Around the time of five and a half months Leo decided that he had had enough of laying still, peacefully watching as we calmly changed his nappy. He decided that this quiet time was the perfect time to make a break for it, catch us unaware, escape. Now, four and a half months later we are still fighting the same fight and most days I only just win the battle.
Due to my apparently very weak muscles and my son’s incredibly strong ones the hardest part of my day has become changing his nappy. I have even gone so far as to examine his tiny thighs, holding them in my hands, checking that his anatomy is that of a normal human boy and not some strange, freakishly strong Wolverine like character. Depending how you look at it, fortunately for me, they are just normal human legs, his strength and determination to move has just preceded my ability to hold him down.
Back at six months I thought it was hard, in hindsight I should’ve known things would only get tougher. So, like any good modern parent, I googled it. My time as a new parent has had me type some stupid questions into Google but this had to be one of the stupidest, ‘What to do when baby won’t stay still for nappy change?’ Good old google had two answers; a) learn how to change nappy in different positions, and b) move quicker. Yep, brilliant, thanks google, once again helping desperate parents all over the globe with your very in depth and informative advice. So there we were, six months in and still unsure how to change a nappy effectively. I longed for the early days, the easy days when changing a nappy meant moving with extra care out of fear for breaking our precious child, not moving as quickly as possible so he didn’t have time to jump off the change table. I thought the safest option would be to move off the change table and on to the floor, surely the floor would be easier, right? Wrong. I quickly learnt that the floor is baby level, not parent level, perfect for games and escaping. So after a back breaking week of floor nappy changing we moved back to the change table and that is where we have stayed.
Obviously days go by and multiple nappies have been changed, it is, unfortunately, one of the less glamorous parts of parenthood. Usually a successful change means nappy is on and all parties involved come out of it without wearing anything that they aren’t supposed to. Now, I am no expert but I do believe, ten months in, I have learnt a thing or two more than what google braved to tell me. So although I still fight Leo at most changes here are my top tips for making life a little easier during the dreaded change time.
1. Kitchen utensils work wonders of distraction.
Most change times, we make sure to bypass via the kitchen drawers, grabbing something for Leo to play with. Something that he preferably hasn’t seen before to examine closely while he is stripped and changed. Avoiding all things sharp and scary of course.
2. Sing, off key, at all times.
Sing as loud and as terribly as you can. I am a pro at this, actually I’m surprised that our neighbours have never called the police to report the strange small animal death sounds coming from next door. But I have found the more unusual the better. The element of shock and surprise works wonders.
3. Four hands are better than two.
Like many things in life and parenting, teamwork is always the easiest option if possible. When we are both home, nappy changes are always a two man job, one at the business end doing the dirty work and one at the top end causing major distraction.
4. Change it up.
OK so I may have been a bit harsh on google before, sorry google. This is a stretch on the ‘different positions’ answer. Leo gets bored of staring at the same old square of roof while he gets changed, so, on my adventurous days we do changes in every room of the house and when it’s nice we brave it and go outside. This is only successful 40% of the time, it is still baby level and it is still, unfortunately, back breaking.
5. Get them when they’re tired.
Simple, sleepy baby usually can’t be bothered fighting as much as alert baby can be.
6. Let it all hang out.
Do you really have to go anywhere anyway? Naked time is always fun, and the perfect opportunity for future embarrassing 21st photos, so go pants free. Just be ready with ample supplies to clean any accidents, towels, face washers and baby wipes are all fantastic.
There you have it. As you can see my list is not very long, like I said nappy time for me still is the hardest part of my day. Some days all the utensils and terrible singing in the world couldn’t stop Leo from trying to roll and run away, his little growing body continues to prove to me how hard I need to hit the gym.
So until the days of nappies are over and we enter the next phase of toilet training, we will keep trying new tips and tricks to make change time less of a battle..and hope that the neighbours buy some earplugs in the mean time!