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at my wits end with toddler nappy changes

(18 Posts)
BotBotticelli Wed 03-Sep-14 14:13:54

DS1 is 21mo for the LAST YEAR every single nappy change has been a total nightmare. He is so strong willed and boisterous and he just HATES being 'made' to do anything he doesn't want to do, ie. lie down and have a nappy changed.

I use pull ups to make it a bit easier so I can change him standing up (when it's just wee) but he HAS to lie down when there's poo, otherwise it would just go everywhere, I won't be able to clean him properly etc etc.

But everytime I try to change him he runs off round the house.When i catch him and try to lie him down he rolls off, twists, and runs away so quickly, and he's so strong now. I have to wrestle him to the ground, it's exhausting and i feel like a total failure for not being on top of this by now sad He has been like this since he could roll/crawl but now he's a big strong boy, 98th centile for height and weight and I am realy struggling to 'restrain' him. I hate using that word!! It sounds totally inappropriate but I just don't know what else to do. It's really getting me down.

His language and understanding is very good, he definitely understands what I want hime to do, but he just REFUSES. I am probably extrapolating too far but I am getting really worried about how I am going to effecgtively set boundaries and parent him as he gets older, if i can't even get this right sad

Please can someone help with some tips? Or do I just have to keep wrestling him until he's ready to potty train??

HaroldLloyd Wed 03-Sep-14 14:14:59

I'm sure I saw a strapped mat mentioned on a similar thread.

DS1 was very similar, he used to gouge and scratch at my hands.

ProfessorPickles Wed 03-Sep-14 14:16:43

I'm marking my place as DS has just turned 1 and nappy changes and getting him dressed is a nightmare.

Fingers crossed someone can come along and give you some advice OP, I'd like to nip this in the bud now but I have no idea how nothing seems to work!!

NewEraNewMindset Wed 03-Sep-14 14:26:37

I have a less than keen 21 month old who doesn't like nappy changes. Like you we use pull ups which take care of the wees.

When he has to lay down for poo changes I generally let him hold something, like a pot of nappy cream, he likes to fiddle with the kid. There are times though when the item I gave him gets thrown across the room and he has a screaming tantrum where he kicks and twists. At times like this I do restrain, I hold his hips and repeat no until he stops. Then he cries, then calms down and I can change his nappy.

Sometimes you do just have to be firm and cope with the fallout. It comes with the territory and does not mean you have failed.

NewEraNewMindset Wed 03-Sep-14 14:27:29


TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Wed 03-Sep-14 14:29:34

Could you train now?

ProfessorPickles Wed 03-Sep-14 14:53:50

NewEra - did holding your DS down and repeating no eventually improve the tantrums for next time?

NewEraNewMindset Wed 03-Sep-14 15:13:16

Professor he really doesn't kick off that often to the extent that I need to hold his hips/legs. I am quite a strict parent though when it comes to bad behaviour, so he knows that if my tone of voice changes he is going to get told off. I think that has helped as I can nip things in the bud quite early and I tend to be consistent.

It's so difficult to advise when it comes to toddlers kicking off as my idea of a tantrum and your child's interpretation of a tantrum are probably totally different. If you are at home just could always take his nappy off and rinse his bottom under the shower if you have one over the bath. I have certainly done that before if I knew he was going to make it impossible to change him properly and the poo was expansive. He loves the shower so thought that was great.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 03-Sep-14 15:16:52

Could you maybe start trying to potty train him already?

MiaowTheCat Wed 03-Sep-14 16:51:13

I resorted to putting a kid app on my phone and dangling my phone by its case from my teeth to try to distract DD2 when she was going through a particular pain in the arse nappy change phase!

HaroldLloyd Wed 03-Sep-14 17:27:22

Nothing much worked for me, but I think at this age your pretty much in the eye of the storm (or poonami) and as he gradually gets more rational and potty training at some point, it will only get easier.

Sounds a bit like DS very active and not happy about having to lie down for a second!

Boysclothes Wed 03-Sep-14 17:29:04

Does the old leg over the chest trick not work?

capsium Wed 03-Sep-14 17:35:30

If you are at home you could put him in the bath / shower to change which would hem him in whilst you 'hose him down' quickly.

LittlePink Wed 03-Sep-14 17:45:16

So the way I got round this was a totally different technique altogether. My dd was dreadful for nappy changes, I mean really bad. So for a year every nappy change was me sitting down with her faced down over my knee across it if you get me. And wipe front to back. Then using a pull up I would swing her round to a standing position in between my legs and pull it up. Then sit her on my knee to put on her trousers. It sounds complicated but it's not at all. However with your ds being so big and strong I'm not sure it would work and also as his bits are different to a girls so maybe more tricky but it definitely worked for my girl. Could be worth a try as it's more difficult for them to get away. I also would give her something to do at the head end like a book to look at or a toy. Having said all this she's fine with nappy changes in the last couple of months and willingly lies down.

notmuchofaclue Wed 03-Sep-14 21:17:16

My dd has never been a fan of nappy changes - when she doesn't want to do it, she makes it impossible. So I took the lazy way out, and bribed her. I'll often let her watch a quick Peppa Pig, especially if there's a poo. She'll also lie still if I give her something interesting to hold/a little book to look at. I once heard a suggestion to keep special toys/books that they love just for nappy changing, I think that's a good tip.

Justgotosleepnow Wed 03-Sep-14 21:39:40

I have a tall 16mo who knows what she doesn't want to do for sure. (Swimming on back is history now)

My new technique- pull ups. Stand her up by the sofa (leather luckily) put some exciting toys/ books on the sofa.
Get wipes out of packet & ready.
Get bag ready
Get new nappy ready
All standing at the sofa-
Shoes off trousers off
Nappy off (if poo rip it off each side v carefully so gravity keeps the poo in the nappy & bit much smeared on legs.) and if you catch it quick it's not mushed into bum either.
Wipe front to back (usually 4 wipes max)
New nappy on
Trousers on, shoes on
Nappy bag tied up.

Also try songs- we have the Hokey Cokey for trousers going on.
And for a while Alice the camel whilst nappy change.
Ie- Alice the camel has 1 tummy/ 2 legs etc.

Look into elimination communication too. Try diaper free baby website. If you start communicating now he might communicate back. I bet he will surprise you grin

scrivette Thu 04-Sep-14 21:01:36

Legs over chest worked for me when DS was particularly stubborn but it might be worth trying potty training.

AmyByTheTrain Thu 04-Sep-14 23:15:45

Oh dear. This sounds very familiar, except DS is only 10mo (it's been really bad since he started crawling 2 months ago) and I was certainly hoping it would get better without having to wait more than another year.

Sometimes a special toy or TV will get him through it, but often not. Once he wants to get away, he really wants to get away.

I usually do leg over chest on the floor, but when he wants to go, he squirms upward and makes room to flip, and then it's me chasing a half naked baby around the room with a nappy. Maybe I'm doing leg over chest wrong?

OP, you have my sympathy, and I'm not looking forward to my nappy-changing future sad

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