What are some tips for changing a squirmy baby's diaper? Newborn Care

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Changing baby's diaper
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When your little one has a dirty diaper, you want to take care of business as quickly and efficiently as possible. But a squirmy baby may end up making a routine task extra challenging. Here's how pediatricians and moms recommend handling an excited baby's diaper change.

Always Have at Least One Hand on the Baby

"Set the baby on a flat surface, like a changing table -- or the floor, especially if the baby is squirmy. Always have at least one hand on the baby when changing him or her, and never leave the infant alone on a bed or changing pad because they can roll off." -- Hannah Chow, MD, FAAP, pediatrician and codirector of the Loyola Center for Health at North Riverside, IL

Be Prepared

"Get the diaper, wipes, and cream ready before you start, so you can be quick with a squirmy baby. If the baby is too squirmy to control, you should change the baby on the floor to ensure the baby's safety by preventing a fall from the changing table." -- Dori Anchin, MD, pediatrician at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), Valhalla, NY

"Get the diaper, wipes, and cream ready before you start, so you can be quick with a squirmy baby. If the baby is too squirmy to control, you should change the baby on the floor to ensure the baby's safety by preventing a fall from the changing table." -- Dori Anchin, MD, pediatrician at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), Valhalla, NY

Use a Mobile

"I put a mobile with interesting black-and-white designs above the changing area at my home. That did the trick to keep the baby more still. When I'd change my kids in the trunk or at a bathroom, I'd be sure to hold their little hips down with one hand." 

Sing a Song

"I used to take my daughter's feet and sing a song to her while moving her legs for her -- like she was on an elliptical -- until she calmed down. I'd sing things like, 'My girl likes to potty all the time!' or 'boom boom pow,' or 'keep on rocking me, baby.'"

Give Them a Toy

"Give a squirmy baby a toy to keep him content -- ideally, one that can be washed easily. Rattles are good! Have a second as backup in case they toss their toy in a poopy diaper."
 

Act Like a Clown

"You know how cereal boxes used to come with a toy? Well, diaper boxes should totally come with a clown nose inside. My daughter thought of this amazing mom hack -- just put on one of those red clown noses during diaper changes. It's brilliant! Entertain the baby while plugging the nostrils! Win-win!" 

Have Baby Change a Diaper Too

"I give my daughter one of her stuffed animals, a wipe, and a diaper and tell her that the animal is stinky -- usually after sniffing its butt and making funny faces and saying ewwww! -- and needs changing. She thinks it's hysterical to wipe its butt and try to put the diaper on. Meanwhile, I get about 90 seconds without squirming to get her cleaned up."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.