Embracing the Stinky Side: Bonding Through Nappy Changing

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Mother with baby on changing table.

Newborn babies can need changing up to 12 times a day, while older babies need to be changedaround 6 to 8 times. So, in the first few years of your baby’s life, you will spend a lot of time with your change mat!  

Although they can be smelly, and they can be messy (think poonami) nappy changes are actually a great opportunity for some bonding time with your baby. The position of parent and baby during a nappy change is perfect for creating a bonding experience as you lean over your little angel, your face is at the perfect distance for engaging eye contact and communication. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of nappy changes.  

Play it out 

Mother with baby playing on changing table.

Nappy changes are the perfect time to blow raspberries, give tummy kisses, play peekaboo and make silly faces. Even if you have a newborn, play will help your baby learn about the world around them and these new experiences help build your baby’s brain, making new pathways and connections. As your little one grows and starts to wriggle, playing during change time will also help distract them and make the job easier for you.  

Going for a song 

Father playing with baby on changing matt.

When you sing to your baby, they bond with you and your voice. So use nappy changes as an excuse to knock out a tune. Babies feel safe when life is predictable. A song that you only use at change time – whether real or made up – can help them recognise what’s coming next and make positive associations with nappy changes. 

Talk it over 

Mother changing baby on changing table.

Although your baby can’t yet talk to you, this doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them. Chatting to your baby helps your them learn about words, language and conversation. And the more you do it, the more words your baby hears and starts to understand. If you’re unsure how to start, you could begin by telling your baby what you are doing: “Now I’m taking off your nappy so we can make your botty nice and clean…”  


Massage moments 

Mother playing with baby on changing table.

Once you’ve removed the dirty nappy and cleaned up your baby, allow them a few moments of nappy free time whether they can enjoy kicking and stretching without the constraints of a nappy. To make this even more relaxing you can gently massage your baby’s arms, legs and feet using light strokes. And if you’ve attended a baby massage course, you can use this time to practise your moves before applying a clean nappy.  

Of course, you won’t have time to sing and play at every nappy change, but using this time to have some uninterrupted bonding time with your tot should make change times more fun for both of you 


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