Diapering can be a challenge – wiggly limbs, squirmy bottoms and conditions that aren’t always ideal are just a few of the obstacles facing parents as they try to get baby cleaned, changed and ready to go in a fresh new diaper.
Here are five tips to make this constant task a little bit easier.
- Carry a spare (or two). Preparation is key to preventing serious diapering emergencies. Keep an extra diaper and a small package of diaper wipes in multiple places – the glove compartment of your car, an everyday handbag, in the stroller – so you don’t always have to rely on carrying your full diaper bag with you. If you stash an emergency kit in disposable, zip-top plastic bags, you’ll also have a bag available for wet clothes in a pinch. Throw in a couple of sheets of paper towels for a DIY changing pad on the go.
- Distraction is key! Keeping a moving target steady is half the battle once your baby hits the mobile phase. Having a small rattle, stuffed animal or any little gadget that makes music in your arsenal gives you a simple tool to keep baby’s hands busy and their attention focused so you can get them changed fuss-free. It may even be the time to put some Elmo on your smartphone – anything to make diapering easier!
- Change of scenery. Once babies are on the go, there’s no reason to force them onto a changing table. Instead, have makeshift stations set up in key locations around your home. Stash an extra changing pad or old towel, a box of wipes and a couple diapers in a kitchen drawer or a basket in a bookcase to create a mobile changing station which you can set up on any floor in an instant. This is especially successful if your baby has come to associate the changing table with being taken away from fun activities and company. A change of locale can make diaper changing seem like less of a big deal.
- Audience Participation. Diaper changing can be one of the first control battles of parenthood. Instead of letting this simple process escalate into an epic event give your child something to do that makes them feel involved. Let them pull the wipes out of the container and hand them to you, or create a goofy diaper changing song. Anything that makes diaper changing a fun exchange rather than an action being forced upon them will make it go faster, and you may even enjoy it!
- Call in Reinforcements. If all else fails, you may need to call for help. This could be an older sibling, your partner, even the family pet. Getting someone else to distract your baby, tickle them, kiss them, even act supremely goofy in order to get their attention can be the ultimate lifesaver. Even better, have that someone else change baby’s diaper all together. A break from your habitual routine can be just what everyone needs.
Diaper changing is an inevitable tasks that come along with parenting – there’s no escaping it. But it doesn’t have to be an inevitable struggle. Try these simple tricks and always remember that this time in your parenting life is short so try to enjoy it – dirty diapers and all.