Trying to wrestle a wiggly baby may be frustrating, but it is also dangerous. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), infant falls account for over half of all pediatric emergency room visits in the US. Most of these falls occur from furniture, and many times from a baby rolling off the changing table during a diaper change. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can follow to make the diapering process easier and safer.
1. Be Prepared
Make sure you are ready with all supplies before you start. Keep the new diaper, wipes, and ointment within arms reach. Open all packages of wipes, balm, or ointment before you start. If you are using cotton rolls, moisten them before you begin. It is also helpful to keep the diaper pail next to your working space.
2. Choose Your Battle Time
Diapering is a lot easier if you don’t throw a tantrum into the mix. If your baby is busy playing with a toy or eating, let him finish. Finding a pause between an activity can often make the transition to diaper changing more enjoyable.
Make changing diapers fun for baby. It can make the diapering process smoother for you. Sing a favorite song, or give baby a favorite toy while you attend to his business. You may also give the baby “forbidden” items like a package of wipes or a hairbrush. This novelty may distract baby from the diaper changing process.
4. All hands on Deck
Never leave your child unattended. Always have a hand on him at all times. Keeping your hand on baby’s chest may calm him down and prevent rolling. If baby is too mobile, move the changing pad to the floor so that there is no chance for baby to fall. Or, invest in a changing pad with restraints that can keep baby still. Specially designed changing pads that contain swaddle like straps and come through the changing pad instead of around the pad minimize the wiggle room babies have between pad and strap. These pads can keep even the most mobile babies from rolling over.
5. Be One Step Ahead
Place a clean, opened diaper under the baby before removing the dirty one. Lift the baby’s bottom and utilize the soiled diaper to wipe the baby as you are removing the old diaper. While keeping the bottom elevated, quickly wipe the area thoroughly. Apply a protective balm or ointment. Then simply lower baby’s bottom to the new diaper and fasten the sides. Wash your hands. Voila! You did it!