This can range from having their movement restricted due to safety rails, or it’s too hard. Sometimes, there’s no particular reason at all.
Believe it or not, this is normal! Try changing them on the bed or set up a changing station on the floor. I found that once my kids got used to getting their nappies changed, they eventually were fine with laying on the changing table.
Now You Know How to Distract Your Baby During Nappy Change Time!
Keep in mind that not every thing you try will be foolproof! Babies and toddlers are constantly changing and developing, and that means what interests them and keeps them occupied does too.
Don’t worry, this is just part of growing up! One day when your little ones are older you will look back on their nappy days and miss it. I now have one potty trained child and one still in nappies and I know that once my youngest is ready to transition, I will miss all the memories we have made during those changes.
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