34 answers

Help! My 10 Month Old Son Will Not Stay Still When It's Time to Change a Diaper

I have tried to give him a toy or something to occupy him but his interest is gone before I have even gotten his diaper off, any suggestions?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

thank you all for your help, I will just try to get the diapers on the best way I can :) You have all given me some pretty inventice suggestions. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

Give him something that occupies him while you change him. I would give my grandson liked a silver rattle. He only got when he was being changed. It worked for me. D. Sanchez

My son loves chimes, so when he would start fussing I would chime the chimes. I hung then over his changing table, it has worked like a charm he is now 19 months old and he still loves to hear them when he gets his diaper changed.

L.,

I have almost 20-month old twins...and I still struggle with this from time-to-time. However, one thing that works well with both of them (when they begin to squirm or get upset that it's diaper-changing time) is to playfully grab their ankles and rock their legs back and forth and say, "Oh, no...he's/she's running!" Or bend the knees and say, "Oh, look, he's/she's riding a bike!" And their all-time favorite is when I swing their arms over their head and say, "It's the backstroke! Where did that come from?!" (Often, I did all three of these to result in calmness). = ) After a few seconds of this...they are entertained enough that the diaper change is something that they are willing to sit through. However, a little book or a toy after the 'silliness' is also a welcome distraction.

Best of luck!

More Answers

Hi L.,
You're going to think I'm a nutty mom, but I loved diaper change time when my son was a baby and toddler. He was a real wiggle worm, too, but my husband and I got crafty to help that situation. We kept a stash of "special playthings" at the changing table and in a small diaper bag (for changes made elsewhere). We let our son wiggle himself silly during all the non-essential parts of diapering (undressing his lower half -'cept for the diaper coming off, redressing his lower half) and just had fun w/ it (singing, tickling, blowing raspberries, 'peek-a-boo'ing, whatever -but making it fun). When it was time to take off the dirty diaper and clean up for the fresh one, we switched gears and brought out the 'special stash' to amuse him (wigglelessly) while we wiped him up and put on the fresh diaper. The 'stash' were all non-toys, household items and extremely alluring non-baby gadgets that he could never play with otherwise (and had to be directly supervised with when he did).. nothing sharp or dangerous, though -of course. We kept a regular toy handy to switch off with either while we were redressing him or afterward, if we needed it. And, we'd have fun with redressing to distract him from the 'nontoy' (and put it back in the bag or bin w/o fuss --or let him explore it a bit before making a switch with a real toy or a song or game). I'd suggest not giving your son something to distract him UNTIL you're taking the diaper off --and make it something unique that will really grab his attention. We never gave our son the same thing within about 12 changes... switched it up for a few days before recycling the gadgets ---and you don't have to use household items like we did, but I do think items your son does not ever play with are a great idea, as long as they aren't sharp or pinching. Before you give it to him, try to have fun with the wiggles as your undressing him (and after). It leaves him a shorter period of time where he has to be still and content, which is also easier for you (to figure out what would grab his attention --for a shorter time). I think that's a key part, leaving the distraction/still time for just the nitty gritty part, and having fun with the wiggles as 'bookends' to it.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello I am a 61 year old grandma living in England but my daughter sent me a connection with this site. She is a 34 year old mum with 2 little boys living in san francisco.. I also have 2 grand daughters and the eldest one I took care of while her mother worked for 2 and a half years. My tip for your problem is to sing a song while you change the nappy - it has worked for all my grandchildren. The song we sing is "change your nappy, change your nappy, make you dry, make you dry, put it in the bin, put it in the bin, nice and clean, nice and clean" We sing this to the tune of "frere jacques" Hope you know this tune! its originates from france and in english the title is brother jack.
Good luck L. G

1 mom found this helpful

hi, maybe it wasn't the best idea, but i got reallllly good at changing the diaper of my two boys while they stood up. works for us! one less battle. they eventually will lay down for me, or often anyway, but otherwise, i stand them on the counter and let him look in the bathroom mirror, etc. :)

My 10 mo son is the same way. I give him my cell phone, which usually he doesn't get to touch, and do the worlds fastest diaper change! Most of the time it works, but not always. Lots of times I've had to put his diaper on while he was standing or walking away. Kind of hard and I'm hoping it will pass, too. But this is definitely a time for creativity!! Good luck!

Hi there!

Maybe try singing to him...that works with my almost 3 year still at times ;)Otherwise, you may just have to tough it out for a while. Our little ones don't have very long attention spans and they would rather be moving around than sitting still for jst about anything!

Have a great day!

