Crying During Diaper Change

Why Does My Baby Cry When Changing Diapers?

Does your baby give out murdering screams the moment you change their diaper? If so, then you have come to the right place.


This is something that many parents face and it often leaves them baffled as to why their baby is crying. There have been times where I have tried everything I can to stop my baby from crying but the only thing that helps is putting the diaper back on.


Babies will often cry to let you know that their diaper needs to be changed. However, the issue arises when your baby cries even more as they are being changed.


There are many reasons why your baby might be crying while being changed, and some of them are more obvious than you think. The ways to prevent your baby from crying are also simple and sometimes combining these tricks with each other will work best.


Again, as in every case when dealing with babies, see what works best with your baby. Every baby is different and will react in different ways. I can only speak from my experiences and help you through that but you will have to experiment a little bit yourself too.

Reasons for baby crying during diaper change

It is truly a hassle to change your newborns diaper, especially when they turn around and try to escape. Although this looks cute to people watching you, it certainly makes changing your baby a chore. Changing an infant’s diaper sounds like an easy thing right? 


Just remove the old diaper, clean their butts, and put a new one on but while you are doing these steps, your baby has other things in their mind. Most newborns will go through a phase where they absolutely hate a diaper change.


A few reasons as to why your baby might be crying: 

1. They might feel cold.

Usually, the reason for those screams while being changed is because your baby feels cold. Toddlers are tiny humans that are very picky and do not like sudden changes. They cannot control their body temperatures that well, unlike us adults. 


So when you suddenly take off your baby’s clothes and diaper and make them naked. They go from being nice and cozy to being cold and annoyed. This small change really bothers them and they make sure their parents know about their tiny annoyance.


2. Your baby is confused.

Try to imagine if one day someone randomly grabbed you, pulled down your pants, and then proceeded to put on new pants. You would be screaming too right?

It’s the same issue with newborns. They have no idea and cannot comprehend what is going on when you decide to change their diaper. As time goes on they will get used to the routine and they will hopefully cry less. 

3. Your baby wants to be in charge.

As all parents know, children are always trying to be adults and do their own little thing. This is usually fine as it leads to kids who are more independent. However, this causes an issue when you try to stop your baby from doing its thing to change their diaper.


If your baby was playing with something or doing anything, and you suddenly pull him away from that, the baby certainly will not be happy.


4. Preventing your baby from progressing.

Babies are always trying to do something new such as crawling or trying to walk. When you put them on their back to change their diaper along with the feeling of confusion, they get annoyed.


This happens because you are restricting them from learning these new skills that they really wanna learn. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change their diaper because that is also important but be mindful of what your baby is doing when you stop them.


5. Maybe your baby is just hungry.

Now, this is the least likely and least serious compared to the other issues. If your baby is crying due to hunger, then you won’t notice them screaming every time you change their diapers. 


This reason is usually easy to notice and most parents know when their child is crying due to hunger. If your baby is crying every time you change him or her, then this probably isn’t the issue. 

21 Tips To Keep Your Baby Happy During A Diaper Change

Keep Baby happy during diaper change

1. Do It With Efficiency.

Try to have everything near you and ready to use. Keep things such as baby wipes, and diapers near along with anything else you might need. 


It might even be beneficial if someone is near you so they can help you if you need it. Now, this doesn’t mean you change your baby’s diaper quickly. It means that you do it in a manner where you aren’t rushing and panicking about the diaper change. 


Your baby can feel when you are stressed about something and they will try to show their feelings through tears.


2. Keep Your Baby Warm.

Being cold was one of the reasons that your baby might cry while being changed. There are many ways you can keep your baby warm during a diaper change.


The best method is to keep some clothes on your baby, there is no need to take off all clothes when doing a diaper change. If you are forced to take off all clothes, then keep a blanket nearby to put on your baby so they stay warm.


Some people like to warm up their baby wipes before they use them on their children. This is a great idea as your baby will feel comfortable when they feel something warm on their body. Make sure to use clean water so that the wipes are not infected


3. Distract Your Baby.

To take your baby’s mind away from the diaper change, try to use things to distract them. Give them their favourite toy or give them something they can hold and interact with.


