Changing Table Distractions
As my little girl fills her diaper with what my husband calls toxic substance, I know we’re in for another struggle at the changing table.
I plop her on her back, and immediately, her chubby hands go for gold: her recently discovered toes. Said toes, just as chubby, go into her eager mouth. She wriggles, she squirms as I try to peel the diaper off her. Because her legs are up in the air, I’ve got good access to her bum. That’s the easy part; gross but easy. Once that’s done, I slide a clean diaper under her and this is where the fun begins. She simply refuses to let go of her toes. And her grasp on these digits are as strong as a wrench on a bolt head. With her bent like that, I have to coax and cajole the diaper to stay put as she rebels against me velcroing it in place.
Right then and there, it hit me. This changing diaper jig isn’t gonna get easier as she gets more and more mobile. Neither will dressing her. Right now she can roll over. But what happens when she starts to sit up, crawl and eventually walk? I have to come up with a plan of action:
- Give her a toy to distract her. Squeaky toys are more fun that stuffed animals that are nothing but bumps on a log. If teething, a toy that feels good on the gums when placed in mouth would be good too.
- Sing to her. Right now, she has few lullabies that she loves to listen to and stays absolutely still for when she hears it. And they don’t have to be kid lullabies either. For example, she loves, Colby Caillat’s Bubbly.
- Enlist the help of another pair of hands. Find someone who can distract by making funny faces, noise, or simply make the job faster by slipping in her pants while I do the shirt.
- Make sure everything is ready and at hand. Before wrangling with baby, I’m putting everything I think I will need at arm’s reach of ground zero: aka the changing station. Diapers, wipes, rash ointment, burp cloths, change of clothes.
- Exercise patience. Not everything will go to plan. I may find that all the distractions I arm myself with to make my little one more cooperative won’t help. And if so, I must use my last weapon in my arsenal. Patience. Sooner or later, I will get that diaper on her, and her clothes fastened nicely. And the next diaper change? It’ll be Daddy’s turn.
What’s your proven technique for changing a mobile baby?