Normally, swapping out a dirty diaper for a clean one will only be a messy affair for Baby, and a brief one at that. But if it’s one of those days when Baby is practicing moves for a future career in mat gymnastics, then you might need a change of clothes by the time your work is done. Rest assured, you’re not alone. Many babies will go from nirvana-calm to extra fidgety at the rustle of a fresh diaper. Keeping Baby relatively still during changing time will get easier as the two of you learn to communicate, but for now, consider these six changing chestnuts next time you and Baby find yourselves en route to the table.
- Set the stage
Keeping an organized and generously-stocked baby changing area will make it easier to get Baby freshened up in no time. So before starting your next mission, make sure you’ve got fresh diapers, baby wipes, diaper rash cream, some moist washcloths, and anything else that has become a key part of your diaper-changing routine ready and near enough that you don’t have to look away to access them.
- Take a few deep breaths
Relax – you’ve got this. Baby will likely be able to tell the difference between an anxious change and a confident one. The more steadfast and collected you are, the sooner this whole operation will be over.
- Provide entertainment
A well-timed distraction can put Baby at ease while you take care of the dirty work. Many parents find that keeping a handful of designated “changing time toys” for their baby to play with can do just the trick. You can also try singing Baby a song if she generally goes ape for musical arrangements.
- Offer a helping hand
A gently placed hand on Baby’s chest or side can often calm her down and tame the urge to perform leg raises or barrel roll straight out of the changing area before you’ve finished the job.
- Try something new
If Baby has reflux, gas, or a sensitive stomach, she may object to the part of a diaper change where you lift her legs to switch out the dirty diaper for the clean one, which can put pressure on her stomach. Instead, try gently rolling her on one side to slide the new diaper underneath her, and then to the other to straighten it out.
- Go for speed
A diaper change can be as elaborate or efficient as you’d like. But in most cases, a quick wipe and a generous slather of cream will suffice. Just be sure to line up those diaper sticky tabs close enough to avoid adherence to Baby’s skin and you’ll both be good to go!