As long as the object takes their mind away from the diaper change that is happening, it will work. You could even let them hold an extra diaper as kids are fascinated by anything. Just let them be distracted while you finish your diaper change and get them cleaned. 


4. Warn Them About The Diaper Change.

Your baby probably hates being changed because you disturbed them from their activity. Imagine if someone pulled you away while you were having fun.


To prevent this, try telling your baby about the diaper change before they do it. Let them know that you are going to change their diaper before you do it. It’s even better to give them a minute to get ready for their diaper change.


After a while, you can just let them know you are changing their diaper and your baby will happily let you do it. 


5. Speak Out Your Actions.

As you convince your baby that you are going to change them, you need to let them know about everything that you are doing. Let them know that you are going to remove their diaper, let them know that you are going to wipe them.


This makes your baby feel safe and it makes them feel like they have a sense of control. Babies just want to have control of their bodies and by speaking out your action, they feel like they also have a sense of authority.

6. Have Fun With Your Baby.

A lot of babies will feel discomfort while you are changing their diapers. And some babies especially hate diapers changes as it brings them discomfort.


To get over this, try making it fun for your baby. You can do this by using things your baby likes such as superheroes or their favourite cartoon. I usually use anything that has their favourite character on it and let them play with it.


7. Make Them Laugh.

If you feel like your baby is stressed out during their diaper change then try to cheer them up. Do the usual peek-a-boo trick or try making funny faces at your baby.


Babies are usually really easy to make laugh. You can even get someone to help you with this which would make it way easier.


8. Change Them In A Different Position.

We always change our babies by putting them on their back but what if we switched it up? Maybe your baby really hates being put on their back.


Try changing your baby while they are standing or on their tummy. While standing it is easier to wipe their butts which is a positive for you. While on their tummy, be sure you let them breathe properly as your baby might put their face into the floor which would prevent them from breathing.


9. Point Out Random Stuff

This ties in with distracting your baby. Just point at anything and everything so that your baby’s mind is away from the diaper change.


Point at your baby’s toys or their clothes or even random furniture in the house. You can even point out facial features of yourself such as your eyes and nose.


10. Use Visual Items.

Find things such as toys that your baby really likes. I usually keep a blanket or cloth with their favourite character on it so they can play with it.


You could also give them a diaper to play with so they are distracted. Anything that stimulates their senses is a good item to use

11. Baby Creams.

Some babies might feel some discomfort while they are being changed: things such as irritation and rashes.


To help alleviate this, try applying some baby cream after you are done wiping them. This helps to remove any pain and cool off their butts.


12. Go Slower To Connect With Baby.

Although I did say to be more efficient, that doesn’t mean you should go super fast. Being efficient means having everything around you so you can do the diaper change without rushing.


Going slower means that you should do the diaper change at your baby’s pace. See how they react, and act accordingly. Along the way, try to talk with your baby and bond with them.


13. Be More Present.

As a parent, you might try to rush the diaper change because you have so many more responsibilities to take care of but this often makes your baby feel like you aren’t with them.


To help with this, try talking with your baby more and interact with them. Ask them what they were doing, ask about how their day was, or even just talk about your day with them. 


14. Give Them Some Control.

Babies want to have a sense of authority over their body, and they don’t like when you do everything for them.


You should let your baby choose which diaper they want to wear, and then let them choose which pants they wanna wear. This keeps them distracted and gives them a sense of control.


15. Don’t Move Them.

When you are changing your baby’s diaper, try not to move their legs around too much. Change the diaper with the least amount of movement that you can.


Some babies just don’t like being moved too much which is why they might cry during a diaper change. 

16. Role Play.

As we all know, babies have the most curious and imaginative mind compared to adults. They are always trying to imagine new and creative scenarios.


You can use this to your advantage by helping them imagine even more. Try giving them a scenario while changing their diaper. Talk about a scene with their favourite characters.


Use anything they love and make them imagine that the character is doing the diaper change. 


17. Build Up To It.

This also ties in with warning your child about the diaper change. Let them know a minute before that you are going to change their diaper.