Give him something that occupies him while you change him. I would give my grandson liked a silver rattle. He only got when he was being changed. It worked for me. D. Sanchez

Like the first responder, I used to give my boys something to hold...like the baby wipes or the Balmex (Diaper Rash cream) and talk them through it...ok now give mommy the cream, now we are going to put the diaper on, etc. etc. Even getting them involved with the process at a young age can distract them long enough for you to "take care of business" :>

Hi L.,
I agree with many of the responses below, but we did attach a mobile to his changing table for him to look at while we changed him. That helped for a while. Good luck!
K.

Hi L.! Here are a few more tips I've used to help my son (19 mos.) through diaper changes. Teething cookies or arrowroot cookies work great. I know it isn't the best thing to do while laying down and we don't want to get in the habit of using food as a distraction, but if you are having a particularly tough day, it works great. I'd keep a box of arrowroot cookies at the changing table and give him one. It took him long enough to eat it so I could get good change. I also have a toy bin at the changing table (mounted to the wall) that my son isn't able to access and it has very special toys that are only for changing. I have an old cel. phone with the battery removed, kitchen spoons, wooden fork, spatula, finger puppets and his favorite, a homemade snow globe. You can make the snow globe with an old jar or breastmilk storage container, fill it with water and add colorful hole punched paper and give it to him to shake it up. Watching the paper swirl will amaze him. Good luck!

L.,

I have almost 20-month old twins...and I still struggle with this from time-to-time. However, one thing that works well with both of them (when they begin to squirm or get upset that it's diaper-changing time) is to playfully grab their ankles and rock their legs back and forth and say, "Oh, no...he's/she's running!" Or bend the knees and say, "Oh, look, he's/she's riding a bike!" And their all-time favorite is when I swing their arms over their head and say, "It's the backstroke! Where did that come from?!" (Often, I did all three of these to result in calmness). = ) After a few seconds of this...they are entertained enough that the diaper change is something that they are willing to sit through. However, a little book or a toy after the 'silliness' is also a welcome distraction.

Best of luck!

My 18 month old boy has been the same way. My daughter never was, maybe it is a boy thing - who knows. It drives me nuts. Plus both of my kids, they minute they get their clothes off, run around the house doing the "naked" dance. SO it becomes a race to catch him before he pees on the floor. I have tried many things including the new toy, the cell phone and a firm arm across his chest while changing him with the other free hand, this just makes us both uncomfortable. Then I tried one of my daughters pull ups on him. This works great because I can do it while he is standing. I tried to fasten a regular diaper before hand and pull that up, but it doesn't really work. Not nearly as good as a pull up. I still use a regular diaper at night because it holds more, but using the pull up takes all of the frustration out of daytime diaper changes!

Neither of my twins have sat still for diaper changes since about 8 mos. old... once they can stand... the diaper comes off in a standing postion... I often clean them while standing as well... (I got sick of getting kicked in the face... it really hurts and messes with your neck)... Then they lie down for the diaper...

I bet your little guy starts taking them off too... when that happens... DUCT TAPE... get the different colors their texture is one that stays on good and tears easily for you....

Good luck!

Get a brand new toy that you KNOW he'll love but only let him hold it during diaper change time, then keep it put away during any other times. DUring diaper changes let him hold it until you're finished and then tell him what a good job he did and hopefully this will teach him to be still during those times.

My son loves chimes, so when he would start fussing I would chime the chimes. I hung then over his changing table, it has worked like a charm he is now 19 months old and he still loves to hear them when he gets his diaper changed.

Hug'n'Hold, formerly 'changeze" was the best thing ever when my son was that age! They are not agile enough to open the velcro closures at that age. It might seem like torture, but when you are at your wits end, it is a great solution. After a while, I did not even have to close the velcro as my son assumed it was closed. Here is the website:
http://www.change-eze.com/

One trick we tried with both of our sons is putting up pictures by the side of the changing table. I made a collage of all of our immediate family members and we would point to them and talk about them when we were trying to change diapers. "Where's Grandma?" It works double duty because we use it at night to say Good Night to everyone we love. Maybe it will work for you! B

Ahhh, the wiggle worm! I have one of those! I find that I have to hold him down with my forearm while I change his diaper. So much fun! But be glad to know that it'll end - just be sure to talk to him a lot and tell him (over and over again) that he's to lie still during changing time. He'll get it eventually.

Don't fight this battle! It's not worth it! Just enjoy the time that you have with him while you are changing his diaper and it will pass....

sing or talk overly excited like make a fool of you self so it will be more fun for him. i have to do this with my 7 mth old

It's something every mom has to just deal with. My son did it, every child I think goes through that won't lie still stage during diaper changes. You just have to get really good at fast diaper changes. Diapers are so absorbent these days, you really don't have to even wipe if it's only a peepee diaper. Just get 'er done as my husband would say :)

I have had this same thing happening with my 13 month old for a number of months now. Sometimes he stay stills, most times, he squirms, tries to crawl, stand, etc...What I have found that works is handing him a remote control (i.e. for the TV, the ceiling fan) or books. So, usually these distract him. When those don't work, I sing. There are a couple of songs that usually get his attenion. Or I talk to him in a very excited voice and I think that gets his attention for a moment. When all else fails, I put his diaper on while he is standing up. I gather from other mommies I know, that this is pretty normal to be happening at this age. Good luck!

