Changing time - it’s messy, smelly and a multitasking pain in the bum! Even with a well-behaved baby, things can get tricky. But if you’ve been blessed with a little wriggler, nappy changing can be downright frustrating. Here are some of our favourite tips to help you change a wriggly baby with ease, and discourage that mischievous squirming…
Never underestimate the power of distraction. Thanks to their uber short attention spans, it’s pretty easy to divert your little one’s focus from wriggling onto something else. Here’s a list of some of the top distractors:
You’re probably already aware, but babies are very curious about the world around them, and they can’t resist an alien object. Pick up something around the home that makes an interesting sound and dangle it in front of your baby when doing their nappy up. You can use anything from your car keys (best not to touch though - little unhygienic) to some tissue paper to take full advantage of your little one’s curiosity!
You could also try the object technique with one of their favourite toys - this might be particularly useful if your baby is wriggling out of distress. You can reserve a cuddly toy specifically for changing time, so that they look forward to holding it while getting their nappy changed.
Remember though, babies value novelty above all else, so you might want to switch the toy out for a new one every now and then. A bored baby is a wriggly baby!
Whether you’re blowing raspberries, singing their favourite nursery rhyme, or talking baby gibberish - sound is one of the most effective ways to distract your little one.
You can test the waters with different sounds and see which one your baby prefers most. Just remember to keep your volume at a level that won’t upset them any further - that’s definitely not the desired result!
Oh, and remember to maintain PLENTY of eye contact - doing this will let your baby know you’re paying attention to them (a baby must command the room at all times).
Don’t Change Your Baby On The Floor
There’s lots of evidence to suggest that your baby is less likely to develop a wriggling habit if there’s nowhere safe for them to wriggle to. Placing them on a restrictive surface like a changing table will help them learn to get things over with quickly and without fuss.
You can place a wedge changing mat atop your table to give your baby a little extra safety, comfort and support. Remember though, you should never leave your baby unattended up there, not even for a second. We all know how quickly that little one can make a getaway!
The Importance of Patience
Breathe. Compose yourself. Soldier on.
It may feel like you’re doing this a LOT when parenting, but things do get easier as time goes on, and your patience will pay off.
As your baby matures, they’ll want to start helping you during changing time, rather than trying to escape. They might begin to lie down on their own, raise their legs up on demand, or pull the wipes out of the packet. Encourage them to help you with these things with every single change - you never know when your patience will start paying off!
There’ll also come a time where you’ll not have to change your baby at all. And though you’re probably wanting that time to come along right now, you WILL miss these precious moments spent together (pooey as they may be).