This gives them some time to prepare themselves and finish their activity, and it also gives them a sense of anticipation. It also lets your toddler know that you respect them.


18. Make Your Baby Help You.

Try asking your baby to bring their diapers for you, make them bring the wipes for you too. You could even make them help you in making cloth baby wipes.


This gives them a sense of control over their body and makes them feel like they are part of the diaper changing process.


19. Act Compassionate.

Only parents can show this amount of compassion for their kids. However, you might lose that compassion while changing their diaper because you just want to get it done.


Try to get over that feeling, and be a bit more kind to your baby. Smile at them, laugh a bit, make a few faces, talk to them nicely, and just show them you love them. 


20. Give Them A Reward.

This one shouldn’t be used a lot as your baby might get used to getting rewards for everything but maybe offer them a snack or offer something they want for a diaper change.


You could even offer to play with them or give them a piggyback. The simpler the reward is, the better it will be because your baby won’t get hooked onto it. 


21. Get Someone To Entertain Them.

Ask someone to come and help you during the diaper change. If your baby has an older sibling, then ask them to help out with the task.


You could even put on a video from youtube and use that to entertain your child. Babies are intrigued by the simplest of things.

Entertain baby during diaper change

Some Possible Serious Medical Issues

The reasons listed above were simple things that are easy to prevent, and are things that could be obvious. However, if your baby is crying during diaper changes a lot, it could mean a more serious issue.


These issues are not to be taken lightly and will require medical attention from professionals. There are tests done for these diseases usually at the start by your doctor, but if for some reason they have gone unnoticed then this is a way to know.


Please try the above solutions first before you resort to thinking that your baby has some kind of syndrome. I don’t want to cause unnecessary worry in any parents as you guys already have enough worry.


These issues make the baby feel more pain when they are on their backs, which is why they might cry while you are changing their diapers.


The Medical Issues:

1. Colic

This is an issue that is quite common with newborn babies. Although nobody really knows why or how it happens, we just know that it happens in the gut area where all the digestion happens.


The severity can vary from baby to baby and most babies will cry a lot as they will feel pain almost every second. Colic usually fades away as your baby gets older but it is better to consult with a doctor about any precautions you can take.


2. Infant Acid Reflux

As an adult parent, you most likely have felt acid in your stomach and know that it isn’t a good feeling. The same thing can happen with newborns when their stomach is pushed upwards to the esophagus and throat.


As the food inside the stomach is mixed with stomach acids, it severely burns the inside of the throat causing intense pain to the baby.


This might be happening as you lay your baby on the ground to change its diaper which causes the food in their stomach to get pushed up.


3. Nerve Damage

If the delivery of your baby wasn’t as smooth, then your baby might have experienced damage to its nerves. As humans, including babies, have nerves along their backs, any pressure on those areas can cause pain such as when laying your baby on their backs.


This can also lead to future issues such as Erb’s Palsy and more nerve damage


4. Jaundice

This is a condition that can be found among a lot of newborns. It causes pain along the spine where if you lay them on their back to change them, it will certainly cause them pain.


Initially, Jaundice is not painful however it can be when left untreated. It can also lead to a rare type of brain damage if left by itself for too long.


5. Spina Bifida

This is another one that can cause damage along the spine and nerve. Just like the other issues, when you lay your baby on their back, it’ll hurt them causing them to cry.


Spina Bifida also causes your baby’s spine to grow abnormally which is what leads to most of the pain issues.


Now, most of these issues will most likely be diagnosed by your doctor at the start. These are all common things that doctors know to look out for.


If for some reason it goes unnoticed by your doctor, and you have a feeling that your baby is going through pain, just go get your child checked up. It is always better to be safe than sorry when dealing with newborns.

crying during diaper change

As parents, we know what is best for your children. If you think their crying is for pain, then please get them checked up. If you think it is because of some of the reasons I listed above, then try the tips I provided. 


If the tips provided do not work, then please see a doctor. Keeping your baby healthy is our number one priority as parents and getting them checked up is a big part of that.


What do you guys do to prevent your baby from crying? Share your tips with us!

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