10 Weird & Effective Ways to Keep Baby Still During a Diaper Change

baby getting diaper changeBy some estimates, a parent can plan to change over 3,000 diapers during baby's first year. That is a lot of diapers, and as the baby transforms from a tiny little newborn lump into a squirming, kicking, wiggly baby, diaper changing can get a lot more difficult. Now you don't have to just change the diaper -- you have to do it while also preventing your little stinker from flinging himself off the changing table.


Having a wiggly, dirty-diapered baby can turn even the most mild-mannered mom into an Olympic-caliber wrestler. If most of your attempts at diaper changing start by first having to pin your opponent, perhaps you might be interested in some other ways to safely change a squirmy baby's diaper. (Don't worry; no babies were harmed in the creation of this list.)

1. Sing a beloved song.

"Singing works for us. We have one song that we sing, and we only sing it for diaper changes. As my son gets older, he has started trying to sing along with us, which is both adorable and helpful, since it distracts him from trying to kick like an Irish step dancer." -- Leah C., Des Moines, Iowa

2. Turn on a soother.

"This sounds weird, but I do most of the changes on the floor in my daughter's room, with the shades drawn. The room is slightly dark, so I can put on this machine that projects pictures of fish onto the ceiling. She is entranced." -- Kellie L., Fort Collins, Colorado

3. Use pants to your advantage.

"Nothing grosses me out more than when my kid kicks during a change. Especially when there is poop. So I've found that what works is not taking his pants all the way off. I keep his little sweatpants around his calves and then I can keep both feet together with one hand, and that makes it easier to hold them up and off the diaper." -- Naomi C., Albany, New York

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4. Give him what's usually off-limits.

"In our house, the remote control is strictly forbidden for kids to play with, so of course my 13-month-old wants that more than anything else. He also hates to sit still for a diaper change and I hate having to pin him down with my leg (which I've totally done), so I got a cheap remote from the store to let him hold during diaper changes only. It has no batteries and doesn't work on anything, but it captures his attention for a minute or two." -- Bonnie S., Tucson, Arizona

5. Enlist a sibling...

"Diaper changes are when having an older child is super helpful. My 3-year-old is totally into being my helper, so I have her hold her sister's hands during the change, and they play peek-a-boo. Big sis feels useful, and little sis stops trying to escape. Win-win." -- Gayle M., Appleton, Wisconsin

6. ... or your partner.

"There's no way around it. If you have a kicky baby with a seriously poopy diaper, you need to make it a two-person job. Double coverage. One to clean, one to contain. This is why marriage was invented." -- Torrey J., Saint Paul, Minnesota

7. Do it during a feeding.

"I sometimes will wait until my son is taking his bottle and then change him. If he's eating, he's distracted enough to not make the process take longer by squirming the whole time." -- Dede E., Charleston, South Carolina

8. Quit fighting.

"I change diapers to the tune of 'Wheels on the Bus.' I start the song and motions with the original verses and then I add 'the stinky diaper goes bye-bye' while I lift his bottom up and down with one hand and clean with the other. I try to work with his need for movement, not against it, I guess." -- Olivia W., Edina, Minnesota

9. Change the venue.

"Honestly, I just focus on speed and safety. No more changes on the table; we go to the floor. I sing and talk and make faces to distract her and then I change that diaper so fast it looks like I work in the pit crew for car races." -- Cassie D., Moscow, Idaho

10. Opt out entirely.

"I make my husband do it. Does that count?" -- Sara J., Denton, Texas

How do you keep your baby still during diaper changes?

Photo via iStock.com/LifesizeImages

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