Problems with Getting 9 Month Old Dressed

Updated on October 08, 2006
A.C. asks from Milwaukee, WI
12 answers

Hi, I am new to this website and I think it is great so far. I have a 9 month old daughter and lately I have been having problems when it comes to getting her dressed, in particular after her baths. She starts crying and screaming alot and trying to get away from me when I try putting her diaper and clothes on, which makes for a really miserable experience all around. She immediately stops being upset when we're finished. I've tried distracting her with tickling, toys, special objects to hold, etc., but nothing seems to work. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem or knows what I can do about it, because it's really frustrating to me.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone for all of your great advice, I really appreciate it. I have been trying the various things that people have suggested over the past week. After her baths, I have found that letting her have a few minutes to just crawl around naked seems to make her happy, and then she's ready to get dressed. For changing her diapers and getting dressed in the morning, many times singing to her works, not every time, but it's getting better. Thank you to everyone again, and I'm sure all this great advice well help others with this problem too:)

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answers from Milwaukee on

I wish I could tell you a solution, but I don't have one. I also have a 9 month old girl and she is impossible to change. I have to wrestle with her to get anything accomplished. I keep saying no no and offer anthing to keep her attention. Sometimes, or most of the time I just find the whole exprience very frustrating. The only one thing that sometimes works is offering a bottle- but I don't like that solution. At least I found someone else with the same problem. Let me know if anything works.

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answers from La Crosse on

Both my daughter and son were relentless when it came to getting dressed after a bath. The first thing they did was run away when I brought out those clothes. I finally figured out that they enjoyed being naked for a while afterwards. They would play with the towel like a cape and really enjoyed just running free, literally :) It only took about 10 minutes or so and then they were willing to get dressed. Every kid I know has gone through the naked phase at one time or another...this is just your childs time for freeness! I wouldn't worry. Both my kids outgrew it. I kind of miss their funny little tooshies streaking about the house now that they don't do it anymore :)



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Wow - I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one. My little guys just doesn’t like to be still one moment...And it can be so frustrating as you know. Unfortunately, I do not have much for advice other than to mirror what another mom has already said and remember, this time shall pass. Maybe the 'naked play' would work. Good Luck...Tomorrow when I'm trying to change David's diaper & get him dressed and he's twisting like a little rag doll, I'll take comfort knowing that you & your daughter going through the same struggle. Little stinkers!



answers from Milwaukee on

I have twin two year old boys and they both went through this stage where they hated being changed (clothes, diapers, whatever). So yes it is definitely normal and something you daughter will grow out of....however I know it is frustrating in the mean time. Sometimes what worked for us is asking the boys where their eyes, ears, nose, hair, tongue, and teeth were? This obviously worked best for changing diapers but soon they really enjoyed showing were their parts were and forgot about the changing. The other thing that worked sometimes is singing to them, that distracted them at times. When the kids are really upset there is nearly nothing you can do but be fast and get it done so they stop, other times when they aren't too bent out of shape they can be distracted. Hope she grows out of it soon =)



answers from Appleton on

To help with this problem I would suggest taking a look at where you are dressing her. Is it in the same place every time? After a bath children will be cold and I always wrap my son in a towel and carry him across the hall to his room. If he started to act the way your child does, I would bring his changing pad into the bathroom and lay it on the floor or counter (wherever you have room) and dress her there. Maybe if you stay in the warm bathroom it will not be as tramatic for her. Harder for Mom and Dad of course but we all know who comes first when it comes to their needs being met. Good for you!!

