Diaper changes are never a fun experience – who knows what you will be facing! – but they are even worse when your toddler starts fighting you.
If this has never happened before, you may wonder why your toddler suddenly hates diaper changes and what you can do to make diaper changes easier for you and your toddler.
While frustrating, you can make diaper time enjoyable for your toddler again by following the tips below.
Let’s take a look.
Reasons your toddler dislikes diaper changes.
First, you’ll need to understand why your toddler has started to fight diaper changes. After all, they will feel uncomfortable if they have a dirty diaper. Sometimes, to alleviate that discomfort, your toddler might start to put their hands down their diaper, which can result in a huge mess to clear up.
All that while your toddler is having a meltdown because you are trying to change their diaper!
Here are five of the most common reasons why your toddler suddenly hates diaper changes.
1. They’d rather be moving
If your toddler has recently started scooting, crawling, or walking, they no longer want to sit still – instead, they want to explore!
They want to move, play, and get into trouble, which far outweighs the discomfort they feel from the soiled or wet diaper.
This is the most common reason. It starts with wiggling and kicking legs and only worsens the more mobile your toddler is.
2. Something is wrong
If your baby has a rash, cut, or other irritation, it may hurt them to get their diaper changed. The wipes may burn their raw skin or hurt them when you peel the diaper off, or they could differ from diaper rash. That is one of the main reasons your baby suddenly hates diaper changes.
Make sure to look around to rule out any problems causing your toddler to hate their diaper changes.
If your toddler can speak, you can ask them if they hurt anywhere to rule it out.
3. They are in the middle of something
Much like adults, if you stop your toddler from doing something they enjoy or are very interested in playing with, they will not be happy, even if it’s to change a dirty diaper.
Your toddler may start to fight to get back to what they were doing, making diaper changes almost impossible.
If the toy is mobile, bringing it to them can help move the diaper change along faster.
4. They’re just not feeling it
There is no room for reason in many toddler behaviors, and they can fight their diaper change for many reasons.
They can be tired, hungry, cold, hot, mad, and many other emotions.
They may decide they no longer need diapers, or the diapers are too diaper-y. Whatever the reason is, the only consistency is that your toddler will find something to complain about.
5. They think they’re a big kid
As toddlers age, they want to do things for themselves and control everything, including diaper changes.
Your toddler thinks they can do it themselves, much like dressing themselves, so they melt down when someone does something for them.
This may be especially true if they have siblings who are not in diapers or go to a daycare or school with older children.
If they see that others aren’t wearing diapers, they won’t want to and will fight you whenever you try to change or put on a diaper. If this is the case, consider starting potty training, depending on how old your toddler is.
How to Make Diaper Changes Easier For You And Your Toddler
Unfortunately, there is no secret as to why your toddler suddenly hates diaper changes, but there are things you can do to make it easier for both of you.
This is especially true if you must change a diaper during the early morning hours! If your toddler poops every night in their diaper, you will need to make it a more relaxing experience, or the whole house will wake up!
1. Distraction is your friend
The best way to stop your toddler from fighting diaper changes is to distract them. Snag a toy to keep them interested, give them something to chew on, or hand over your phone.
It doesn’t matter what it is; it could be an empty wipes container, just as long as it can keep your toddler’s attention for the minute it will take you to change their poopy diaper.
2. Move to a new spot
If your toddler feels bored, changing them in the same spot will contribute to that feeling.
Move to a different spot in the house to change their diaper, and they will be so busy looking around at their new surroundings that they will forget to wiggle while you are changing their diaper.
A portable changing pad is a great idea to stop spreading any mess over your carpet or clean floor!
3. Make it fun
You can make diaper changing a fun activity even if you’re not distracting them. For example, sing a song, play a show they like, or tell a story.
If you make diaper changing a fun activity, your toddler will be less likely to struggle and make a fuss.
4. Wear simple clothes
Multiple layers with complex buttons and snaps can make diaper changing a hassle for children and parents alike.
You can make it easier by simply dressing your child in simpler layers. Or you can have your toddler start to choose their clothes.
Your toddler may start to notice how what they wear impacts the time you need to change a diaper, so they may begin to dress accordingly.
5. Practice makes perfect
Ultimately, you want to work as fast as you can. You want to hold your baby’s legs as you quickly swap out a dirty diaper for a new one.
The faster you can make a diaper change, the less likely it will be that your toddler will resist.
If your toddler has a favorite stuffed animal, you can try to put a diaper on it so they feel like they have a friend in the diaper change process. Remember, the more you change a diaper, the faster you will become.
Is It Time To Potty Train Your Toddler?
That’s a question that only you can answer. Potty training can be easy or hard. some kids fall into the new regime with little or no resistance, and others do not.
My first son struggled when we first tried to potty train. We stopped and then tried again in around 6 months. This time, he flew through it and didn’t look back!
You need to figure out if you should start potty training your toddler. Getting your toddler to poop in the potty is one of life’s greatest wins as a parent! Not only is it a big step towards independence, but it saves you some money too!
Conclusion – Fighting Diaper Changes is only a Phase.
While it may not seem like it at the time, your toddler fighting getting their diaper changed is only a phase. They will grow out of it, but your toddler needs to do that on their timeline.
Each child hits their developmental milestones at their rate.
Don’t rush them. You will be fighting about something else in no time! The average age that a child is out of diapers is around 27 months, so you still have some time.
Potty training is your next battle. Then you won’t have to worry about changing your toddler’s diaper anymore.