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Why does my 9 week old keep freaking out on the changing mat?

(13 Posts)
RooneyMara Thu 07-Mar-13 18:43:55

He's not done it till this week. I put him on his back for a nappy change and he seems to be ambushed by the startle response, and flings his arms and legs out looking really scared.

He's done it loads since about a week ago. I normally settle him by placing my hand on his tummy but he still looks perplexed and worried till it's all over and he's upright again.

Any ideas what's causing this?

RooneyMara Thu 07-Mar-13 18:44:34

Btw I'm not putting him down roughly. And he often seems to do it when he's been lying there a while - just spontaneous, iykwim?

StitchAteMySleep Thu 07-Mar-13 18:45:25

Is it cold, have you got a towel you could put over it?

RooneyMara Thu 07-Mar-13 19:04:36

I wondered that, and yes it is cold but I tried it with a towel etc and it seemed to make no difference - he still does it? Even when he has been lying on it for a bit - he just suddenly flings himself into a little starfish sad

notso Thu 07-Mar-13 19:11:17

I used to change DS1 with a beanie baby on his tummy to stop him doing this, read it somewhere and it worked.
You could try to change him on your knee but it took me until DC4 to perfect this and my lap has probably got four sizes fatter.

OddBoots Thu 07-Mar-13 19:12:23

How is he when you put him down to sleep?

RooneyMara Thu 07-Mar-13 19:32:38

Notso smile I think mine has too! Might try the beanie thing though.

Oddboots - he seems not to do it in other situations, although he doesn't particularly like being flat - it doesn't make him startle though.

I wondered if it's to do with being naked? Maybe he is actually cold, full stop. Would that trigger the startle reflex?

notso Fri 08-Mar-13 13:51:41

Glad it's not just me Rooney
It's probably the nakedness mine three boys all startled loads when naked on the phototherapy machines for jaundice and that was really really warm. The nurses made little nests around them so they felt more enclosed.
You could try that or you could also try swaddling his top half with something so he feel less exposed. smile

Lotta1234 Fri 08-Mar-13 13:58:06

Is the light too bright? We found dimming the light helped our daughter. Took us ages to twig it was the bright light making her squirm.

RooneyMara Fri 08-Mar-13 18:40:49

Ooh good point Lotta, but our lights aren't on the ceiling and I on't think they get in his eyes as they're high on the wall behind him, and the bedstead blocks the light.

Notso - sorry your little ones had to go through that. It must have been hard for you. Yes I think you are right - I think it is being naked and exposed, he seems to do it mainly when I have had to remove the clothes as the nappy has leaked up the back.

Why didn't I think of this? I'll do what you suggest and try and cover his top half and hope that helps. I seem to need four hands with this baby! smile

Thankyou x

gloucestergirl Fri 08-Mar-13 19:58:14

The first time I saw tears in DD eyes was when she was on her back on the changing mat at a couple of weeks old. She still sometimes gets upset. I use distraction - singing the wheels on the bus and using her legs for some of the actions, a toy, tv or dummy! Now she is standing I try to dress her standing up rather than lying down. Maybe you could dress your LO sitting up if possible.

notso Fri 08-Mar-13 20:16:34

Hope it works for you, I can totally remember that perplexed look you mention.
Newborns should come with an extra set of hands for the parents! smile

vamosbebe Sat 09-Mar-13 09:16:13

I have the same problem with DS and at 15months he hasn't changed! Changing him in public is an absolute nightmare and he screams like he's being murdered - the looks I get sad

Our paediatrician told us not to let him stand up to be changed as he's just trying to control us with protests and crocodile tears - I think bollocks and sometimes change him that way, after a wee, for less stress to both of us.

Try many things, brace yourself in case it doesn't improve (sorry!). And fingers crossed our DC are REALLY enthusiastic about potty training! Good luck.

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