Dr. Laura, my 11 month old is yes, really happy he"s learned to sit up, explore whatever in hands reach and roll during diaper changes. He it s okay so distraught during diaper transforms when I avoid him from using these new skills. If i flip him back onto his ago after he"s rolled onto his tummy giggling or if I keep him indigenous practicing his sit-up skills he transforms from happy giggles to sobs and also tears. And also it is clear the he thinks i am being average by not allowing him this sweet play exploration that stays clear of me an altering his diaper... He speak me he"s so frustrated in his sobs and also yells that "momma". I"ve tried numerous different points to distract him or save his attention... Toys, dancing, singing, talking, music... All to no avail. He desires to sit-up, roll over and play with everything diaper accessory I"ve lugged his way. I dislike that he no diaper changes and have no idea what to do. The alters now create anxiety for him. Ns can totally understand his upset during certain changing times such as center of the night wet diapers while he"s hungry and also sleepy. However what have the right to I do throughout other times as soon as he"s plainly distressed the my an altering his diaper is staying clear of him indigenous newfound an abilities and exploring?


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Most small ones go v stages as soon as they stand up to diaper changes. Through eleven months old, your son is old sufficient to want to be much more in charge of his body and his time. The doesn"t want an adult to swoop in and also pick the up and disrobe him once he"s busy v something.

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So uneven you have the rare son who is uncomfortable in wet diapers, climate he has actually no impetus to want a diaper change. How have the right to you enroll that in this necessary-but-often not-fun-for-either-of-you task?

Often, merely slowing down and also connecting changes everything. Sometimes, offering the child manage is the vital to preventing a power struggle. Often, no interrupting their play solves the difficulty by conference their needs as well as yours. And also sometimes you will probably uncover yourself resorting come distraction. For this reason here"s a perform of principles to try, most of which will job-related sometimes, or for awhile. Friend may discover some good combinations that occupational for you. I indicate printing this list and adding to it as you come increase with much more solutions that work-related for you and your child.

1. Slow down.

If girlfriend treat this as a opportunity to connect and enjoy your child, she"s an ext likely to enjoy the connection and therefore cooperate with the diaper change. If you rush with the diaper adjust like it"s miscellaneous unpleasant, she will react as if she is being hosted down and subjected come something unpleasant. Which, indeed, a diaper readjust is, as soon as you rush. Imagine having the intimate parts of her body touch in the brusque, rushed way.

2. Be an ext present.

Mindfulness researcher Cassandra Vieten suggests that our capability to stay present and aware during a diaper adjust models because that our youngsters how they deserve to stay base in the challenge of their own discomfort. She stresses pass compassionate, open-hearted full presence come the diaper change, rather than just rushing through it. In fact, she calls this the "Mindful Diaper readjust Practice." (And you believed you didn"t have time for mindfulness techniques anymore!)

3. Connect with him.

Children space always much more likely come cooperate v us if we attach first. Take it a deep breath. Obtain on her child"s level and connect. Discuss what he"s doing. Then, point out that his diaper is wet. Asking if he has noticed it. This gives him an possibility to inspect in through his body. (This is a good structure block for eventual potty learning.) He also feels, since you"ve connected, prefer you"re on his side. Girlfriend aren"t just pushing him around, i m sorry of course would certainly make him feeling resistant.

4. Provide her some respect.

Magda Gerber, founder the RIE, teach that also though babies can"t recognize our words, they feel the distinction when they"re treated v respect. So from the time they"re infants, rather of simply scooping castle up, move slowly and also explain what"s happening. Receptive language is around a year front of expressive language, so your child already understands much much more than friend think. And even tiny babies know your ton of voice. If you execute this from the time your infant is born, they have much better associations with diaper changes and also don"t construct up together resistance.

5. Offer him part control and also choice.

Always questioning "Ready for a diaper change?" If he claims no, say, "Your diaper is wet. Do you want to readjust it currently or in 3 minutes? 3 minutes? Ok, let"s shower on it!"

6. Acquire her laughing.

Laughter reduces anxiety hormones and also increases bonding hormones. So getting your kid laughing because that ten minute is constantly a an excellent strategy when you recognize you"ll need cooperation. Prior to you start the diaper change, begin roughhousing in a method that provides your kid squeal v laughter. Chase her around the house, be totally silly. After ten minutes, make the diaper change component of the fun.

