Every parent knows that babies can be difficult. Sometimes they cry for no reason, refuse to eat the same food over and over again, or just seem grumpy all day long. But when it comes to diaper changes, even parents with the most experience are left scratching their heads at times.
Why does my baby suddenly start screaming when her diaper changed? What should I do? How can I make this stop? Well, don’t let yourself get discouraged if you’re in this situation (or any other!).
Is there a medical concern?
Trust your instincts. If you notice that your baby is consistently fussy during a diaper change, make an appointment with their doctor and rule out any medical concerns.
It’s important to note that babies who suffer from reflux may appear to despise diaper changes. In reality, they may feel pain while lying on their back due to acid regurgitation. If this is the case, please consult with your doctor about possible treatment options.
You could also try using a foam wedge (on the floor for safety) to keep your baby’s head slightly elevated during a diaper change to see if that helps. You should also have your baby checked for breathing problems or tongue ties.
Why do some babies hate diaper change?
Mama, you’re not alone if your baby is fussy when her diaper changed. Almost all babies despise diaper changes at some point in their lives. There could be a number of causes for your baby’s distress.
There are a number of reasons why your baby cries or hates diaper changes. Luckily, most of them are easy to spot and fix! For starters, however, there is one common reason that many babies stop tolerating diaper changes: teething. As some babies get closer to their first birthday, they start getting new teeth coming in, which can make the area around their gums very sensitive.
What can I do to help my baby through this phase?
During this time, it’s important to be patient with your little one. If teething is the reason for your baby’s fussiness, they will gradually grow out of this stage over time. What can you do to stop him from fighting diaper changes? Until then, there are plenty of things you can do to help relieve some discomfort and make diaper change as painless as possible:
• Use a cool rag to wipe away saliva and clean their gums
• Gently rub their gums with your fingers
• Let them chew on a teething toy during changing time
• Talk to them calmly and reassure them that everything is fine
In many cases, giving your baby these items will help soothe their gums and make diaper changes less of an ordeal. If the problem continues, however, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about the issue.
If you change your baby before feedings, he or she may be too hungry to wait. Instead, try changing after each feeding.
Many babies, especially newborns, dislike being cold when they are undressed and if they experience wet diaper. When you combine that with cold wipes on their tushie, you have a recipe for a grumpy child.
You could also use a wipe warmer or blow warm air onto your baby’s chest and baby’s feet while changing him or her to keep your baby warm.
Don’t understand what’s going on
Most newborns and younger babies despise diaper changes because they don’t understand what’s going on. They will understand as they become accustomed to the diaper-changing routine.
There are many other reasons why your baby might have stopped liking diaper changes – and most of them aren’t a big deal! Just because you think something should be a problem, doesn’t mean that it needs to be.
Your baby hates diaper change because diaper rash makes diaper changes unpleasant.
Keeping a baby in diapers can be quite an ordeal if they suffer from diaper rash, which is likely to occur if a baby is wearing the same diaper for too long. Diaper rash can be very uncomfortable and painful. If your child has frequent diaper rash, they may expect that diaper changes will always be uncomfortable or painful even after the rash clears up.
For newborns, diaper changes are a new experience.
Newborns aren’t accustomed to having their diapers changed and may not take to the experience initially. But if you see startle reflexes or a “scared cry” from your baby during diaper changes, it means he or she is still getting used to them. Same thing might happen during their potty training.
Your baby resisting diaper changes is a phase that will pass before you know it.
One of the most difficult things new parents have to deal with is when babies cry during diaper changes. Yes, there is a lot that can cause diaper changes to be stressful, especially if it’s your first time.
Some babies don’t like having the position of their body changed from laying to standing. Some don’t like being exposed in such a way and might associate feelings of shame with the act of being exposed and vulnerable.
Others do it for attention or because they want their diaper to be changed quickly and efficiently. Regardless of the underlying cause, though, a lot of parents get frustrated when their baby begins to fuss during diaper changes.
But one thing to understand is that your baby’s resistance to diaper change may just be a phase that will pass eventually.
How can I keep my baby from crying while I change his diaper?
When babies learn to roll, flip over, and crawl, diaper changes become difficult for many parents. We celebrate these achievements, but not when it’s time to change their diapers.
We certainly had my share of diaper-changing difficulties, being caught off guard when my babies refused to cooperate. Most parents had to tag-team to hold them down at times because they squirmed and rolled over so much. And changing diapers was especially difficult when they had pooped and made a mess.
What to do when your babies suddenly hate diaper changes?
That’s the question parents are asking on online forums across the internet. It can be frustrating when that smiling infant turns into a wailing child as soon as you go to change your baby’s diaper.
