Most babies go through times where they refuse to change their diapers. By the age of eleven months, your child is old enough to seek more control over his body and his time. When he’s involved with something, he doesn’t want an adult to come in and pick him up and undress him.

So, unless your child is extremely uncomfortable in wet diapers, he has no reason to request a diaper change. How do you enlist him in this vital but frequently unpleasant activity for both of you?

Slowing down and connecting can often make a huge difference. Giving the child control might sometimes be the answer to avoiding a power battle. Frequently, not interrupting their play solves the problem by addressing both their and your needs. And you’ll almost certainly succumb to distraction from time to time. So here’s a list of things to try, the majority of which will work occasionally or for a short period. You might be able to come up with some fantastic combos that work for you. I recommend printing this list and adding to it as more solutions that work for you and your child become available.

1. Take it easy

If you approach this as an opportunity to connect with and enjoy your child, she will be more likely to appreciate the connection and thus comply with the diaper change. If you rush through the diaper change as if it’s a painful experience, she’ll react as if she’s being restrained and subjected to a painful experience. When you’re in a hurry, a diaper change is exactly that. Imagine having your most private parts of your body touched in a hurried, harsh manner.

2. Make an effort to be more present

Cassandra Vieten, a mindfulness researcher, believes that our capacity to stay present and aware when changing a diaper models for our children how to stay grounded in the face of their own suffering. Rather than rushing through the diaper change, she emphasises bringing caring, open-hearted complete present to it. She refers it this as “Mindful Diaper Change Practice.” (And you thought you didn’t have time to practise mindfulness!)

3. Make contact with him

If we interact with the children first, they are more inclined to collaborate with us. Take a deep breath in and out. Connect with your youngster by getting down on his or her level. Make a remark on what he’s doing. Then mention that his diaper is soaked. Inquire whether he’s observed it. This allows him to check in with his physical self. (This is an excellent starting point for eventual potty training.) He also thinks you’re on his side now that you’ve connected. You aren’t just shoving him around, which would naturally make him resentful.

4. Respect your baby

Even though newborns can’t understand our words, Magda Gerber, the founder of RIE, taught that when they’re treated with respect, they notice the difference. Instead of snatching them up from the moment they’re infants, proceed carefully and explain what’s going on. Your child’s receptive language is typically a year ahead of expressive language, so he or she already knows a lot more than you believe. Even the tiniest babies can pick up on your tone of voice. If you do this from the beginning, your kid will develop healthier associations with diaper changes and will be less resistant to them.

5. Give him to have some control and make his own decisions

Always inquire, “Are you ready for a diaper change?” If he refuses, say, “Your diaper is extremely wet. Do you want to alter it right now or three minutes from now? How about 3 minutes? Let’s get this party started!”

6. Make her laugh

Laughter lowers stress hormones while boosting bonding chemicals. When you know you’ll need cooperation, getting your child to laugh for 10 minutes is always an excellent plan. Begin roughhousing in a way that makes your youngster squeal with delight before beginning the diaper change. Be really ridiculous and chase her around the house. After ten minutes, make changing the diaper a game.

7. Help him transition

by carrying an object that he’s involved with. “Let’s drive the truck to the changing table!” for example.

8. Do not force her to move.

If possible, use a portable changing pad to move her from where she’s playing to where she’s working on something else.

9. Don’t get in the way of his game

Your baby’s job is to play. He doesn’t want to be interrupted, of course. If his diapers are only moist, why not change them standing up? This will reduce the number of times you have to ask him to lie down, and he will be more willing to cooperate when it comes to messy changes. Because he may not be entirely stable yet, choose a toy that he enjoys and place it on the couch with him. (I know it’s more difficult than lying down, but with practise, you’ll get better at it.) I started doing this with my kid when she was 11 months old and continued until she was no longer in diapers.)

10. Throw a party for her

A lot of kids can’t say no to a party. Grab the drum, form a conga line, and sing and dance your way to the bedroom, singing and dancing “Gonna change that diaper right off your tush!” or “Happiness is a clean diaper!” or whichever song gets her going.

11. Delegate the walking to him

Many children dislike being dragged away to be changed, but if you turn it into a party and he dances into his room next to you in excitement, he’s actively participating in the plan rather than feeling shoved around.

