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What safety precautions should I take when setting up a diapering area?
Keeping baby safe during diaper changes probably won't occur to you as an issue at first; newborns (usually) hold still during the process—though you should still keep a hand on your infant at all times during the change, in case a burst of energy means a rolling baby. But the older your child gets, the more difficult diaper changing will become. By 4 months baby wants to show off new confident rolling skills often; by 8 months baby wants to crawl away as you try to secure a diaper, and by the time your child is a toddler, expect loud protests when it's time to pull those pants down.

The trick is to be as quick and safe as possible. As mentioned, keep a hand on your child at all times to prevent falls, especially if baby is on a changing table. Another safety tip: Keep baby distracted during a changing. Use favorite toys, mobiles, mirrors, or photos to keep baby occupied, or hang a detailed and colorful poster by the changing table.

Storytelling and active interaction with mom or dad also does the trick to keep baby occupied. Have plenty of diapers handy in all parts of the house, along with baby wipes, so that you can quickly take care of business—before your baby has a chance to become fussy. And be sure to consistently praise your child for cooperating with the diaper-changing routine!
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education