Diaper Changes are Parent-Led Moments

I’m old-fashioned.  Give this idea of teaching and simplifying some thought and then do your own thing.


Diaper changes are not “baby-led” moments.    Diaper changes are parent/caregiver-led moments.


In our culture, sometimes parents don't do enough to teach and require that babies to lay still for a diaper change.  Laying still for a diaper change needs to be taught with 100% consistency from an early age, usually beginning at around 4 or 5 months old or whenever baby beings to be physically able to start to roll away from you during a change.   Babies are wired to learn but they need to be taught in order to understand what the expectations are.  Even the flipping acrobats can learn, but the diaper changer needs to lead and teach consistently.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that baby will lay still for the daycare provider but turns into an alligator when you try to change his diaper.   There is a reason for that.  The caregiver has required a certain behavior and baby has learned.  Be strong, momma.  You’ve got this. 

Windows of learning are early. Teach that laying still is required from the very first time baby wants to roll over during a change and be consistent, using whatever method of discipline you choose for you baby's personality and for your family’s parenting style.  How? It varies.  A sharply spoken “stay!” with your hand on baby so that baby understand what you mean can work for some little ones.   There are many methods of teaching and baby personalities are all unique.  Different babies will respond differently to different teaching methods so read your baby to find out what teaching method will work for both of you and then do it consistently.  Most typically-developing babies really do learn to lay still if taught with consistency.

Distraction is great and it is effective but it isn’t enough and isn’t a substitute for teaching. At some point the distraction-only method will fail you. The right toy won’t be available or suddenly the distraction that worked yesterday is no longer interesting today. At that moment, baby needs to already know how to lay still and stay put.  Be bold. Teach your baby what is required of them at a change.

Baby might not like laying down still for a few moments but that's part of life. There are lots of things we don't like but we have to do in life.  Diaper changes are parent/caregiver-led moments and it needs to be that way to keep baby clean and safe.  And yes, clean diaper changes are an important safety-thing.

When baby has learned what is expected at a diaper change and baby is able to lay still for a moment to change a diaper, diaper changes are faster, easier and happier for everyone.  Now you will be able to master pinning prefolds or flats.   

We give away free pins with prefolds and flat diapers when you add them to the cart.   Try pinning.  Snappi Fasteners are another way to fasten a prefold diaper.  A stash of all prefolds will help keep you free from washing issues and save you money too.   A prefolds-only stash is easy to wash.    

We hear many customers say, “I didn’t try pins until my third baby was born.  I wish I’d tried pinning prefolds sooner.  I could have saved a ton of money.”   A prefolds-only stash could save countless hours of laundry work, too. Try pinning! It really works.  

Sincerely, Karen



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  • Heidi

    I agree with you and appreciate your willingness to write this. When my first baby was still little, his pediatrician (who must also be old-fashioned ;)) made a point of teaching the importance of training your child during diaper changes … and in obedience in general. Some of my babies took a lot more training than others, but they’re all different as you said. It’s good for our babies, and everyone involved in their care. :)

  • Claire

    What can you do if you didn’t successfully teach baby to stay still and now you have a toddler who is an alligator… 🤪

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16 page how to wash cloth diapers booklet

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