Some newborns tolerate nappy changes without so much as a little kitten cry, while others break your heart with their wailing. The new mums in our Mum’s Grapevine Baby Groups have been offering helpful tips for soothing newborns who don’t particularly like having their tooshie changed.
From clever ways to warm up wipes to distraction techniques, here are 7 real mum tips for stress-free nappy changes with newborns.
1. Warm it up
Cold wipes on a warm bum do not make happy babies. If you’re not keen to fork out for an electric wipes warmer, our mums have some clever (and free) ways to warm baby wipes and nappy changes.
“My girl hates the cold wipes so I warm them in my hand first before using. She also hates the act of being dressed and undressed so I try to choose clothes that are quick to get on.” – Kate
“I dip cotton wool balls in warm water to clean my baby’s bottom, nice and warm.” – Caterina
“I warm wipes under my arms while I’m undressing my bub.” – Abbey
“Lay them down on something comfy, not the cold mat and I put the baby wipes under my leg to warm up.” – Sophie
2. The act of distraction
Even very young babies can be easily distracted, so keep this in mind at change time. Remember newborns can only see a very short distance, so think about the placement of distraction toys.
“My little guy loves the change table as it’s near a window with white blinds so he just gazes at that.” – Kahlia
“We have toys set up along one side of the change table (stuffed in the gap between the actual wall and the wood of the change table) that he can watch while we change his nappies.” – Annie
“I sing the same song over and over: ‘You Are My Sunshine’, and he’s fine now. He actually likes it. Sometimes when he is super tired he will grizzle but not the screaming he used to do as a tiny baby.” – Chloe
3. Break up a feed
Newborns are much more relaxed and happy when they’re not hungry. Try and give bub the first part of their feed before a nappy change so they’re not hungry as well as cold and nappy-less!
“Sometimes when we change half way through a feed – to encourage more feeding or from a poonami. She’s so much more chill with her nappy change because she’s been snuggled and fed a little.” – Hannah
“I’ve found changing in between feeds, making sure you have a snuggly surface on the change table and the best thing is little sleep nighties. Set a challenge to be faster every time but don’t worry most babies hate it in the early days, does get much easier – until the wriggly infant stage!” – Shar
4. Keep it relaxed
Babies just know when we’re tense so try not to work yourself up before nappy changes. Remember that baby is safe and well and the crying will be over in a jiffy.
“Something to keep in mind – your bub will pick up when you are feeling anxious or distressed. Before you are doing the change, try to make everything (including yourself) as calm and relaxed as possible.” – Katherine
5. Get creative
It’s thought the reason a lot of newborns aren’t big fans of nappy changes is that they don’t feel secure – like when they’re all wrapped up and in your arms. Making them feel more secure could be the key to fewer tears at nappy time.
“Put something heavy on his tummy while your changing him like a heat pack or teddy so he feels like your there.” – Hannah
6. Best foot forward
It seems a lot of little ones prefer their tootsies stay toasty while their bottoms get changed!
“Our little man was the same. We thought he didn’t like having his bum exposed … turns out it is his feet! We now hold his feet together so they aren’t exposed and generally he is settled!” – Megan
“My little man hates it purely because he absolutely hates having cold feet! So if he gets really restless we pause I hold his feet to warm them and then he’s happy.” – Sheree
7. Get creative with clothes
Choose clothing that gives easy access for nappy changes, without having to undress bub entirely. Or you can keep baby’s top half swaddled and just unwrap their legs.
“The two-way zip swaddles let his upper body stay swaddled while only his legs are free.” – Jessica Jane
“Try wrapping his arms firm and only changing the bottom half I tend to lift my sons singlet up and wrap his arms in that – stopped him screaming straight away.” – Tara
“Invest in suits that you can unzip from the bottom and only get legs out! Best thing ever!” – Megan
Another great tip is a change of scenery – try changing bub somewhere different and here are 9 change table alternatives.