Baby changing is hardly rocket science – we all know how to change a nappy. And if you don’t then trust me, one or two goes and you’ll soon be fluent in it. I haven’t written this to explain how to change your baby, because that would be pointless and patronising. But when you’re changing nappies all day everyday for the forseeable future, it’ll soon become clear that a good system is what’s going to get that tedious task done quickly, efficiently and more imoprtantly, without poo all over your hands. So, let’s begin!
1. Lay out everything before you start
Rummaging through your stuff for wipes, then a nappy, then wondering where you put your bum cream just takes more time that it needs to. Before we begin changing, I always try to take out the necessary amount of wipes for a pee or a poop, unfold a fresh nappy, lay out a fresh set of clothes, open up my bum cream.. then unstrap and see what awaits.
~ This saves you running round like a headless chicken on the hunt for wipes.
~ Gets a quick rhythm going when all your bits are laid out.
2. Disposable Changing Pads
A brilliant invention. Disposable, waterproof, not cold for baby’s skin, and all round great for efficiency. Rather than wiping poo and wee off your changing mat, just wrap your old nappy up in a changing pad and throw it away – no mess to deal with at the end! Plus they’re a comfortable material that won’t be cold for baby’s skin. The downside for these is at £4.00 for a pack of 12 (we use the Pampers disposable changing pads) they can be a little expensive. However, I’m sure you can find some cheaper/larger quantities online, if not local to you. These just seem to be the only ones to exist where we live.
TIP: When bubs gets older and grabbier, just put the lower half of their body on the mat so they don’t go tugging on it.
3. Let them hold the wipes!!
This is one unexpected, but now totally-depended upon method for us to get through changes – especially the messy ones! Our boy is 7 months old and getting more and more unstoppably mobile, meaning changing his nappy has become more of a struggle between me trying to keep him on his back, and him putting his entire might into moving and grooving all over the shop.
~ You could probably let them hold anything while changing and it’ll keep the wriggling to a minimum. My boy just loves the sound of the wipe packet.
4. Shitty hands no more!
This one is genius. I saw my father in law do it and never looked back. Rather than using wipe after wipe to clean that gloppy poop that’s smeared all over your bubs behind, lift your baby’s legs, and use the front end of the nappy to wipe the poo downwards, off the bum and into the back end of the nappy. Using this method doesn’t remove every trace, but removes the bulk of poop leaving you left with nothing compared to what you’d have been dealing with when using wipes from the start.
~ So much cleaner and quicker as you’re not wiping shit from every limb in the vicinity.
5. Bunch up the arm and leg holes before putting clothes on baby.
With Long sleeve vests/jumpers or shorts bunch up the sleeve holes from either entrance hole and slide over the baby’s arm in one swift motion. Repeat with the other arm and scoop the neck hold over the head. No longer will you be wrestling that bulky winter coat onto your poor baby!
~ Saves time.
~ Won’t feel like you’re wrestling your baby.
~ Godsend for when baby gets wriggler!
6. Talk them through it!
You may think this is ridiculous but I SWEAR by this. Asking your baby to keep their legs straight during nappy changes or bend their arms when putting shirts on will soon enough result in him understanding what you want from them, making them SO much more cooperative during changes!
When my baby was around 3/4 months old I realised during changes, that by using the same words and commands with the same actions, he soon understood what I meant whenever I said ‘straight legs!’ or ‘can you bend your arms?’ He soon started performing the actions without me having to say it because he knew it was coming. I think this is just because I (accidentally created a consistent habit of labelling the action I wanted from him. Icouldn’t recommend this more, my bubba loves our changing time chats and squeals with excitement whenever I start undressing him
~ Until they begin to understand what action is associated with the word/command, always show them as you say it.
E.g. ‘Straight legs!’ While gently putting their legs into a straight position.
Changing baby doesn’t have to be another task to rush through during your already hectic day. It’s actually a wonderful opportunity to bond and play with your baby. But as any parent knows there’s always something that needs doing or someone that needs your attention, so I hope that any of these little tips I’ve learned might be of use to you.
I highly reccomend No.6 because even if changing time has to be a rush for you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use it as an opportunity for a lovely one on one chat with your bubba. After a while you might see that their understanding of the associations you’re creating is developing.
Let me know in the comments section how any of these tips worked for you, or if you’ve got any of your own tips and tricks that you’d like to share.
Peace & Love.