The first thing you should do is take note of what was going through your baby’s head before they started crying. Is it right after an unpleasant feeding? Did they just wake up? Did they have a blowout while you were cooking dinner and there is poop everywhere (yep, that happened to me)?
The next thing I’d do would be to give your baby a break from the diaper. Just because you’ve got the diaper off doesn’t mean that you need to apply more cream or take them straight to the potty. If your baby is still fussy at that point, put a diaper back on and try again in an hour or so.
If that doesn’t work then you need to figure out if their fussiness is due to something more serious like gas pain or an ear infection, but before you do that, let’s talk about the formula.
Now I know what you’re thinking – “I started breastfeeding and my baby was happy as a clam.” Yeah, that’s great for you but not every mother is able to breastfeed easily.
So many mothers end up buying a can of formula at some point during their baby’s infancy and it turns out your baby hates the taste of the formula.
Take note of your baby’s reaction to the formula and if they do not like it, put yourself on a breastfeeding strike until you get them back on your breast (sorry friends who were trying to help me boost my supply – I had to call in reinforcements).
Your baby might also be uncomfortable during diaper changes because their diaper might not fit them comfortably. Make sure that the diaper your using fits your baby. Get our recommendation on the best diapers for babies with thick thighs.
Moving diaper changes to the bathroom, if you have a large enough bathroom, can also aid in gradually introducing your baby to potty training.
Here are a few things you can do to make diaper changes an enjoyable experience for both you and your baby:
When I try to wrangle his stinky self to change his diaper, I swear my son can smell fear. It’s difficult to admit, but his shrieks and tantrums have pushed me to my parenting limit on numerous occasions.
Although venting provides instant gratification, it will not stop your baby’s exuberant behaviour. I’ve discovered that keeping a positive attitude and injecting a little humour into a full-fledged diaper-changing meltdown can help dispel those feelings.
If your older baby has a wet diaper, try changing it while they are standing.
Use 1-2 toys just for diaper changes
Making one or two toys available only during diaper changes worked wonders for one of my friends.
“I discovered that having one or two dedicated small toys near the changing station or in the diaper bag worked well for him.” I would only give it to him and let him play with it while I changed his diaper.
That way, it remained a “special” toy, and he was very interested in playing with it when he was changing.
She kept her baby calm by putting a diaper on a favourite stuffed animal and changing both of them at the same time.
Wouldn’t you despise it if someone just swooped up on you and started doing things to you? By always telling your baby what you’re going to do before you start, you can avoid a power struggle and build trust.
Make use of distraction
Keep some small, fun objects near the diaper-changing supplies and only allow the baby to play with them while the diaper is being changed. Reserving them for diaper changes will keep them interesting. You could also give your baby something to hold onto, such as a diaper, the remote, your hairbrush, or diaper cream or empty wipes container.
Make yourself as efficient as possible
When it comes to changing your baby’s diaper, speed is everything. The more efficient you are, the less time it will take for your busy one to be back up and running – which is really all they want anyway.
Instead of using a diaper changing table, change diapers on the spot.
Almost every contributor mentioned this, and it’s what I found to be the most effective for my own babies who suddenly hated diaper changes.
After about a month, I abandon the diaper changing table. Instead, I make a diaper-changing caddy with a changing pad for messy diaper changes, wipes, diapers, and diaper rash cream and keep it in the room where we spend the most time.
That was frequently the living room for us. You can also use a portable changing pad or changing mat.
Slow down and make contact.
Take a deep breath and be patient. If you rush, your child will feed off your anxiety, which will be unpleasant for both of you. Take advantage of this one-on-one time to reconnect and bond with your child.
Have fun with the whole process
Tickling, making funny faces, or blowing on your baby’s belly will make them laugh. Or once your baby is old enough, you can let them take off their own diaper.
Make sure you have enough room to flail.
I’m not sure about your toddler, but mine enjoys flailing. A great deal. So much so that our diaper changing station on his room’s dresser has nothing on it because anything near him during clean diaper changes will go flying.
When you don’t have to worry about a leg knocking off the cream or a hand grabbing the wipes, clean diaper changes become much easier. Layout a diaper changing pad on the floor and use a wet bag for poopy diaper or soiled diaper.
Perform a song
Sing a song even if you don’t know how to sing. Keep a few of your baby’s favourite songs on hand for when he or she is changing. This will keep them occupied, smiling, and possibly looking forward to the entire diaper change.
It can be difficult when your baby suddenly hates diaper changes. However, by using the tips provided in this article you can make the experience easier for both you and your child. Utilize toys, distraction, efficiency, and humour to help keep things positive and moving along smoothly. Keep calm and enjoy this special bonding time with your little one.