Making Bathtime and Diaper Changing Fun: Daily Ways to Get to Know Your Baby


How to Get the Most Out of Changing a Diaper

Who could believe a diaper change is an experience where you use your Parental Intelligence to get to know your baby’s personality, realize his likes and dislikes, and understand his stage of development better?

Yes, all this can happen if you don’t rush the cleaning and diapering but make it an activity to get to know your baby even better. Don’t miss that gaze at you and return it with yours. If he’s squiggling, just take your time and run your fingers over his tummy as he feels your warmth and settles down. Talk playfully about what you’re doing or about anything at all in a sing-song voice and how attentive he will become. Give him a soft or rubber toy to hold to add to the play.

This clearly isn’t just about being clean, though of course that needs to be done. So what about the toddler who runs away with the diaper leaving a mess behind. He’s just started a chasing game, one of his most favorite activities. Leave the mess (I promise it won’t go away) and chase the little fella with all his giggles and laughter. Finally comes the catch and the return to the cleaning. He settles down and you’ve never raised your voice into a scolding because he got what he needed—a chance to feel a little autonomy and be saved by his loving mommy.

You won’t have time for this every time, but make sure it’s included in the days activities. You’ve learned a lot about his need for mobility, autonomy, and being caught and cared for by the one who loves him. How special, indeed!

Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst whose upcoming book, Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior, will be released in October, 2015.


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