Dawn, it’s common for 1-year-olds to refuse to lie quietly for diaper changes. Now that your son knows how to roll over, stand up and walk, it’s a lot more fun for him to move around than to lie on his back.
You can try different strategies to encourage your son’s cooperation with diapering, or distract him long enough to get the job done. Here are some ideas:
- Add some interesting things to your diapering area. Hang a mobile above his head, or put up photos of babies or a mirror on the wall.
- Turn on children’s music. Sing with the music and have him clap his hands or play a plastic toy trumpet. Sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and have him do the hand motions.
- Give him a plastic baby book to read. Ask him to look for and show you things in the book: “Where’s the doggie? Where’s the baby?” Ask him to show you his body parts: “Where’s your nose? Where are your ears? Where’s your tummy?”
- Give him a piece of Mylar to crunch in his hands, a noisemaker to shake or a colorful scarf to play with. Ask for his help. “I need a diaper helper! Could you be a big boy and please hold the diaper for mommy?”
If all else fails, try diapering him while he’s standing on the changing table or on a diapering mat on the floor. This works well for urine-only diapers. If there’s stool in the diaper, it’s a little more challenging to get your baby clean, but you can do it.
Karen Sokal-Gutierrez M.D., M.P.H. Pediatrician
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.