12. Begin by diapering her toy or teddy to ease her into it

Allow her to assist you. During Teddy’s diaper change, show him your admiration. Then say something like, “Now it’s your turn! Are you as prepared as Teddy?”

13. Seek his assistance

Collaborate with your child to complete the task. For example, perhaps he’d prefer to remove his own diaper? Children enjoy learning new abilities. Tell him what you’re doing at each stage and include him in the process, for example.

“Would you like to hold the wipes while I clean you off?”

If he refuses to put his feet flat and lift his bottom so you may slide the diaper under him, say so.

“All right, I’m going to elevate your bottom now so I can put the diaper on you.”

14. Be empathetic

“Does that make your bottom feel cold?” Try not to retaliate when your youngster is distressed. Instead, soften your heart and remain empathetic. That way, she’ll know it’s not an emergency, that you’re aware of the situation, and that you’re concerned about her well-being.

15. Make it something to anticipate

Have a basket of toys ready for when you really must urge him to lie down for a change, such as when there is a messy diaper. You might even go a little crazy and select very small gifts to wrap in newspaper and place in the basket. He choose one diaper for each change. What sort of gifts are you looking for? Things you already have or would have purchased him anyway:Plastic measuring spoons or a funnel, small board books, small figures, a letter A block, a roll of masking tape, a broken cell phone, a plastic cup, Chapstick, colourful Ikea trinkets, clay or play dough with a plastic garlic press so he can make “noodles,” a puppet, a tiny flashlight, small wind-up toys, stickers, an unbreakable mirror, you get the idea. You can even re-wrap items he’s forgotten about and left laying about.

16. Make it impersonal

Set the alarm for three minutes to depersonalise the situation if it feels like a power struggle. Tell her this:

“When the alarm goes off, it’s three minutes till you change your diaper, okay?”

“Oh, listen, there’s the alarm, it’s been three minutes — time for that diaper change!” say when the alarm goes off. Then, using one of the other suggestions on this page, assist her in making the change.

17. Organize live performances

If he’s fussing, try softly singing to him. When he realises you’re talking to him, he’ll usually stop fussing and pay attention to you. Make as many ridiculous expressions and noises as you can while singing, dancing, kissing his tummy, blowing down his neck, and making as many silly faces and noises as you can. Get the diaper changed as quietly as possible somewhere in there.

18. Have a CD with an entertaining tale ready to play while you’re changing her

She might even start anticipating the next instalment.

19. Allow him to personalise the space

By the changing table, keep a cache of stickers. Allow him to choose one diaper to hang on the wall next to the table after each change.

The most crucial of all? Don’t make changing diapers a fight. No small child should be held down while their clothing is being removed on a regular basis. That’s not a good foundation for them to build on as they become older to learn consent. And, truly, power fights over another person’s body aren’t ones you can win.

Because no single strategy will always work, you’ll need to mix and match and be willing to try new ideas. However, keep your wits about you and realise that this, too, shall pass. You’ll be attempting to get your five-year-old to take a bath in the blink of an eye!


  1. Keep Your Toddler or Baby Happy While Changing Diapers

    “While changing your toddler’s diaper, distract him,” recommends Reshmi Basu, MD, a paediatrician at the CHOC Children’s healthcare network in California. “You might do this with a favourite toy or book, or you could sing a song. You may give them a special toy that they only get when they change their diapers.

  2. How do I stop my baby from crying during diaper change?

    If your child despises diaper changes, give them a cracker before or during the procedure. This will both distract them with something they enjoy and comfort them as they sit through something they don’t want to watch. Feeding them can be especially beneficial if your baby appears to be in pain when you change his or her diaper.

  3. Is it normal for toddlers to hate diaper changes?

    However, your toddler’s dislike of diaper changes is not solely due to safety concerns. Most of the time, he’s just learning independence and is absorbed in whatever activity he’s doing, so he doesn’t see why he should be interrupted for something as inconvenient as a nappy change.

  4. How do you practice changing diapers?

    We’ve put together some simple steps for first-time parents to ensure a successful diaper change!
    1. Make sure your hands are clean.
    2. Place your baby on the table with all of the supplies you’ll need.
    3. Remove the diaper’s fastenings…
    4. Clean up after your child…
    5. Replace your baby’s diaper with a new one.
    6. Apply any creams or ointments that are required.