Diapering: Changing diapers as an opportunity to nurture

  • Keep interactions positive. Many of us haven’t been up-close and personal with poop until we become parents. It can take some time to accustom yourself to the process of dealing with your child’s poop. Luckily, infant poop, especially breastfed baby poop, has a milder smell than that of older children. It is important to resist expressions such as “Ick!” or “EEEEeeewww,” “stinky,” “gross” or “dirty.” Children can begin to wonder why something associated with them is so disgusting to you. As children get older, they figure out that they have made that poop and may feel like you are saying a part of them is bad. You can say, “This is your diaper with poop in it. We’ll put it in the diaper pail (or the trash) and get a new diaper to put on you.” Or, “Look! you made poop in this diaper. Let’s take it off and put a new diaper on you.”

  • Go at your child’s pace. Often, we go into a diaper change hoping to get it over with as soon as possible. Sometimes this is necessary. However, when you have the time, it can be enjoyable to have a leisurely diaper change where you pause and get your child’s attention before you go to each next step. Also, many babies love time with their diaper off when they can move freely, kick and exercise their lower bodies without that bundle between their legs. You can play games like, “Find your toes or your belly button” when diapers are off. You can name or sing about body parts and kiss tummies. You can play “peek-a-boo” with tee shirts or clean diapers.

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