Help! - changing nappies without struggle

Claudia - posted on 06/07/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I am desperate for advice on some positive strategies to changing my daughter's nappies and making it fun and without a struggle. She's 13 months old now and all of a sudden started to roll over on the change table, trying to stand up as soon as her nappy comes off. This is a problem because sometimes I don't even get the chance to clean her bottom and you can imagine the result. I always prepare her in advance before putting her on the change table and tell her that "mommy's going to change your nappy now, I want you to lie still until we are finished". I usually have a toy handy, something she hasn't played with for a while, and she has a music thing next to her where she knows how to push the button and we sing together. This has worked until now. She now throws the toy away almost instantly and rolls over grabbing hold of the bar on the side. This morning she had a blow-out and I had to take all her clothes off. Result: major struggle to get her cleaned and dressed because she's actually quite strong and kept grabbing hold of the bar to roll over. I feel upset because I know I could have handled it better - just don't know how. I'm a single mum with no family around - lack of sleep certainly doesn't help either. I tried to be firm but in the end I feel it was not a positive outcome. Any advice please?

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All of these are cool ideas, the only other idea I can add is to put some busy pictures on the ceiling above the change table and talk to her about them... "can you see the cow? what does the cow say? can you see the duck?" and so on.

[deleted account]

Well I started changing my son on the floor and actually pinning him in place carefully with my one leg. He hated it, I just kept repeating to him that Mommy was only sitting on him because he wouldn't lie still. If he wanted Mommy to stop sitting on him he had to lie still to be changed.
About two days of this and he stopped. Till the potty training started if he started to act up I just had to say to him "Do you want Mommy to sit on you to get your diaper changed?" and he would immediately stop giving me grief.
The position was as that I sat on my bum with one leg across his mid section and the other perpendicular (so I made an L shape with my body). I would have everything set up beside me within arms reach and I would change his diaper.
I also had to do this with my friend's son when he started coming to my house for day care. Apparently he was atrocious (getting up and running around the house and wiping his dirty bum on things etc) at home until I convinced Mom to give it a try and with in a few days he stopped there as well.

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14 Comments

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Carol - posted on 07/15/2010

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I have the same issue. I just try to entertain her with whatever I have on hand. It can get messy if she rolls over with poop al over her bum. I do not know what else to do, but holding her even if she gets mad at me. I guess they will grow over this. I agree to doing it on the floor if possible.

Melissa - posted on 07/15/2010

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All 3 of my children would grab the rail of the changing table to flip over and at that point we moved to either my bed or the floor. My 19 month old daughter is giving me grief also. I have found that having her point out her hair, eyes, nose, ears, etc works well. Also singing the itsy bitsy spider and throwing some hand movements in, with the clean hand...she loves it when the 'rain" comes down over her face to wash the spider out, or the "spider" goes up her leg for going up the water spout. I've also tried a large sticker on her hand..that doesn't work as well as the others though for her. Good luck!

Caitlin - posted on 07/13/2010

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I have a mobile, it didn't help, I tried the tape, toys, but anything, even her favorite toy she will throw on the floor when she's really pissed off. I tried the pointing to certain body parts, it doesn't really work for her, I was at a loss. Last week while I was shopping I picked upa new change pad cover because my other one was getting a little worn down and I needed another one. Now she loves diaper changes, becasue for some reason she loves the star design on this one, and keeps pointing to the design and smiling. For the first time in what seems like an eternity she layed there without screaming and kicking and smashing herself around.

Nikki - posted on 06/17/2010

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My daughter has stated doing this very badly in the last few days, I found a balloon has helped a little, I don't know how long it will work, but I have some sticky tape on hand for when she grows bored of it!

Krista - posted on 06/17/2010

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Those are some fantastic ideas. I struggle mightily with my 10-month old. He rolls over, tries to sit up, tries to STAND up...he's all over the place. I'd like to try the sticky tape, but I'm worried he'd eat it... But maybe a mobile above the table, or a non-breakable mirror for him to play with will help matters.

Ez - posted on 06/11/2010

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We have the same battles in our house. UGH!! Drives me mental. My daughter is 16mths, 13kg /29lbs and as strong as an ox!! I've been kicked, head-butted, and she's hit her head while throwing herself around in the struggle. I'd be lying if I said I remained patient and calm with it all the time. I have yelled more than I would like. It's the absolute worst part of my day!!

All of the suggestions above have helped at various times, but sometimes she will fight me regardless. I've found singing to be the most effective.. I let her choose the song and we go from there.

Claudia - posted on 06/08/2010

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Thank you everyone... it is encouraging to hear what has worked for you and funny too - it has cheered me up a bit. I have decided to re-arrange Mikayla's room and place the change table nearer to the window so she can look out and will put a small mirror up on the wall - that is a great idea, Meghan! She loves looking at herself too and sticking her tongue in and out at the same time so that should keep her occupied for a while. I will also have a supply of sticky tape at hand. I think what has happened she got bored with her surrounding, so a change sounds good. I feel better now... :)

Meghan - posted on 06/07/2010

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thx Jess!!! Sticky tape worked SOOO well with Joshua. It actually kept him busy for about 10 minutes afterwards. A mirror worked well too...have a compact mirror on hand (maybe my boy is vain lol, but he LOVES looking at himself even at 20 months!) Jaime is right too, if all else fails, sing a silly song, teach them to touch their head...their armpit...their eyes..silly sounds.

Jaime - posted on 06/07/2010

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Claudia your story is EXACTLY my story...the only difference is the gender of our children! My son is incorrigible when it comes to diaper changes! Every single time I try to change his diaper he's 10 steps ahead of me and ready to flip over the second the diaper is unfastened! Lately I've been distracting him with funny sounds and that seems to be working...I say "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaachooooooooooooooooo" a lot and he laughs at me. I also give him things to hold, like the diaper cream or powder and tell him I'm going to put it on his bum and he can help spread it around (the powder I mean). I have to clean his hands after, but it's far better than cleaning up poop that is smeared everywhere! GAH...I feel your frustration, but don't get down on yourself for being negative...I struggle to keep my cool some days still. I hope it gets easier for you. I've just accepted that this is how it is, and that has somehow made me less apprehensive about the situation and able to be more calm if that makes sense.



I'm a single mom too, so I truly do understand what you're going through! It's not easy being positive even 50% of the time, but you will because you're dedicated to figuring it all out and gaining that inner, emotional control. Be proud of yourself for that!

Jess - posted on 06/07/2010

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I think this is universal rite of passage for all mothers ! Ava started this nonsense at about 6 months ARGH, the best tip I have been given is from our very own Meghan. STICKY TAPE !!!! Just give baby a fresh piece of sticky tape at the beginning of the nappy change it works wonders !

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