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1 Year Old Hates Diaper Change – Please Help!

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Our granddaughter is almost 1 years old. When we lay her down to try and change her diaper she screams like someone is killing her and she can’t catch her breath, she also tries to get way. We get her every month for a week and this is the first time she has done this. Help, she’s our angel and we need to know what to do.


Baby Help Line:

Tips When 1 Year Old Refuses Diaper Change

What a lucky girl to have her grand parents for a week!

It is really hard trying to change a messy diaper with the baby trying to get away! The best thing at this age is distraction. Tell her before hand you are going to change her diaper so she is not taken by surprise, but also offer a distracting choice. Find a couple of toys or two books and offer her the choice – “Do you want to read this book or this book while I change your diaper?” (and have the other one on hand too!)

Children that are very determined and want to be exploring and doing their own thing don’t want to lie down and have their diaper’s changed. How boring! And they are also in a position of dis-empowerment. If firstly you say what you are going to do and why and talk and explain to her, she will start to understand reasoning, plus if you offer a distraction that has a choice about, she has some power.

Many parents get into a power struggle with their babies and it becomes really unpleasant with Baby getting a smack to keep them still. Far better to give her something interesting to do or read or play games like where’s your nose? Where’s your chin? That way change time is interesting and fun, not a battle for domination.

Another possible solution to consider is to let your granddaughter stand up while changing the diaper. This of course can’t be done until she is able to stand up without falling, but if she is, then you can consider trying to change her diaper while she is standing on e.g. the toilet (of course supported by you). I have started with that quite early with all our kids exactly for the reason you describe – they start refusing to lie down. Just a thought. It might be a bit too early for that, but keep it is mind in the coming months.

It is a really good thing she is this determined, even though it is very hard to manage, particular at change time! But babies who display their own mind, and determination are going to be adults who are responsible, keen to learn, more likely to be leaders, and are creative thinkers. So bear with it, she may well be destined for great things!

You can read a bit more about 1 year old babies and games to play with them here.

Enjoy your time with your grand-daughter.

All the best,

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