My Toddler Hates Diaper Changes! Help!

Last updated September 9th, 2020

Some toddlers sure do hate diaper changes. I remember two different situations where my little girl started hating diaper changes.

Everything was fine in the beginning, I remember her having no issues as an infant. After some time, she would first get scared of being put up on the changing table, from the fear of heights. Then it was just the fact that she didn’t want to be changed, without any reason.

Most likely your toddler has some basic reason for not wanting to change their diaper, and we can’t use the “they’ll grow out of it” card this time. Diaper changing happens at least 3-5 times a day, so let’s figure out some quick solutions to your diaper changing dilemma.

What are the reasons your toddler hates diaper changes?

Unhappy toddler during diaper change time

It could be one of many reasons, but here are some of the most popular reasons I found:

  • Your toddler is enjoying an activity and doesn’t want to take time out to change their diaper.
  • It hurts. If this is the response you’re getting, diagnose it by asking where it hurts and if it’s a mental thing or actual pain.
  • Pee diaper keeps them warm and they don’t like feeling cold from a fresh new diaper.
  • Fear of being on the changing table because of heights.
  • They know your changing routine is, and start resisting because they know what’s about to happen.

How to stop your toddler from crying while changing diapers

One of the best first things to do is to make it fun of course. For my little one, I took the changing station foam where I’d lay her on, and put it on the floor.

I then let her open up the diaper to let her have some fun with the process. As she got a month or two older (around 18 months), she started having fun opening up the 2 diaper straps. The small changes and making it interactive helped me keep her clean and tear-free.

If toddler says it hurts

If your little one is saying they’re in pain when being changed, check to see if the diaper size might need to go up. Sometimes, as they get bigger, the smaller diaper is hurting them around the legs.

One thing to note here is that sometimes they might not need to go up a diaper size, but they pee a lot more than other kiddos and need that bigger diaper to soak it up. This might mean less often diaper changing for you too.

It could also be a rash or infection that you didn’t notice, try asking your toddler to point out where it hurts, and take it from there.

This is a final tip, but sometimes there is no actual pain. My toddler was just being emotional sometimes, so to put a “quick fix” on it, I would take a very small bit of diaper rash ointment and apply it, so my little one would think something was done about it.

If toddler is busy at the time of diaper change

It’s fun times for your little one, they don’t want to skip any second of their activity to go for a diaper change.

If this is the case for your little one, you can do one of a few things here.

First, try showing them a stopwatch on your phone, most smartphones have one these days. Set a timer for 2 minutes, and make it a game for them. Ask them to help you get their diaper changed and back to play-mode in less than 2 minutes.

In the future, as you keep doing it, make it a game by showing them the time after every change and share if it was better or worse than before. They won’t understand the time part, but will love the up and down of the game.

Another tip is to provide a distraction during diaper change. You can do this by having a changing station only toy or book that they can have while you’re changing them.

If your toddler has a fear of being changed on changing station

I mentioned earlier that some toddlers, like mine, had a fear of being changed in the tall changing station.

Going from infant to toddler, they start understanding their surrounding better and mine was afraid of falling from the station.

To make this easier for the time being, I’d just take the foam padding that id lay her on, and put it on the floor for quick and easy changing there.

Another tip, something that I also did for my toddler, is to change the location. I took my diaper changing foam from the table to the floor, but if that doesn’t work for your toddler, you could change them somewhere else in the house to see of that helps.

Other tips for your toddler

  • You could get them to actively participate, as I did with my kiddo. Having them get the diaper, or help pull the straps to take it off, might make it a more enjoyable process for them.
  • Have something to look forward to after the diaper change. Depending on how intense it is with your little one, it could be as simple as reading time after the diaper change or 10-minutes of video time if your toddler is really fighting with you.

Conclusion

We want the best for our kiddo, and almost never want to incorporate something like video time as a reward for their behavior, but sometimes it helps.

Toddlers being hard during diaper changing is almost always a phase where things can get better after time. The problem for us parents is wondering how long they’ll take.

I hope my tips were helpful, if you have one that I didn’t mention above, please do share it below so other moms and dads can benefit from an extensive list to try from. Thanks!

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