Lately, diaper changes have become a task only for the very brave. And the very prepared.
Diaper changing time with Bryce as a small infant was great: we sang, we talked and we took our time enjoying each diaper change. It was a bonding time for us. But when Bryce figured out how to crawl, diaper changing became less desirable for him and consequently, me. He really didn’t have time to be contained to a little changing table when there was a big world to discover.
But he was still small enough that I could keep him on his back and get his diaper changed quickly, liberating him to go on exploring new territory. Unfortunately, the table(s) quickly turned, and I ended up relinquishing my power to my little (but, oh so strong) boy, flipping and maneuvering to a seated position before I could even react. It is impossible to change a seated baby.
Not changing his diaper really isn’t an option, so what can a frustrated mom and an equally annoyed baby do to get through a diaper change without either of the participants ending up in tears? I’ve scoured the internet, reading blog posts and informational articles, and I’ve talked with other mommies about how they manage tear-free diaper changes.
Surprisingly, the answer I got time and time again turned out to be so simple. Slow down. Sounds counter intuitive, right? I thought the same thing. Why would I want to drag out something that my baby (and I) have grown to hate so much?! It was worth a try though, as it seemed to be the reoccurring theme as I researched. Slowing down and enjoying the diaper change and time spent with my son made a huge impact.
Before even approaching him, I make sure to take a deep breath and relax (somehow, like animals, they can sense our fear!) I ask for him to cooperate through many different phases of the diaper change, including walking to the diaper changing table with me, sitting down, laying down, holding up his feet and even wiping himself (following up with better wiping by me). I go back to when he was itty bitty and sing songs, tell stories or just talk about what is happening. His current obsession is his body parts, so right now we often we talk about body parts. I make the diaper change about him, instead of about the diaper.
The diaper change might not be as quick as it has been, but it is definitely more enjoyable. Diaper changes are back to being about quality: quality time, quality conversation, quality learning, quality experience. Not only are his eyes and his bottom dry, but he’s happier, and so am I!