Changing any baby's nappy is an acquired skill and can be a very steep learning curve, but if you've got a wriggler, you need all the help you can get!
Knowing how to change a wriggly baby's nappy can help you to get the job done faster, with less distress for baby and parent, and less clean-up afterwards too.
Here's our guide to how a Mama Shack wedge changing mat can help keep your little one in one place for those crucial seconds you need to tape their new nappy into place.
What do I need for a nappy change?
It sounds obvious, but make sure you have everything you need within easy reach, before you start the change.
That means items like:
- Anti-roll wedge changing mat
- New clean nappy
- Nappy bag for the old nappy
- Baby wipes for clean-up
- Barrier cream to protect baby's skin
You should also have a way to clean your hands immediately afterwards, and if possible a change of clothes for yourself, just in case.
Are wedge changing mats better?
Mama Shack wedge changing mats not only keep wriggly babies centred, they also offer some padding
to prevent baby bumps.
An anti-roll changing mat should be a key addition to your at-home nappy changing starter kit. When out and about, you might prefer a more compact foldable changing mat.
Either way, having a dedicated changing mat means you know exactly where you want your baby to be, and should help to contain any mess until you can clean it up too.
Where's the best place to change a nappy?
If your baby is especially wriggly, try to change their nappy on the floor to reduce the risk of them wriggling their way into a fall.
When it doesn't seem safe or hygienic to use the floor, try to use a designated nappy changing shelf in a public bathroom or changing room.
Always keep a close eye on your baby when they are above ground level, as it only takes a moment for them to wriggle off the edge - don't rely on any straps provided on the changing shelf.
How can I distract my baby?
Older babies are likely to be more mobile than newborns, but they can also be distracted more easily as they're more aware of their surroundings.
Mama Shack wedge changing mats come in a variety of brightly coloured prints, from geometric shapes to animal patterns you can use to hold your baby's attention.
In August 2022, researchers at the University of the Basque Country found that babies as young as seven months can recognise symmetry but will spend longer looking at asymmetrical patterns - something you'll find in many Mama Shack prints.
What if it all goes wrong?
Don't panic. Every first-time parent has a disastrous nappy change or a clean nappy that just won't stay on at some point, especially with a wriggly newborn.
Stay calm and if necessary, start over. It's a steep learning curve but with the right supplies in your newborn essentials changing kit, you'll get there sooner than you realise.