At a certain point in your baby’s growth, diaper changing would already start to be a challenge. Changing an infant’s diaper is easy enough, as he would not be too mobile. However, at about six months, your baby will already be squirmy enough that diaper changes are difficult. This can be particularly messy if you’re trying to wipe baby’s bottom and when the nappy is already very soiled. One wrong move and the baby can be sticking his feet into the soiled diaper, and the contents would be spilling everywhere. That’s not such a pleasant sight.
One way to avoid making a mess during diaper changing time is by playing games with your baby. This way, he is distracted enough not to squirm or move about too much. The challenge here is how to multitask: you need to play the game while cleaning up the baby.
Here are a few diaper changing games you can try.
Peek-a-boo. At this stage of your baby’s development, he would already be recognizing faces of parents, siblings and other people at home. He will therefore be fascinated by sudden appearances of familiar people. You can use an extra cloth diaper, a pillow or any other object to hide behind and play peek-a-boo with your baby. This way, he will focus on waiting for your face to appear, rather than kicking about.
Special toys. Babies are very perceptive. They can have favorite toys, and they will be fascinated with new toys. If you can have a special toy just for the purpose of diaper changing, then he will look forward to this. You should hide this special toy at all times except during diaper changes. This way, he will be too focused on playing with the toy during nappy changes, instead of kicking and crying. If your baby becomes too familiar with this toy, then swap it out with another toy.
Sing. Babies are also fascinated by sounds and music. They are especially keen on hearing their parents’ voices. Start singing to your baby a few minutes before you actually change his diapers, to calm him down.
Try a mirror. Babies are fascinated by their own image in the mirror. They will initially think of it as another child, but at some point they will get to recognize it as their own face. Having a mirror handy while diaper changing might help relax your baby a bit.
Try some variety. Babies would often associate certain spots in the room for diaper changing, and your baby might find it stressful when he realizes he’s already lying on the changing table. Try changing your baby elsewhere—on the crib, on the living room couch, on your bed, or any other place. This way, he will marvel at the newfound spot instead of squirming because of the expected diaper change. Just make sure the place is safe for a nappy change.
Remember, the trick here is to distract your baby from the actual act of changing diapers, and to keep him calm enough to let you change his nappies quickly and cleanly. When doing this, it will depend on your baby if variety or consistency is the best way to deal with diaper changing.