Children are in their own world most of the time. In their world, they have no concept of time, cleanliness or priorities. Time stops when they find something that interests them and they hate being disturbed. The older your baby gets, the more he or she will be stubborn when you need to change his or her diaper. However, there are many things you can actually do to get them into the mood for a diaper change. If you make it fun enough, it might even be an activity your precious one might look forward to. Enough with the wishful thinking and on with the tips, so here goes!
1. Get to the baby’s level
Look your baby in the eye and try to see what he or she is up to. Try to participate in whatever they are doing so that they don’t feel like you are interrupting them only for a diaper change. Once you establish some play and laughter, you can suggest a diaper change. Depending on how the reaction is, you can decide on what to do after your suggestion. It is also a smart thing to change his or her diaper when you find your baby between two activities when they are generally looking around for the next thing to do.
2. Change where they play
If you feel like your baby is too engrossed in whatever it is that he or she is doing, see if you can change the diaper in the same space. It might involve some extra work for you to get everything from the diaper table but it is worth it if it means a peaceful diaper change with a smiling baby instead of a meltdown.
3. Give some time
When you suggest a diaper change, look for the reaction in your baby. If you feel that your baby might resist it, tell your baby that you will change the diaper after few minutes. This will make your baby feel heard and chances are after few minutes, your baby might meekly allow you to change his or her diaper without any tantrums.
Even if you think your baby is really small, describe to him or her why diaper change is important. Communicate why cleanliness is necessary. Make sure you mention how it is something that is practised and not something your baby has to do because you say so. You will not know the exact day it happens, but one day you will find that your baby understands what you say. So always tell your baby what you are about to do and give some time to ease into the activity.
5. Help your baby’s transition by carrying the toy
If your baby is intently playing with something, it is alright to pick him or her up along with the toy. This will keep them engrossed even while you are changing the diaper. And the added benefit is that you have not interrupted your baby’s game, so all the more chances that your baby will be angelic while you change his or her diaper.
6. Diaper the toy and get him familiar
If your baby is into toys, make up games where you change diapers for the toys. This will not only make your baby understand that it is something everyone does; it might also make the activity more interesting and less of a chore.
7. Make your baby hold the fresh diaper
The easiest and most widely used method is to make your baby hold the fresh diaper. While this may not always work, it is a good trick to use especially when you are outside.
8. Make your baby laugh
If you know that you need to change your baby’s diaper, get him or her into a good mood by doing whatever it is that makes your baby laugh. After this, there is a good chance that your baby will simply follow you to the diaper table as you seem cheery and fun. Grab the chance and quickly change the diaper.
9. Put on a rhyme
If your baby is already cranky or hungry, try to distract him or her by playing a rhyme. Sing along while you pick up your baby to change their diaper. You can even become creative and choose a particular rhyme that plays during the diaper change activity. Children pick up on such cues easily and if you play the rhyme, your baby might actually look at you anticipating a diaper change. Over time, your baby will get attuned to music while changing diapers. So make sure that you have something to play when you are outside as you may get stuck with an irate baby who simply won’t allow a diaper change without some music. Children are quite unpredictable in these ways, so be prepared.
10. At the diaper table
Keep interesting toys handy at the diaper table just in case all other tips do not work out. Something simple like a sticker or a spoon works like a charm on a toddler who loves everything other than his or her own toys! If you make your baby lie down during the change, stick some interesting stars or pictures on the ceiling for him or her to look at while you change the diaper. Even a simple glow in the dark kit of stars will be absolutely fascinating for your little one to look at while you change diapers.
Remember that no one solution is bound to work every single time. You must have figured out by now how temperamental your pint sized dictator is. So having many options to choose from is a good idea but it is more important to be open minded. Though it may seem frustrating in the present, you will reach a phase when you long for their baby phase. And you know what the amazing part is? You won’t even remember how much you struggled while changing diapers.