9 Tips to Survive the Diaper Changes Your Baby Hates

a mom changing a diaper

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My son hated diaper changes. He fidgeted, fussed, cried, and screamed. It was trial-by-error, but eventually, I learned how to make diaper changes fun.

By the time my daughter was born, I was a pro. I am sharing what I learned so you might actually enjoy changing your baby’s diaper.

*FYI some of the links in this article about how to stop baby crying during diaper changes may be affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase we may get a commission (at no extra cost to you). For more info please see our disclaimer.

Changing Diapers with No Fuss

All children are different. Therefore, all of these tips might not work with every baby. Try each of them until you find the perfect solution to your diaper-changing challenges.

1. Designate a Diaper Changing Station

A well-organized diaper changing station is a must for new moms.

While some rely on quick changes wherever they happen to have space, a comfortable area with all supplies nearby makes diaper changing easier for parents and babies.

It also provides stability and safety for a child.

A functional diaper changing station can be a cart with shelves or a stable dresser with a flat top as long as it is secured to the wall and a safety harness is in place for keeping your baby from falling.

Equip the changing station with diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, and changes of clothing. Don’t forget to keep a wastebasket and/or pails for cloth diapers nearby.

Related: Do Baby Wipes Expire?

2. Use a Diaper Changing Toy

Keep a special toy with the diaper changing table. This toy should not be given to your baby any other time, which makes it more special.

Soon, the baby will begin to associate diaper changes to playing with that favorite toy.

The challenge may be in deciding which type of plaything works best. For my son, it was a softcover book that he could hold, squeeze, and eventually pretend to read. For my daughter, it was a plush elephant that she talked to and hugged.

Diaper-changing toys are fun for babies and distract them from what’s happening with their bottoms.

Bright Starts Plush Elephant
Something like this would work. You want it be small enough and soft enough so he or she doesn't hurt themself.

3. Keep Baby Warm

Many babies don’t like diaper changes because wet skin exposed to the air is chilly on their delicate bottoms.

There are a few ways to keep your little one warm even while changing a poopy diaper. Keep the changing pad covered with a soft case or towel.

Have a blanket or towel handy to cover the baby’s chest and arms. Use a wipe warmer, so your baby’s bottom isn’t suddenly shocked with cold moisture.

Perhaps most importantly, practice fast changes. Babies who have their diapers changed quickly may not have time to experience the cold air.

A simple way to do this is to spread out a fresh diaper on the changing table or changing mat before putting the baby down. Not having to shuffle around to find the clean diaper while the baby’s bottom is exposed is an easy convenience.

You can read more about how to quickly change a baby’s diaper in the linked article.

Hiccapop Baby Wipe Warmer and Wet Wipes Dispenser
This diaper wipe warmer helps keep the wipes warm and from drying up.

4. Be Mindful of Playtime

A baby’s playtime is important. This is how they learn about themselves and their environment. Interrupting a child-focused on a toy to change their diaper can be extremely upsetting.

As an adult, even parents might not see how vital the interaction between baby and toy is at any given moment. It is reasonable to wait until there is a lull in your toddler’s playtime to change the diaper.

This is true whether they are enjoying a bouncy chair, a plush toy, or their own feet. Give them time to play, and then make the change.

5. Increase Diaper Change Frequency

Increasing the frequency of diaper changes may be the last thing you want to do, but it is a good choice for many reasons.

Your baby will feel better and have healthier skin when it is not wet and dirty. Your child will get used to the good feeling of a dry diaper and will be anxious to get rid of any wet, smelly, uncomfortable diapers.

In the beginning, it may feel like all you are doing is changing diapers, but you will get used to the new routine. Perhaps more importantly, your baby will get used to it as well.

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6. Schedule Diaper Changes

Speaking of routine, why not institute a diaper change schedule? Routine is extremely important for children of all ages. Starting routines at an early age gives children a sense of security.

Naturally, not all bowel movements will happen according to your clock, but you can still plan for diaper changes throughout the day, along with those necessary additions.

When my babies were small, we had nursing and naps on a schedule. Diaper changes came immediately after each. There were times the diaper was perfectly clean, but we continued to go through the motions so that the schedule remained the same.

Buy a Baby Schedule Printable

You can always just make your own schedule. But if you want one that’s already been designed for you check out some of these options.

7. Get Ready for Potty Training

Potty training can start as early as you are ready. Baby potty training is not for every family, but it may be necessary if the baby absolutely refuses all efforts to have a pleasant changing experience.

If you choose to go this route, be sure that you are armed with plenty of patience. Potty training is never easy, but it is even more difficult when the baby being potty trained is pre-verbal.

The key is learning how to communicate with one another. Proponents of early potty training believe it is an excellent way to avoid the frustration of training a stubborn toddler. It also helps to build even stronger bonds between parent and child.

8. Make Sure It’s Nothing Medical Related

If you’ve tried a lot of the tips I’ve given you and nothing seems to be working, make sure it’s nothing medical-related. Check and make sure there’s no rash that’s broken out over your baby’s legs or bottom.

If anything looks suspicious or you have a gut feeling about it, trust your gut and schedule an appointment with your pediatrician.

9. Give Yourself a Break

A sure way to make an unpleasant experience even worse is to approach it with frustration. Start by giving yourself permission not to be perfect. I hated diaper changing.

I felt like throwing in the towel more times than I could count. My husband would pick up the baby and shout, “It is my honor and privilege to change this diaper!” and I would feel even worse about myself.

It took a while, too long before I realized it was okay for me not to love every second with my baby – especially those seconds that were filled with poop.

Let yourself not be supermom sometimes. You will be surprised just how much better everyone feels when you find peace with your beautiful lack of perfection.

It Won’t Last Forever

Each moment with your baby is fleeting. Before you know it, diaper changes will be a thing of the past. Make it fun now so you will have good memories later.

What are some steps you have taken to help your baby enjoy diaper changes? Tell us in the comments!

Have You Read Any of These?

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions you might have as it relates to the question “what do I do if my baby hates diaper changes?”

If your kid suddenly doesn’t like you changing their dirty diaper, it could be either because of a medical condition. Another reason could be because your baby is more mobile, and the act of changing diapers is now “not exciting” because it limits their curiosity and playtime.

In North America, the term diaper is what’s commonly used. Nappy is the preferred term used in Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia, and other Commonwealth countries.,

One of the issues with changing a baby’s diaper too soon is that the constant rubbing and wiping of a baby’s bottom could cause chafing and irritation.

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