The diaper changing table has become a battlefield in my home. Diaper changing time consists of screaming, flailing, and twisting. I dread taking my baby out in public, where others might witness this battle. My baby doesn’t like diaper changes. Other parents voice the same concerns.
One parent stated that changing his baby felt like trying to change a feral cat. Another worried that it could be a health issue causing her baby to cry. Even babies who are usually good-natured will have times when changing time can reduce them to tears. Why do babies hate having there diaper changed? Is there anything we can do to end the battle?
Newborns hate the cold. Babies have a hard time regulating their body temperature. Going from being warm and comfy in their clothes, to suddenly being naked and cold is a shock to them.
A hungry baby is an impatient baby. They are less likely to go along with getting their diaper changed.
Disrupted them from play
The baby might not mind having a dirty diaper. The baby is more interesting and exploring and playing. When a baby gets a toy taken away from him, it makes him mad.
Doesn’t know what’s going on
Newborns have no idea what is going on when you change their diaper. They are experiencing the sensation for the first time. It might startle him. As the baby gets used to you changing them, this will no longer be a problem.
Not in Charge
When a baby gets older, they develop a desire to be in charge of their bodies. The baby does not like it when things happen beyond their control.
Stops From exploring
When a baby has to be still on his back, it stops the baby from exploring new skills such as rolling over and sitting up.
It’s important to check the size of the diapers. The wrong sized diaper could be too tight and uncomfortable for the baby.
Medical reasons a baby fusses over a diaper change
There are many reasons why your baby cries during diaper changes that have nothing to do with medical reasons. In most cases, it’s one of those reasons why your baby is fussy. If you think it could be something else, it’s important to talk to your baby’s pediatrician.
When a baby has a diaper rash, the diaper area might be sensitive, causing them to cry when you change them. It is not always easy to see a diaper rash. A rash might show up as just a small red area between the baby’s folds. There are many reasons why a baby could have a rash.
- Ammonia from dirty diapers
- Sensitivity to Diaper
- New Foods
- Bacteria or yeast infections
Babies with reflux do not like to lie on their backs. When the baby is lying flat on its back, it is easier for stomach acid to come up through the esophagus.
Spina Bifida is a disorder where the baby’s backbone develops abnormally. The disorder can make it painful for the baby to lie on his back. A diagnosis of Spina Bifida happens at or before birth.
Ways to keep your baby happy during a diaper change:
Make sure that your diaper changing area has everything that you need. There’s nothing worse than wrestling with a baby to remove its diaper, only to realize you do not have a clean diaper around.
It’s also important to be ready to change your baby on the go. Pack a special bag just for diaper changing emergencies and leave it in your car. Some items that should be in your diaper changing kit include:
- Changing pad
- Plastic bags
- A change of clothes
- Any creams you might want to use
- A toy for distraction
Keep baby warm
Pick a warm spot in the house to change the baby in. It also might help to have a warm blanket or towel to wrap the infant’s body in while you are changing him.
Chose a good time
Wait until your baby is feed and happy to change them. Pick a time when the baby is not preoccupied with a toy.
Keep small toys or items for your baby to play with while you are changing them. It will give the baby something to do and reduce fussiness. Only let your baby play with these items during changing time to increase novelty. If you do not have an item around to distract the baby, you can sing simple nursery rhyme type songs to keep the babies interest.
Tell the baby what you are going to do before you do it. The baby will start to connect what you’re saying with what you are doing. It helps build the baby’s vocabulary.
Give baby some control
Let the baby help in changing its diaper. You could give the baby the new diaper and tell him to hold it while you change the old one. You could hand then a wipe and have them help wipe after the change. There is a chance that these items will get thrown to the ground, or the baby might chew on them. Keep an eye on the baby, and take the items away if this is the case.
Change Standing up
If the baby is only wet, you can change them standing up. Only use this method if the baby can stand well on its own.
If your baby is old enough, you might want to consider potty training. A baby is physically ready to use the potty around 18 months. At this age, a baby can hold it until they get to a potty. It doesn’t mean that they are ready to be trained. Potty training is a puzzle with many different pieces. A baby will not be cognitively ready until after their second birthday. At this age, they know what the potty is for and can sit long enough to use it. To guarantee the best success, its best to wait until they are both physically and cognitively ready to potty train.