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Nappy changes are such a battle

(10 Posts)
BertieBotts Sun 09-Oct-11 12:58:05

I'm so fed up with this. DS has just turned 3 and every single poo nappy is a massive battle which often gets me really worked up before we even begin. I know this probably doesn't help, but even when I'm feeling calm about it he's a nightmare. It's the worst thing pushing my buttons at the moment and on a bad day I end up really screaming at him. Today I tried so hard not to shout that I ended up crying and pleading with him. Not a great improvement.

First I have to persuade him to lie down. I can't force him to lie down if he doesn't want to, as it's too hard to hold him still if he's also struggling to get away. So this is the first battle as he makes excuses, insists he's busy, asks for XYZ before he will lie down, etc etc. I have tried distraction. Tried bribery. Tried saying it will only take a minute and then he can play or whatever. The most successful is just saying "Oh well. I'll just wait until you're ready then." because at least I'm not standing there getting more and more cross about it, but he doesn't seem that bothered about having a dirty nappy so sometimes he will go off and do something else for ages, and sometimes I don't have the time to wait anyway because we need to do something, like go out.

Secondly, once he's lying down I have to contend with his wriggles and acrobatics and flailing legs everywhere and trying to get his hands in the way. I know he's perfectly capable of lying still as he can do it when he's in a good mood, but he just doesn't. This makes it really difficult and gets me really cross, especially when I'm trying to scrape the dried-on residue off his legs which he's created by running around for the last hour having either been avoiding being changed, or been so engrossed in his game he didn't come and tell me for ages.

Then he insists that it hurts if I have to so much as touch his willy, or his testicles. Again, if he's been running around for ages, sitting down etc, it's usually pretty ingrained so I have no choice but to clean this part as well. I am as gentle as I can be and even started using warm water on the wipes so that they were not too cold. He doesn't clamp his knees together to avoid it since this but he does complain and wriggle a lot.

I suppose I'm looking for advice about either how to make him STAY STILL or how to keep myself calm when he is messing around like this.

Oh, and potty training is probably never ever going to happen. Cries

MrsDobalina Sun 09-Oct-11 14:03:52

Your post made me grin cos I also have a DS who screams 'ow ow ow OWWWWWWWW!!!' if I even wave a wipe near his penis/testicles. I'd have more sympathy if I hadn't seen him pull his foreskin to double it's length in the bath while giggling.

I'm afraid I don't have any words of wisdom, just sympathy! DS is a bit younger than yours (now 2.5) and was exactly the same. I tried everything but 9 months later he just got better and it wasn't anything I did for sure.

I'm guessing you have good reasons re not potty training but wondered if your DS did poos at regular times like after meals? I'm not potty training but I put DS on the potty/loo after meals to catch poos and it sometimes works and they are a lot easier to wipe up without a huge fuss.

Good luck!

bran Sun 09-Oct-11 14:15:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDanverclone Sun 09-Oct-11 14:17:24

I would start by not giving him the option of when you are going to change his nappy, none of this, he's too busy, you'll just wait etc. You are making the job more difficult by giving him time to weld the poo to his bottom and other crevices. Dried poo can take on the same staying power of industrial concrete, if given the chance to dry.

So once you are aware that he needs changing, in the style of a rather jolly Mary Poppins, tell him you are both off to change his nappy because otherwise he will get sore, be uncomfortable etc. Be firm, insisting that you are going to change him, but don't get cross ( if you are feeling cross, try singing a song in your head as a distraction. Mine always used to be hymns for some reason!)

Get him to help get anything you need for the nappy change so he is involved. Mine used to enjoy setting a timer, to see if I could get the job done before the timer went off. If they squirmed I would remind them that the timer would win. I also used to keep special toys or objects just for nappy changing time, so that 'helpful' hands were occupied and the toy kept them distracted.

You could also sing during nappy changing, mine soon gave up the struggle when exposed to my delightful renditions of The Wheels on the Bus repeatedly. grin

effingwotnots Sun 09-Oct-11 14:19:35

Those rabbit mats look great! Are they rigid because I have visions of ds escaping my clutches and running around with a mat harnessed to his back....

effingwotnots Sun 09-Oct-11 14:20:07

Oops, re-read your post.... It's rigid blush

bran Sun 09-Oct-11 14:21:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MindtheGappp Sun 09-Oct-11 14:23:47

If lying down is a problem, how about standing up? If you use pull-up nappies, you can get away with having them stand up while you rip the sides.

Potty training will happen, and given that he's older, it will probably be quite stress free. He seems to be in control of his nappy situation, so once he decides that he is going to be a big boy, he will probably convert to pants without any, or with very few, accidents.

BertieBotts Sun 09-Oct-11 15:00:12

Potty training was going really well, and then we went on holiday and then when we got back I had to go into hospital unexpectedly and all of that unsettled him, he doesn't want to try any more. Even when he was doing well with wees, he always asked for a nappy if he needed a poo. He's not massively regular, but he does give a lot of warning, as long as I'm in the same room. As said in my OP if I'm not in the room he tends to carry on playing for ages and I don't always realise he's done one.

MrsD If I don't give him the option, he still has to lie down, unless I catch him and put him down, which means he's trying to get up and escape the whole time which makes it difficult. I have tried the cheery "Come on, nappy change time, no, not in a minute, we're doing it now, yes I know you want to play with your trains, but nappy first. Do you want to hold a train while I do it?" etc. A timer is a good idea though.

Those mats look intriguing! Standing up I think would just be more messy. He tends to poo once every 1 or 2 (or sometimes 3) days so it's often a lot.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Oct-11 17:09:27

Persevere with potty training. He's old enough to understand a bit of reason so 'You're not enjoying this. I'm not enjoying this. If you don't like having your nappy changed and I don't like doing it any more the only answer is . go in the potty or the toilet'

I'd remove nappies completely. Have a stack of clean pants handy and then see how it goes.

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