Diaper changing: it's the moment of truth for every parent. Not because you've got to clean up the mess — it came from your cute little baby, so it's tolerable — but because you'll be tasked with keeping the little one still while the deed is done.
Any mom or dad who's dealt with a sullied and squirming infant knows all too well how this could seem like a challenge of SEAL Team Six proportions. Much is at stake — your baby's mood, your baby's cleanliness and, perhaps most importantly, the cleanliness of the ground and walls near your changing table.
But worry not! You don't need special force operatives to complete a baby change. All you really need are some simple tips.
A successful diaper change all comes down to doing one thing successfully — overloading your child's senses so they forget about what's going on down below.
Give them something to play with. The art of distraction is key, and giving them something to play with before the diaper comes off will keep them busy long enough for a diaper change. For a younger baby, try hanging a mobile above or next to the changing area. Keeping a bottle of bubbles near the table works great as well. Blow a few in the air before you tackle the task at hand. The falling bubbles will keep your baby entertained long enough for you get the dirty diaper off and the clean one on.
Once your little munchkin is able to grasp objects – which is around four months – distract them with a toy. Something that's colorful or textured will keep their attention best. In a jam, giving your baby another (clean) diaper to wield will often also do the trick.
Add music to the mix. Keep a radio or an iPod in the room and load it with baby-friendly melodies. And don't be shy! Sing along! Making up your own silly diaper changing song works too. You can also try lightly tickling them or blowing on their feet or belly before you begin. This is a fun way to keep their attention and still positively interact with them.
Participation is key. Once your baby is a little older, get them involved in the process. Have your little one pull wipes out of the container or hand you the clean diaper during the change. Giving your child more control will not only build independence, but will improve their patience. After a little while, you will have your diaper changing technique down to a science.
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.