There are times during the day when our babies need us. Those times are vital for their survival and thriving. Those times include feeding, bathing, preparing for sleep ... and changing nappies. Those four times are prime times for us to nurture our little ones, giving them our undivided attention and love.
But how does one nurture a struggling, shrieking octopus with a dirty nappy?!
First, if possible, wait for your baby to be finished with whichever activity they were doing at the time. Then remove you and the baby from all distractions. Talk to your little baby about what the two of you are about to do. "Oh sweetie, I can smell your nappy. It's time to give you a fresh nappy. Let's go together." Put your hands out for your baby as an invitation to be carried.
If you do not have a designated space for nappy changes, head to a bedroom and place a change mat on the bed. Turn your phone on silent. Take the opportunity to make this time about the two of you connecting not just fixing a dirty deed. Before removing any clothing you might like to even sing a song or do a finger play song together or play This Little Piggie with their toes. Remember, this time is about connection and nurturing. Take your time.
Next, communicate what you are about to do together. "Ok, let's take your pants off and get started. We've got a clean fresh nappy here and some wipes. I need you to lie still for me and I'll clean your bottom." If you find that your little one's wiggling too much even before the nappy has come off, communicate that you cannot do your job until your baby has done theirs. "I'll wait till you are still. Then, I take off your nappy."
Stay calm, nurturing and connected during this time. "There now, are you finished wiggling around? Great! Now I can take off your nappy? Here we go. Oh, isn't that much better when I use the wipe to clean off the dirty bits? Nice and fresh. Let me just roll you over on your side while I make sure your back is all clean. Excellent. Here's the new nappy! Ready? Let's just slip it under your bottom like this and fasten the sides. Beautiful. We did it together, you and I. Go team! Let's just get your pants back on and we're ready to go." Put your arms out for an invitation to be held and give each other a high five or a cuddle.
Why are we talking so much to our baby who can't even talk?! Ha ha. You KNOW infants understand their routine and our body language and tone of voice before they even begin to understand words or express themselves using words. Don't we ask our dogs if they would like to go for a walk?
After this time of nurturing and meeting our baby's needs, the little one's cup is full of love and attention. This might be a great time to return the baby to his or her play in a safe place and make yourself a cuppa.
For more about routines and nurturing your baby, contact Cradle 2 Kindy Parenting Solutions to discuss how we can help you thrive as a parent of young children.