Changing the Tone of Diaper Changes
Many new parents perceive diaper changes as a dreaded and disgusting chore, but it is really a time to develop a closer bond with your baby and cloth diapering parents seem to be much more aware of this. While disposable diapers create a more hands-off, "get this away from me" environment, cloth diapering is a hands-on and involved process.
Here are some tips to help you slow down and transform a mundane job into a gratifying and intimate experience.
Set the tone
Consider how you initiate the diaper change. Wrinkling your nose and saying "ew..somebody's stinky!" isn't the nicest way to address your baby and what's to come. Instead, just tell your baby or toddler, "it's time to change your diaper!"
If you have an older baby, interrupting them while they are playing is sure to get this off on the wrong foot. Most diaper changes can wait until there is a lull in activity, so when your child takes a break, take advantage of the opportunity instead of tearing them away from what they were doing (and avoid the temper tantrum).
Of course, use proper judgment in waiting. The rule with a poopy diaper is that you need to change your baby right away. If you don't catch a soiled diaper right away, there could be a rash already starting.
Give undivided attention
If you take this time to pay attention to your baby, your child will notice. Focus on these few uninterrupted minutes with your baby and forget everything else. Talk to your baby, play with them and slow down. Even young infants can sense if you are hurried or distracted, which will make them tense and less likely to cooperate.
And keep your baby attentive too. If something distracts them, talk them through it - "Do you hear the people outside?" - and get their focus back on you.
Don't forget, this is a great time to build on your baby's language and communication skills.
As your baby gets older, diaper changes are going to change. You're going to deal with a baby who doesn't want to lay still and will make cloth diapering a bit more time-consuming. Continue to interact with your baby or toddler, ask them to cooperate and be flexible to make cloth diapering easier.
As your baby grows into a toddler, they may want to participate more. Let them hold the clean diaper until you're ready, give them a wipe and talk them through what you're doing to make them feel like they are a part of the process.
Of course, not all diaper changes are easy. But if you are aware of what is happening and make a conscious effort to bond with baby at every opportunity, both the easy and the hard diaper changes, it is a wonderful experience every time.