Diaper Changing Made Easy
Babies are all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. They don't realize the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. They just want to have fun. So when it comes to diaper changing, they cry, fuss, and resist by all means which makes this simple act turn into a chaotic business.
But there is a way out. Here is how you can make diaper changing into a fun bonding activity.
Shift your perspective
Sometimes all you need is a change of perspective and all the good things will follow.
Instead of thinking about diaper changing as a menial maintenance task, consider it a ritual that offers an opportunity to connect with your baby. You're at the perfect arm's distance to make eye contact and communicate with your baby.
Think of it as a window to bond with your baby.
The best part about it is that this moment presents itself many times in a day, and each time is a chance to give your baby your complete attention and bond with it.
Get to know your baby
Diapering is a chance to learn about your baby's unique body language. How their body reacts to your touch, what areas break them into heaps of laughter and what areas give them cold shivers. Additionally, the moving, lifting and touching help your hands to memorise the map of their body and what's normal for them.
Most importantly, when babies can't speak, body language is the only way to decipher their needs. Hence, learning your baby's language is pivotal to communicating and catering to their needs when they can't yet speak.
It seems disconnected but regular diapering can induce a sense of trust in the baby's mind. It makes them feel safe when they're vulnerable. Moreover, it acts as evidence that they're loveable and valuable and it plays a fundamental role in developing healthy self-esteem and the ability to self-love. Lastly, it also shows them that there are some people they can rely on and just be themself.
It's learning time for your baby
You might not realize it but your baby does a lot of learning during the diaper changing session. Firstly, it's a time for them to experience how their body feels without the diaper. It's time for them to move and stretch their body and realize how their limbs move.
Secondly, they are an audience to your voice and give them a chance to focus on what you're saying, how the tone of your voice modulates and sometimes pauses throughout your speech and what these things might mean. All of this lights up an electrical storm in their head and this is the start of the language learning process. Thirdly, (this one's for you) it's an opportunity for you to understand your baby's language, what they are trying to convey and how. This is crucial for fostering a healthy relationship.
Understand your baby's view
Babies can't be bothered about personal hygiene.
It's not even the last thing they could think of but it's one of the top priorities for every parent. However, if your baby dreads diaper change there would be an underlying problem such as a diaper rash or discomfort caused due to the wrong size. They might not be able to realize or communicate it to you but it may be the core reason why your baby fusses over diapering. So try decoding the real problem. Check over their size and other practical issues that may be disturbing them. Try fixing an aspect that you think is causing uneasiness and you will notice the fussiness dwindle with time.
Don't make it a task, take a deep breath instead
No matter how much of a change in perspective you bring about, on a realistic note, taking into account the number of diapers you have to change, it's inevitable that you'll feel like you've hit the wall, it's no more fun, just a mundane routine or a hassle. Nonetheless, when parents approach diapering as a task on their to-do list it isn't a fun experience for the baby. It's on days like these where taking a deep breath may seem nonsensical but it's a chance to reconsider the possibility of bonding with your child and experiencing a moment of calm in the hustle and bustle of the day. Take a deep breath and think of it as a chance to have some quality time with your baby. Rather than rushing through it, be slow and gentle and let it take some time.
Add some spice
You can make diaper changing fun by incorporating some singing, tickling and play. Just a little spice can make diapering seem less like a chore for both of you. You could also attempt to make it a bit educational by using the starting point and pronouncing different body parts. If you want to try out something different yet fun, try hiding the diaper, tuck it somewhere or hide it behind and ask the baby, “Where's the diaper? I can't find it!". To level up, you could also add a funny voice and give the diaper a silly name. Use the diaper like a puppet that communicates with the child. This might take some time and practice but if done just right this could turn diapering into a hilarious episode for your child.
Buy some time by distracting your baby
Toys can serve you by distracting your little one, giving you sufficient time to change the diaper.
Toys that offer visual and auditory stimulation like a flashlight and squeaky toys are your best bets.
You can find more toys or even a bundle of interesting toys that might appeal to your baby.
Keep these toys specifically for diaper changing. This way they would retain their novelty for a longer time.
Sometimes Stand-Up diapers can do the job
If the diaper is just wet (not messy) you can change it with the baby standing. For cloth diapers, make sure that one leg is pre-pinned so that you can slide it on like a pair of pants. A better and easier alternative would be to use pre-fitted diapers that don't require pins.
Knowing that it Will End Someday
If even after all the above steps you're dreading the next change, just know that it's just a phase that'll one day end and though that end might seem far away, let us tell you that it'll be nearer than what you think.
Next Mission: potty training
Once diapering is mastered, and your baby's old enough to understand you, you might consider potty training as the next milestone.