7. Aid him transition

...by taking an object he"s connected with and also carrying it through you. Because that instance, "Let"s journey the van to the transforming table!"

8. Don"t do her move.

If you can, usage a portable transforming pad and adjust her wherein she is playing, so there"s less interruption to every little thing she"s working on.

9. Don"t interrupt his play.

Play is her baby"s work. Naturally, the doesn"t want to be interrupted. Why not change his diapers standing up, if they"re just wet? This will minimize the times the is necessary to asking him to lie down, so he is more likely come cooperate as soon as absolutely essential for confusing changes. Because he might not be totally stable yet, pick a toy he likes and put that on the couch, and stand him against the couch. (I understand it"s harder than lying down, yet if you practice, you get an excellent at it. I did this v my daughter beginning at 11 months, until she was out of diapers.)

10. Invite she to a party.

Most youngsters can"t withstand a party. Grab the drum, have a conga line, sing and also dance your means to the bedroom: "Gonna readjust that diaper right off of your tush!" or "Happiness is a clean diaper" or whatever song gets she moving.

11. Permit him perform the walking.

Many youngsters object come being carried off to it is in changed, but if you"re make it into a party and he"s to dance along into his room alongside you in celebration, he"s proactively taking part in the plan, no feeling propelled around.

12. Ease right into it by first diapering her doll or teddy.

Let she help. Shower head admiration ~ above Teddy throughout his diaper change. Then say, "Your turn! space you ready like Teddy?"

13. Ask for his help.

Team up with your son to obtain the task done. For instance, maybe he would prefer to take off his own diaper? kids love mastering new skills. Tell the what you room doing at every step and involve him, for instance,


"I"m going to wipe you off now -- do you desire to organize the wipes?"

Ask him to placed his feet flat and lift increase his bottom so you deserve to slide the diaper under him, if that doesn"t desire to, say


"Ok, I"m going come lift her bottom now to put the diaper under you."

14. Empathize:

"Does the feel cold on your bottom?" when your son gets upset, try not to obtain reactive. Instead, soften and stay compassionate. That method she"ll understand it isn"t in reality an emergency, the you understand, and that you room looking the end for her ideal interests.

15. Do it something come look forward to.

When you absolutely have to ask him come lie under for a change, for circumstances when there"s a messy diaper, have a basket the toys ready that he only has accessibility to if you"re an altering his diaper. You could even go hog-wild and also find very tiny presents that you actually wrap in newspaper, and put in the basket. Every diaper change, he choose one. What kinds of presents? stuff you have around the house, or would have actually bought that anyway: Plastic measuring spoons or a funnel, little board books, tiny figures, a block with a letter A ~ above it, a role of masking tape, a broken cell phone, a plastic cup, Chapstick, vibrant trinkets from Ikea, clay or playdoh through a plastic garlic press so he deserve to make "noodles," a puppet, a tiny flashlight, small wind-up toys, stickers, one unbreakable mirror, you acquire the idea. Girlfriend can also re-wrap things that he"s left lie around and has forget about.

16. Depersonalize it.

If this feels choose a power struggle, depersonalize the by setup the alarm for three minutes. Phone call her:

"When the alert rings, that is three minutes and time for your diaper change, ok?"

When the alarm rings, say "Oh, listen, there"s the alarm, it"s been 3 minutes -- Time for that diaper change!" Then aid her shift using one of the other concepts on this list.

17. Provide live entertainment.

If he"s fussing, try singing come him an extremely softly. He will usually protect against fussing to hear to you. Sing, dance, kiss his belly, blow under his neck, make as many silly faces and also noises as you can. What in there, obtain the diaper adjusted as unobtrusively together possible.

18. Save a cd that has actually an amazing story on it prepared to rotate on if you change her.

She might even pertained to look forward to the next installment.

19. Let that decorate.

Keep a stash of stickers by the changing table. Every diaper change, allow him choose one the he is enabled to placed on the wall next come the table.

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Most essential of all? Don"t make diaper an altering into a battle. No little person must regularly be organized down when their clothing is traction off. That"s no a good foundation for learning consent together they obtain older. And really, strength struggles around someone else"s body space not power battles you deserve to win.

No one strategy will constantly work, for this reason you"ll have to mix and match and also be ready to shot different things. But keep your sense of humor, and also remember that this also shall pass. It will certainly seem like the blink of one eye prior to you uncover yourself trying to gain your five year old to take it his bath!