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Top Tips For An Easy Toddler Diaper Change

Babies are a reason for endless joy. They steal more of our love than we ever thought possible. Their giggles light up our hearts and their cries stop us in our tracks. We would do literally anything to keep our babies happy and healthy. But that doesn’t mean that every day is easy. Especially when it comes to a toddler diaper change.

In the early months of a newborn, the days feel long but the weeks fly by, and before we know it, those tiny toes are finding their way all over the house. All of a sudden, the days of our docile little baby are behind us and we have toddlers with full personalities and endless curiosity. 

At the same time, we discover that a toddler diaper change is an entirely new thing. Our littles ones have developed quite the knack for squirming and kicking any time they get onto the changing table - sometimes even exploding into a temper tantrum at the mention of a nappy change.

This may leave you wondering, is this normal? How do I make toddler diaper changing easier? The good news is that, yes, this kind of toddler behavior is completely normal. To help you get through it we have compiled smart strategies which have been proven to help parents like you.

Is a Difficult Toddler Diaper Change Normal?

A challenging toddler diaper change is completely normal. Our babies are turning into full-blown little people and are learning about themselves through developmental curiosity and discovering how things around them work in the world! They’re also testing us as parents, discovering where our boundaries lay and what they can and can’t refuse. 

While toddler diaper changing may feel like it could be an Olympic sport some days, it is a necessity even if our little ones don’t think so. Just know that you are not the only parent out there dealing with this disruptive behavior. Many of us are battling with squirmy toddler diaper changes on a daily basis as well.

Tips for Easy Toddler Diaper Changing

We’ve gathered some all-important tips for a toddler diaper change. Hopefully, these tips will provide you with a little bit of relief next time you’re at the changing table. Say goodbye to fussy toddlers and frustrating toddler diaper changes by following these tips.

Empower Them Through Involvement 

Often our toddler’s impatience is driven by their curiosity and want to learn. Asking them to sit still for even a few minutes can feel like an eternity. So, rather than crossing your fingers for total compliance, consider getting them involved in the process to satisfy that curiosity. 

Next time it’s time for a toddler diaper changing, consider asking them to get the diaper from the bag, holding the wipes or (closed) bottle of lotion. If they’re enjoying being part of the process, gradually give them more responsibilities with each change. Once you’ve cleaned them up, they can use the wipes to pat themselves, help pull the diaper up or adjust the tabs.

It’s always great to introduce proper hygiene habits while they are young. Ask your toddler for help by asking them to wash up their hands (or letting you wash their hands) after the toddler diaper changing is done. 

Use a Distraction

The number one tip we’ve found from parents and experts alike is to find some form of distraction that holds your toddler’s attention. A toy, a sibling, a video or a song are some good examples. While many parents are worried about handing over their very expensive phones to a reckless toddler (and for good reason!) many admit to doing it anyway in order to occupy the little one just long enough to stop the wiggling or crying to have a successful diaper change. 

The only way to keep your devices truly safe and out of reach is with a wall-mounted system like Diapertainment. Play your baby's favorite shows, videos, or apps, and let the power of hands-free distraction do the rest. 

You don’t have to worry about too much screen time either because the setup is designed to only be used at diaper time. Each one of the Diapertainment products comes with a QR code to quickly access curated baby-friendly video content with high visual stimulus to keep the little ones busy and their minds active while you champion the task at hand. 

Be Quick 

A matter of minutes can feel like forever to a developing toddler. Many of our parents find it helpful to develop an easy, down-pat, diaper routine… although we know that is easier said than done.

There are a few key routines you can practice to help diaper time be as quick as possible. Having a practical diaper table set up is one of the best strategies! You don’t need an ultra-fancy diaper changing table to accomplish this. 

Make sure to keep a diaper bag (or two) stocked and close to your changing station or in it if you have shelves. The same goes for the items you find yourself always using; wipes, rash cream, baby powder or other must-have items.

Avoid having to stop to go grab something which increases the time spent on the changing table. While babies seem pretty happy to lay on their backs for a few minutes, toddlers are a different story.

If you’re wanting to step up your changing station game to shorten your toddler diaper changing time, then check out our setup guide here

Two Man Advantage 

There is no better method than teaming up with your partner or even an older child to help with a toddler diaper change. Four hands will always be better than two. 

If you have an older child they will appreciate being involved and given some responsibility for the task. They can sing, make silly faces or play a game with your toddler to keep them occupied. Whereas a partner can lightly block those punching arms or kicking legs which tend to make an appearance mid-diaper change.

Don’t Make Toddler Diaper Time A Surprise

As curious as toddlers may be, they are fairly set on doing the one task they’re focusing on rather than trying to multitask. Maybe there’s a lesson there for all of us? That means surprising them with a toddler diaper change in the middle of a book they may be looking at, or a game they may be playing can feel abrupt and wrong to them. The shock may set off an avoidable tantrum and make a diaper change that much less enjoyable for you both. 

If you realize it's time for a toddler diaper change, and it's not urgent, consider scheduling the task with your toddler. “How about we finish reading the last few pages here and then go for a change?” Or, “At the end of Peppa Pigs song, we’ll go change your diaper.” You can bring their favorite toy along so playtime doesn’t feel so interrupted. 

Giving your toddler a warning or setting a time for the task can help with other parts of their development as well, not just toddler diaper training. It’s a great habit to get into early and helps with outings and lots of other activities.

Vertical Change

If your toddler is really starting to give you trouble when you ask them to lay down for a change, consider skipping the laying down part. There’s nothing wrong with a toddler diaper change while your little one is standing up if it helps you get the job done! Plus, asking them if they would like to stand gives them some decision-making power which they enjoy.

Many parents have admitted changing their toddler standing up is the only way they can get them to stay still for long enough. If you try this method, do be sure to check what’s in the diaper before you take it off. Some changes will require a thorough cleaning, and best to know that before you have a naked toddler ready to bolt off at a moment's notice.

Get Them On Board

Changing diaper time into a positive interaction, rather than a chore can make all the difference. Introducing a special toy they only see at diaper time, or a special song or video can help make a diaper change more enjoyable for you and your toddler. Consider, baby-safe visuals to stimulate their senses during a change. The curated collection from Diapertainment is a good place to start.

Likewise, toddlers learning about their own bodies is a wonderful part of their growth process and 10-12 months old is a good time to start. Get your toddler to start pointing out their body parts while you do a diaper change and turn it into a teachable moment that they enjoy. You can even teach them the “head, shoulders, knees and toes” song.

While the days of docile diaper changes may be over, we hope these tips help you and your toddler get through the task. No one said parenting is easy and we know toddlers can be a handful at times… but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you have any tips or tricks to make toddler diaper changing a little easier? Share yours in the comments below or tell us how these tips have helped you.

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