Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Avoiding Temper Tantrums during Diaper Changes

If you have a toddler, you're no stranger to tantrums.  Diaper changes seem to be a great opportunity for tantrums to start. Toddlers are busy doing important things and they don't have time to stop for a diaper change.  It's also fun to run away and hide upon hearing the phrase "diaper change," because then you have to find them and that is a great game.  Lastly, diaper changes often go along with "getting ready for..."  Be it daycare, errands, or bed time, "getting ready" is a whole different opportunity for toddler melt-downs. Having a very independent toddler forced me to come up with creative ideas to avoid tantrums during diaper changes.

In my opinion, one of the most interesting things about cloth diapering is the choices.  There are so many colors, designs, patterns, and textures to pick from.  We as parents can use this to our advantage in convincing our toddlers that diaper changes are fun. Toddlers crave choices.  From the minute they learn to say "No," they realize the power of having independent thoughts, and want to voice their important opinions.  The key is to provide positive opportunities for them to make choices.  Instead of turning diaper changes into a battle, why not turn them into a conversation?

Ideas for incorporating choices into diaper changes:

  • Let your child choose the color/style of his diaper. Give your child a maximum of 2-3 diapers to pick from or you might be there all day.
  • Ask your child what diaper their "teddy" might like. Tell your child, "We're going to change your diaper first, and then you can change Teddy's diaper." or vice versa.
  • Be patient. Sometimes it takes a minute for thought processing to occur in that toddler brain.  If your toddler says she don't want to be changed right at the exact minute you want her to be changed, ask again in a few minutes.
  • Have a reward for your toddler as incentive for cooperating.  I'm not saying to bribe your child, but suggesting something like "Do you want to feed the fish? We can feed the fish, but you have to get your diaper changed first." "If you want to go outside, you'll need to get a fresh diaper on."

What other "choices" or ideas do you incorporate at diaper changes for your independent toddler?

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