The biggest tip we can give for fun diaper time as your child gets older (not for newborns) is to keep special toys that your child only plays with while you diaper. Our son didn’t squirm to get away or turn over as long as he had a toy he was interested in! Another tip when they are older is to let them pick a toy to play with while you change their diaper. Kids don’t want to stop playing, so you don’t have to make them quit just for diaper time.
Diapering Can Be Fun
As you lay the baby down (on changing pad or table) notice if they are comfortable or if they need comforting. Take time to comfort any baby that is insecure, fearful or crying.
This may include bending over them to cuddle or pat them while they are laying on the table, chatting, looking into their eyes and soothing them. Once they are calm, make sounds and facial expressions that are cheerful or fun then proceed. If at any time, your newborn resumes crying, take time to sooth them.
We suggest placing a clean diaper over your baby's private parts while you clean them, to protect them and you from stray urine flow during a change. Have you seen that commercial where the man is changing the baby on a bed and the baby pees on the ceiling? This may not happen, but while exposing your baby to the air and cleaning their bottom they are likely to urinate or defecate so be prepared!
Tips to Connect with Your Baby
After your baby is cleaned we suggest engaging in some naked play time, giving your baby's bottom time to air dry. This is your opportunity to touch, smell and look at every aspect of your baby’s body and face. Since your baby is already relaxed, this is an ideal time to move their body and teach them new movements. Use gentle slow movements and never force a movement your baby resists.
- Feel their stomach, if it is too tight this may be an indicator they have gas. Holding both legs by the ankles, bending their knees and moving them toward the stomach area may force some of the gas out their bottom. Repeating the movement several times, may give your baby some relief. You can also use the leg bicycle motion to exercise their muscles.
- Do some arm exercises
- Sing or play fun music
- Show your baby a new plush toy that you also rub on their skin
- Play peek a boo
- Give them soft kisses all over their tummy and body
- Finger puppets, teethers, rattles and soft small toys are ideal for diapering time. Increase their interest with new toys occasionally to keep their attention focused on having fun during this time.
We often move our grandson to a clean cushy blanket on the floor. If he happens to wet, we can easily toss the blanket in the wash; in the meantime he can play naked and air dry his bottom. You’ll find as your child grows older that they will make movements and sounds while they are naked, that they don’t while they are clothed. Babies exhibit uninhibited joy!
In the winter: You may need to warm up the area where you change diapers (with a space heater) for your baby to feel warm. Inspect the area where you are going to lay the baby while changing. Especially in the winter, make sure you are changing the diaper in a place where there are no drafts or cold air. When babies are first disrobed, they can become uncomfortable due to the temperature change and absence of clothes.
After your baby is a few months old: The Baby Whisper suggests that the person changing the diaper describe what they are going to do to prepare your baby for the movements you need them to make.
For instance, before you take the diaper off say " I'm going to lift your legs up", then lift their legs. When we want our grandson to relax so we can clean every wrinkle between his legs, we say “relax” slowly, while we gently push his legs apart.
In the same manner you can show them the clean diaper and say "Let's get your clean diaper on, let’s lift your legs up". If you use diaper cream, you can say "I'm going to put that nice cream on". Repeating the same phrase each time lets your baby know what to expect. Eventually, they will lift up their legs for you!