As a parent, you know how horrible it feels when you lay your baby down for a diaper change, and they immediately start screaming and crying. You try to soothe them, but they are miserable the entire time, breaking your heart and making you dread the next time. Understanding why your little one is so upset during their diaper change can help you keep them comfortable and make the process a little easier for everyone. Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons why your baby cries during diaper changes and what you can do to help!
Why Your Baby May Cry During Diaper Changes
It's no surprise that babies have extremely sensitive skin, which makes them more susceptible to temperature changes. When you remove their diaper, their wet skin is exposed to the air, causing them to feel cold and uncomfortable. Add to that a cold wipe, and it's easy to see why you're baby feels miserable!
For babies, everything in the world is new, which can cause them to feel confused and scared. Newborns especially are unfamiliar with the changing routine, which is why they become upset during the process. If confusion is the problem, it will subside as they age and become more familiar with the world around them.
It's common for many parents to feed their babies before changing their diapers to help keep them dry and comfortable and promote a healthier appetite. While some babies have no problem waiting a few minutes before they eat for a diaper change, some may find the hunger so uncomfortable they spend the entire diaper change crying.
They’re in Pain
If your baby has a rash, a dirty diaper can worsen the symptoms and cause a lot of pain. Unfortunately, since your baby's skin is so sensitive, diaper rashes are not uncommon. If you notice redness or bumps, applying diaper cream can provide much-needed relief and soothe the painful irritation.
They Feel Out Of Control
Older babies may cry during diaper changes because they don't like having to lie down and give up control. As little ones grow, they desire independence and don't appreciate having to slow down for even a moment to have their diaper changed. Since they are still learning how to express themselves, this frustration comes out as crying.
They Don't Want To Be Restricted
Once babies are mobile, they often hate being held on their backs for any length of time. They prefer to roll over, sit, or crawl, instead of lying still for even a moment. When they have to lay down for a diaper change, they can become frustrated and fight the feeling of being restricted, often crying and squirming to break free.
Tips For Keeping Your Baby Happy During Diaper Changes
While knowing the possible reasons why your baby is crying during their diaper changes is beneficial, it doesn't help much if you can't solve the problem. Here are a few tips you can use that may help make diaper changes more enjoyable for your baby and less overwhelming for you!
Use Sensitive Skincare Products
Choosing products that soothe your baby's skin can help make diaper changes more comfortable and enjoyable. Look for items like sensitive baby wipes and ultra-soft diapers that won't cause irritation and feel great against your baby's skin.
Keep Your Baby Warm
If you suspect your little one is cold during diaper changes, using a blanket or wipes warmer can help keep them warm and cozy. You can also try putting socks on beforehand since body heat is lost from their extremities first.
Feed Them First
Hungry babies are angry babies, so you may want to wait until after your little one eats before changing their diaper. If they tend to fall asleep after feedings, try giving them half a bottle or one breast and then changing them before finishing the remainder of the meal.
Explain What's Happening
Although your baby is young, they can understand more than you think. Try explaining the process to them as you go, which can take away some of the fear of the unknown. Even if they can't understand what you're saying, they will comprehend your tone, which can be soothing and provide reassurance.
Having a few toys around during diaper changes can be a great distraction for your baby. Choose ones that make noise or light up to catch their eye and take their mind off what is happening. If there are no toys around, you could hand them a diaper, the diaper cream container, or even the remote to keep them occupied until the change is complete.
Sing Or Tell Them A Story
There is nothing your baby loves more than the sound of your voice; it's the most comforting and entertaining sound they know. Singing a song, telling them a story, or narrating your actions will comfort and distract them while providing entertainment and stimulation.
Don't Be Afraid To Act Silly
There's no better sound than your baby's laughter, and you can experience it during a diaper change. Try tickling, blowing on their little belly, making silly faces or noises, or even dancing (as long as you keep one hand safely on your baby) and see how quickly they turn their frown (or ear-piercing scream) upside down!
When To Call A Doctor
If you believe your baby's fussiness is something more serious, it's always a good idea to call a doctor. While chances are it's nothing to worry about, you can never be too careful when it comes to your baby's health!
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