Let’s state the obvious —babies don’t always love diaper changes! Having to lay still and remain calm can be a real drag when you’d rather be out on the move, so it’s quite common for them to fuss, squirm, and cry when it’s time for a clean diaper. Thankfully, there are ways to make diaper changes a little more fun and a lot less squirmy. Here are a few sensory integration techniques that can help calm your little one and help you successfully complete the task!
Tips for Making Diaper Changes Easier
Trust the Favorite Toys
When you know it’s time for a diaper change, grab their favorite stuffed animal, rattle, or toy for them to focus on while you do the deed. These techniques are all about distraction and stimulation, so their favorite object or toy is a great starting point for refocusing their energy. Keeping a box of their favorite small toys near the changing station can also help make this diaper-changing trick more convenient.
Sing a Song
Your baby loves the sound of your voice, regardless of your vocal skills! Keeping eye contact while singing a song is an excellent way to provide auditory and visual stimulation. Try out different songs for each change, but remember that using rhyming songs, like Itsy Bitsy Spider, provides great developmental benefits as well!
Silliness is comedy gold for a baby and a great distraction during diaper changes. Hide behind the diaper, blow on their tummies, use silly voices, make funny faces…whatever you can think of to hold their attention. Putting on a comedy show while changing diapers requires some serious multi-tasking for you, but it does help stimulate and distract them from their diaper woes.
Hanging mobiles, decorating the room with colorful images, or using moving lamps and lights are all great ways to visually stimulate babies. Flashlights that are small, safe, and made for young kids are also terrific for diaper changes. A baby flashlight isn’t only an object they can hold and play with, the light show is also a visual bonus!
Try a Mini Massage
For this sensory technique, it’s important to make sure the moisturizer or cream you’re using is non-toxic and safe for little ones. Before putting on a fresh diaper, rubbing cream on their skin can be a lovely way to soothe and calm babies if they appear overtired or fussy.
While it may feel like diaper changes are a permanent part of your life, remember that it’s a fleeting ritual that you won’t do forever! Trying these sensory integration tricks can help make your diaper-changing days a little easier and a lot more fun.