Group Discussions

Diaper tantrums - suggestions please!

  • My 17mo daughter has started throwing huge tantrums every single time I change her diaper. Getting her dressed/changed is just becoming exhausting. She has always hated being dressed/changed. When she was little, I distracted her with singing and/or a little toy to play with, but now she's waaay past being distracted. Each time it turns into a major wrestling match. She will grab onto the rails of the crib (which is where I change her) and hold on with incredible strength and just lie there on her side screaming. Or she'll roll onto her tummy and curl up in a ball...a screaming ball... My strategy so far has been to be firm but nice and basically hold her down by force. I don't make a fuss about it because I don't want to feed her attitude and make her resist it any more than she is. I don't see what else I can do - I can't just walk away and ignore her because she needs her diaper changed!! Suggestions, anyone?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 3rd April 2008
  • I´ve been dealing with the same thing for nearly a year, with my son. :S The one thing I´ve found that really helps is letting him have some say in the whole process, so he feels in control. For example, I´ll ask him if his diaper is wet (he´s 2, so maybe a bit more verbal) and he will say yes or no. Or I will ask him to help me get the supplies ready, bring me the diaper and pick out which pants to wear after the change, etc.

    This certainly doesn´t eliminate all the issues, but it often helps. Looking forward to seeing other suggestions!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Genesis on 3rd April 2008
  • My twins are no longer in this stage now (the baby is not there yet)...but I used to keep a box of things next to the changing table....things they never get to play with otherwise and then offer them a choice of which one they want (distracts them from realizing you are going to start changing them).

    I had a cell phone, car keys with alarm thingy attached, tube of lipgloss(almost empty, but not quite), tube of lotion(almost empty, but not quite), a pen that had a flashing top...thats all I can remember, but we added to it regularly and it worked really well!!

    Good luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Linda on 3rd April 2008
  • My 17-month old is doing this right now -- never at daycare, apparently, but nearly always at home with both me and my husband! We sing "If You're Happy and You Know It" and he often gets so into the song (which we draw out by adding random things aside from the standard "clap your hands" -- "touch your head," "say whoopeee!" "roar like a lion," etc...).

    If that doesn't work, then it's holding him down with one hand and trying to change the diaper (quickly!) with the other, while crooning, "Please wait, O., Mama has to change your diaper" works sometimes. So does taking a break to "air out" mid change -- sometimes, he just wants to go get or see something that caught his eye...

    Can't wait for him to outgrow this stage, though...
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 3rd April 2008
  • What about using pull-ups (aka stand-up diapers) or just changing her standing up? It's very doable with just pee. It's harder with a soiled diaper but still manageable. It helps to prefasten one side of the diaper. And if you bathe her daily you'll be able to catch anything missed during the changes.

    And definitely start introducing her to the concept of the potty. I know she's very young. No way am I suggesting starting her before she's ready unless you're really into cleaning and laundry. But let her know there's life beyond the diaper and see what happens.

    Oh, and maybe you can use the potty to sneak in a quick change. So when she's wet, pull down the diaper and place her on the potty. Then while she's enthralled at this cool chair, pull the diaper all the way off. A quick swipe with the wipe and slip another diaper on. Might be good for a couple times at least.

    Hang in there!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenns on 4th April 2008
  • UGGHHH - I am living through this with my daughter now. When she wakes up she says

    "MAMMA" and then laughs. She then plays "catch me if you can" and runs back and forth in the crib..laughs very hard. She thinks it is absolutely hysterical and me...not so much. I have not had my 2 cups of coffee yet and it's like one side of my face is smiling.

    Then I get to experience even more joy...

    Take her over to the changing table, lay her down and all !(#(@ breaks loose.


    I give her toys and speak softly. That doesn't work, I restrain her by holding her legs and swooping the diaper quickly under her bottom. Thoughts in my head wishing the straps on the table were hospital grade to strap her in. LOL.

    Now seriously speaking, I actually started to think someting was bothering her down there and have been meaning to call the Dr.. It looks fine to me but thought it why not let a professional check it out but now it is nice to know I am not alone. I think it now seems normal.

    My son was a peach and never moved so this whole drama change is something so new.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 4th April 2008
  • I am going through this badly. I've tried everything in this thread and nothing works. He is fine at school but at home, forget it. It usually takes the two of us to get it done because he flails and hits and pinches, etc.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by oceans mom on 9th July 2009
  • OMG I had no idea other people's kids did this too.

    Only problem is mine is 3 and still does it ~ although we are almost completely potty trained now ~ she still does it sometimes about getting her panties on, and getting pull ups on before bed.

    I have yet to find a solution ~ other than just letting her run around naked for a while. I let her tell me when she's ready to put her diaper on. That little bit of control sometimes does the trick, but not always.

    Hang in there.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jackie Lee on 6th August 2009
  • Thank you for this post! My 11 month old has the greatest disposition with everything else in life, except the diaper change. It's been a challenge since he was about 3 months old. He had several ear infections earlier this year and I thought that was the source of his angst, but apparently it was not. I have no idea what it is that causes him such distress, but I have to take a deep breath to prepare for each diaper change.

    He doesn't do this with the daycare or his grandparents.

    Now that he's more mobile, we've added the challenge of flipping over and crawling away in the middle of his change.

    I talk to him the whole time and sometimes I can distract him with funny noises or singing, but that doesn't always work.

    Thanks for all your posts!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by workinit on 10th August 2009
  • My older one fights it on occasion also. Drives me nuts! One thing that helps is I tell him that his tushy will get a "boo boo" on it (diaper rash) he has very sensitive skin, so that usually convinces him to lay down for me. My younger one - 14 months - if I sing a song or have my 2 year old sing, that tends to help. Good luck!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lisa on 24th August 2009

Add a Reply