Your Biggest Diaper Challenges—Solved!
The diaper dilemma: Baby flips, rolls, and tries to get off the changing pad.
The solution: Once a baby learns the art of rolling over, at about four to six months old, lying still for a diaper change becomes a thing of the past. Even before Baby starts to rock and roll, make it a habit to snap the changing table's security belt around him. And learn to work quickly! "Diversion was definitely the key tactic my husband and I used to help diaper our easily-distracted babies," say Brett B. Snodgrass, a nurse practitioner and a mom of two in Bartlett, Tennessee who blogs for The NP Mom. "We sang a song, made funny noises, or said silly words—anything, really, that got the baby's attention for a minute or two while we got the job done."
The challenge: You have a little boy, and his aim is good.
The solution: Few things prepare you for the sprinkler-like action of an un-diapered baby boy. "Keep your son uncovered for the minimum of time so he doesn't spray like a fountain!" says Deborah Gilboa, M.D., a pediatrician and mom of four in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who blogs at Ask Doctor G. One key sign something's about to happen: his wiener stiffens up. Grab a clean diaper and cover him. As Dr. Gilboa says, "Pee is sterile so it's not dangerous if your son starts to spray, but a word to the wise if this happens: close your mouth!"
The diaper dilemma: Baby's a kicker.
The fix: "They squirm, they writhe, and they kick their feet—sometimes right into their dirty diaper!" notes Erica Zidel, a mom of one in Boston who blogs at Sitting Around and Tales From the Tracks. "That's why it's important to master the one-handed ankle-grab: cross baby's legs at the ankles and hold with one hand. It keeps the baby from being able to squirm too much and gives you access to the diaper area."
The diaper dilemma: Baby cries and wails during changing time.
The fix: It's possible that your baby has started to see the changing station as the enemy: it's tall, it's boring, and it means naked-butts and business. So the answer could be simple: "Try changing your baby in another spot," suggests Snodgrass. A rug or a towel on a bed (be sure to keep one hand on baby at all times) could provide some change-of-scene relief—and relieve your ears at the same time.
The diaper dilemma: Baby sticks his hands into the dirty diaper (ewww).
The fix: At about nine months, your baby might start getting interested in the business down below. "Keep several toys by the changing table and hand one to your baby," says Kelly Wels, a mom of three in Waterford, Maine, and author of Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering. "If he does get them dirty, wipe his hands clean with a diaper wipe. Afterward, when he's diapered, wash his hands properly at the sink."
The diaper dilemma: Baby keeps undoing her diaper as you try to put it on.
The fix: Learning how to undo those Velcro patches on the side of a diaper, as babies may start doing when they're around a year old, is a satisfying accomplishment—who wouldn't love making that crunchy sound? "She wants to exercise control over a boring situation by making it exciting: Look at all those faces and exciting sounds my grown-up makes when I do…this!" says Dr. Gilboa. "It's the beginning of the 'Me do it myself' phase, so have her 'help' when you change her diaper. Let her hold something, like her pants or the wipes box, with two hands. That'll keep her occupied while you get down to business. Just don't give her anything like baby powder, or she'll invent a totally new game."