My Newborn Hates Diaper Changes – How to Handle Diaper Changing Battles

How-to

Our mission at Tiny Fry is to give parents the best possible advice and support, and we often partner with companies that aim to do the same. Some links in this post may be from our partners. For more information, check out our affiliate disclosure.

You want every moment with your new baby to be perfect, but they don’t always have the same idea. Babies are particular and it doesn’t take much to set them off. So what do you do if your newborn hates diaper changes?

This is a common issue, so know that you're not alone. If you're having problems with diaper changes, first try to figure out the real issue and then look into fixing it.

Why baby hates diaper changes

If your baby is crying during diaper changes, there is most likely nothing to worry about. Take these ideas into consideration to empathize with your baby.

The number one reason why your baby hates diaper changes is probably the change in temperature. They go from a warm diaper enveloping them to the cool open-air rushing over their bodies. 

Your baby might also have diaper rash. Changing a diaper might aggravate his or her condition by making it more painful and uncomfortable for baby.

Your baby may just be hungry. Knowing how cranky you get when you’re hungry, think about how a teeny baby feels when their tiny tummies are empty.

However, the most likely culprit is that it simply feels different. For your baby, everything is new to them, so they may just be reacting to this new "sensation." ​

But whatever the reason your newborn is upset, there are several ways to make them feel better about it. Keep reading for our top tips.

Crying baby

Be prepared

If your baby gives you a hard time during diaper changes, try to make them as short as possible.

Gather everything you need, including rash cream, as this could be a separate issue that makes baby unhappy. With everything in reach, diaper changes should be quick, even if your baby is squirming. 

Sing

Sometimes babies hate diaper changes because they have a whole wide world to look at and they don’t want to be pinned down. Talking or singing to your baby during diaper change may be enough of a distraction that they forget they don’t want to be there. 

Other distractions

If singing and talking don’t do the trick, try other distraction tactics.

Newborns can’t see or do a lot so it doesn’t take much to distract them. A mobile above a changing table is one option, and they usually have music, which should keep your little one's attention.

Just being on the changing table will probably help expedite the process, which is another bonus. 

Check for rashes

Newborns may hate diaper the changing of the diaper because they have a rash or a sore bottom that is aggravated during the change.

If your newborn’s distaste for diaper changes is acute, check for redness in the area. Either way, a gentle, natural ointment can't do any harm.

Use a blanket

The biggest culprit when it comes to your baby getting upset during diaper changes is probably the change in temperature.

Imagine going from a warm diaper to the cold air in a matter of seconds. Place a blanket over your baby’s lower body to keep him warm, or look into a baby wipe warmer

Go fast

It may not matter what you do, and it's entirely possible that your baby just hates the experience. There's no need to drag it out any longer than necessary with thorough wipe downs after every potty. Clean what you need to clean for hygiene and then put a fresh diaper on as fast as you can.

Choose changing times wisely

A lot of times, a baby doesn’t give you a choice when it comes to diaper changing, but if you are on a diaper changing schedule, try to choose times that work better for baby.

A few examples would be right after they wake up before they are fully awake or right after feeding when they are content with a full belly. 

Baby holding diapers

Stay calm

This is easier said than done, but it's the most important of them all.

Your baby can sense negative energy, and if you're upset, they will be too. It's possible that your baby will remain agitated for a few minutes after a diaper change, and that's something you should expect. Take a few deep breaths and remember that this too shall pass. 

There's probably no single reason why your newborn hates diaper changes.

The best you can do is try to make it as comfortable and quick as possible to get them back in their comfort zone. Babies go through phases pretty quickly, and chances are this one won’t last long, so grin and bear it because your little one will be out of diapers before you know it. 

FUN, delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Tiny Fry newsletter and get awesome ideas for spending QT with the little people who make your world go round.