Many times I’ve heard mums complain about their wriggly baby at change time, but never experienced it until my third little boy, Leo.
Here’s my top tips on how to change a wriggly baby
Now this is based on my own experience but as with all parenting, you’ve got to find what works for you and stick with it - and if it stops working, experiment again and pivot!
Firstly let me tell you - the word wriggly doesn’t quite get across the level of stress that comes with attempting a "simple" nappy change. When you put baby on the change table and you can hardly take their clothes off but you know deep under the layers of clothing there’s a stinky poo that needs to come out and preferably doesn’t end up all over you in the process.
Tip #1 to changing a wriggly baby: Distraction is key
I know for my little one, at change time (and feed time), he always needs to have something in his hand to play with. As is usually the case with babies, they prefer ‘real life stuff’ to toys (i.e - you can put a set of play keys and real keys in front of them - they’ll almost always reach for the real thing. Go figure! I’ll usually reach for anything in close proximity to me that’s not a choking hazard/danger. I would say this works about 50-60% of the time - and is definitely worth a try!
Tip #2 to changing a wriggly baby: Get off the change table and try an alternate location
So at the moment, bubs is 8 months old and crawling and standing, which does NOT bode well on top of a high change table! As soon as I put him on the change table - BAM! He twists and gets up on all fours and crawls. He then attempts to stand up against the window that the change table is propped up against. So, after trying tip#1 and trying to get him on his back multiple times - I’ll usually pick him up and bring him over to the lounge room. I’ve tried popping him on the couch, floor and lap. Depends on the day what works! At the moment I’m finding that being on my lap works (obviously be careful as bubs can easily roll off so make sure you have them firmly locked in with one hand)!
Tip #3 to changing a wriggly baby: Try a change table with straps
Tip #4 to changing a wriggly baby: Be organised - have everything in order - try a nappy caddy!
Because you don’t know if you’ll end up on the change table or somewhere else (floor, couch, bed etc), it’s good to be prepared and either have your nappy supplies set up in a couple of locations, or simply have a nappy caddy ready to take anywhere with you! Nappy caddies are basically small, portable baskets with purpose-made compartments that you keep packed with nappies, wipes, creams etc, and you can take it from room to room as needed! See below for an example of a very cute nappy caddy!
Tip #5 to changing a wriggly baby: have your romperoo handy! Avoid clothing with buttons, snaps or complicated zips.
One of my very top tips is to simplify the clothing side of things - so you’re not taking 10 minutes trying to match the right snaps together whilst you’re trying to constantly straighten out bubs! A good idea is to store one or two romperoos in your nappy caddy - weighing around 100g as a complete outfit, they’re extremely lightweight and won’t take up much room at all!
Tip #6 to changing a wriggly baby: Always hold a clean nappy over them so you don’t have an accident!
So, if you’ve successfully removed the nappy and managed to wipe them but not quite get a nappy back on - make sure you at least hold a nappy over them whilst you work out the next step (possibly tip #1 or #2)! This will avoid the little accidents that us parents are all too familiar with!
Tip #7 to changing a wriggly baby: Slide clothing on them whilst they’re in your arms, not lying down
So, what does this mean?! Well, if bubs won’t speak your language (i.e., lie down), then you speak theirs (i.e. let them stand up!). This is recommended for babies 6 months+. So, instead of trying to pin them down and dress them, hold them in your arms facing outwards, and slip a buttonless romper such as the romperoo on them! The video below should give you a little more context.