My daughter is 13 months old and still can be squirmy during diaper changes so we give her her pants which for some reason occupies her. :)

This is a very typical stage of development. Why would they want to lay still when there is a big, bright world out there for them to discover? So they wiggle and kick because they don't want to be there and they are discovery how their bodies move. Annoying? Oh yeah! Helpful? Oh no! But is there any cure? Not that I've found and I've had 6. In fact changing and dressing out littlest guy is known as wrestling time. Talking to them, music, a toy, etc. can be helpful for a few seconds but not much longer than that.

My kids are older now, but I went through the same thing. I finally set up my diaper stuff by the TV and would put on a favorite show. My child would be still and watch and I could change a diaper without making a mess. You may not like using the TV, but I was desparate and it worked!

My son didn't like to lie still at changing time either, and I got a good idea from a friend -- I did diaper changes on the floor whenever possible, and would put my leg over his tummy to hold him down. It sounds cruel, but obviously I wasn't putting the full weight of my leg on him -- just enough to keep him in place -- and he didn't seem to mind too much. If he was going to fight me, he was going to fight me, and at least this way we got it over with quickly.

Oh dear. I'm not sure there are any great tricks. I think it's pretty common for that age. I had two children, 10 years apart, a girl and then a boy, and they were both like trying to change and dress moving targets. It didn't matter if I changed them in the crib, on the floor, something you would think they would surely be afraid of falling off of.......oh, heck no. It's virtually impossible to reason with an active 10 month old. Try whispering. In a very soft voice. "Mommy needs you to be still while I change your diaper. Let's be very quiet and still." Sometimes, just the change of tone is enough to distract them. If not, they grow out of it, and look on the bright side......It's quite a work out. For you.

This is something that every mother father or caregiver struggles with ... a wiggly baby. There is no magic solution to the problem. Try small toys or singing to him. If it doesn't work don't feel defeated. He just wants to be up and playing and changing a diaper is the least of his worries. I'd give anything for a little one in diapers again. I know it sounds crazy. :P

Duct Tape!!!!!
Take a strip of it and wrinkle it into a ball with the sticky side out... it will entertain and perplex :)

HI,
I have 3 children, and a daycare. It is just the age. Use a firm voice and tell him "no moving, be still" and put him where you want him. Within a couple of days he will know you are serious and be still. I have 2 daycare boys who wiggle and thrash for mom and dad, and they can not understand why they are still for me and not them. They just know that they can get away with it with mom and dad. Good Luck.
S.

Unfortunately, it's a stage you will have to endure. It does get better after a couple of months. My 14 mo DS did the very same thing and got over it by the time he turned 1 yo. A lot of my friends have experienced the same thing with their babies, to varying degrees of severity and length of time.
This too shall pass! :-)

Hi L.,
For diapers with just urine I have two suggestions. You can use toys/singing or other distrcations with these methods.

The first I call the strong arm wrap. Have the diaper open and ready to put on. Grab/hug your boy with your left arm and make sure he is facing away from you. Pull off pants and diaper with your right hand. Put the open-clean diaper against your body between him and you. Pull the front to cover his front.

The second is the sit and hold. Take off his pants and have him sit on your lap facing away from you. Lift the boy and put the open-clean diaper against between you and your boy. Remove the dirty diaper and put on the clean diaper.

For BM or when diaper rash cream is needed I use a changing table. When my boy was old enough to follow directions (about 18 months) I started changing his soilded diapers with him standing up. Do not try this until they can been still.

It will get easier!

-A.

If you can figure it out, let me know, too! I have the same problem! I've tried toys, a bottle, strapping him down, but nothing wortks!

Is he able to stand at a table? I used to change my toddlers diapers while he was standing which made it a lot easier.

N.

Dear L.:

If you are still able to use the safety strap on you changing table, do it. My son went through this too.

I would strap him in and if he tried to wiggle out or turn over I would keep a firm hand holding his ankles and make it clear from my tone that I was in charge and for his safety he had to stay still. My husband and I went though about two weeks of reinforcing this concept. I would also offer the toy or somthing my son loves to carry around, like on of his robeez or a spoon to distract him.

He is now over the idea of rolling around on the changing table and lies there peacefully while we change him.

I Hope this helps and happy changing,

N. :)

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