S. S



answers from Minneapolis on

I had the same problem with my now 3 year old when she was that age. For her, she did not like coming out of a warm tub(or warm clothing) out to something cooler. I tried a heating pad under the towel that was on the bed I dressed her on. I set it on the lowest setting before putting her in the tub. When I took her out, I checked the towel I laid her on to be sure it was not too warm for her. It worked for me. Her issue was she did not like the big change in temperatures. She is fine now. Try this it may help. If not you can try something else. Lots of Luck



answers from Milwaukee on

We had/have the same problem with our son. We give him his tooth brush with a little of that special toothpaste...and it works for a few minutes. Then we let him try to brush his hair for a few minutes. I think he is just upset about having to get out of the tub (he LOVES bath time). My husband was a swimmer in High School and he knows how irritating it can be to have water in his ear (we thought it might have something to do with it). After our son gets out of the tub and has his towel around him. My husband will hold him in his arms on his side and lightly bounce with him 10 times on each side to try to get any water out of his ears. He counts to 10 out loud and my son thinks it is a game. Just a thought....maybe she gets a little water in her ears (it doesn't have to be much) and when you lay her down it bugs her.

For the most part we just do what needs to be done as quickly as possible and it seems that he has gotten better with it. Good Luck!



answers from Green Bay on

I just wanted to tell you I have a 15 month old little boy named Daniel. He has been upset about getting dressed since birth. He especially hates it after bath time too. When he started crawling and walking he then began to run away from me screaming. It is ridiculous. I have tried the same things. Toys as distractons, books, paper to tear anything!!!! Sometimes it will work most of the time it doesn't. After he is dressed he is fine. Acts like he was never upset. Maybe we should ask our pediatricians. It does make for a miserable experience and I find myself dreading changing him and bath time. But I think you are on the right track with the distractions.



answers from Minneapolis on

I know how you feel. I had that same problem for a little while, and it does pass. I think it's their need to express themselves. Perhaps it's the one thing they feel like they can control, being mad and getting people to do what they want by showing anger and crying. Or, the want to be naked. Every kid loves it. We started having Naked Play Time. I'm a huge fan of naked play time. It's fun and I get to see that cute little baby body run around and play. After a bath is a good time to do it because the chance they have pottied in the tub are good, and less of a chance of pottying on the floor without a diaper. But, beware...many kids drink the tub water too so they might have to potty shortly after getting out of the tub, increasing the chances of an accitent on the floor. Use that as a bargaining chip later. "I'll let you play naked for a little bit, but only if you promise to get dressed without fussing." Use a timer...10 minutes, or whatever and tell her that when the bell rings, it's time to get clothes on. She'll agree and fuss when the bell rings of course, but you can remind her of her promise and use it as a tool next time. "If you don't get dressed, next time you won't get naked play time and we like Naked Play Time don't we?" She'll agree with you and then, you say, "Ok. Then get Dressed then so we can have naked time next time too." This might work here and there, and she'll come to learn that good comes with doing what we're told, because she's rewarded for her good behavior. It's what worked well for us. Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi A.,

We have a 10mo daugther and we have similar issues. I've noticed in general that she is becoming more opinionated with regards to most things - car seat, high chair, bed time etc etc. We give baths in the evening about 1/2 before heading up for the wind down before bed, however we used to do them about 1/2 hour later than we aim for now and it was much much worse - I think tiredness was playing a huge factor for us. Moving bath time a little earlier helped a lot. Also we talk up the getting out of the bath as we are getting to the end as she really didn't want to get out. We keep the room nice and warm and have her towel laid out ready and then we have a massage and get her dressed when she is really toasty and relaxed. We still have a bit of a struggle, but there are usually no tears - unlike before.

Best of luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

It's totally normal at this age. They are just learning to get around and don't want to sit still and be manhandled. One of my kids is an 8 month old foster son and what I do is get him dressed on the couch. I sit at his feet and then put my leg up along side of him to keep him from falling off. It helps a lot because there isn't anywhere to escape to.
Another thing that helps is making sound effects. I always do the ch,ch,ch,ch,ch,ch,ch while I'm shimmying their arms into the shirts. They love the sound and it helps get through the hard part.
Good luck and try to find the entertainment in it all :o)



answers from Madison on

Have you tried putting on an emotionless face? My first suggestion would have been to make it a special experience by tickling, etc but since that doesn't work I would just ignore the behavior. You don't have to ignore your baby but pretend that what she's doing doesn't bother you in the least.

Good Luck!!

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