Dressing a wriggly child can feel a bit like dancing with an octopus. Too many arms and legs, and everything seems to be moving at once. If you’re struggling to keep up at change time, try these simple tricks:
1. Look for things that slip on, zip up and pop off
In other words, forget about fussy buttons and layers. If you have a little escape artist on your hands, what you really need are simple, streamlined clothes that you can slip on them while they’re in mid-step. Zip-up onesies are perfect for babies. As for toddlers, look for stretchy tops (with wide neck holes), easy slip-on pants or skirts, and velcro shoes that don’t require any fiddly lace-tying.
2. Try nappy pants
Once your baby starts rolling around, nappy changing can become really challenging. Instead of battling it out on the change table, consider switching to a pull-on style of nappy. You can use them on babies as young as six months old, and all the way through the toddler years. They basically go on like pants, and have all the absorbency of a regular nappy. The big difference is you can get them on (and off) in a matter of seconds.
3. Look for distractions
You’ve got the quick and easy clothes, and the nappy pants, now all you have to do is stop your baby in his tracks long enough to make the change. Easier said than done when they’ve moved off the change table and are running at high speed. Distractions help. Think toys, snacks, songs. If all else fails, you might have to just tag along behind them and do a quick makeover on the run.
4. Get them involved
This one can be hit or miss, but sometimes, giving your toddler a (very limited) choice of clothes can dial down the drama. Around the ages of two or three, many children want to start dressing themselves, and while it’s not always easy seeing shoes go on the wrong feet, it’s a great way for your child to start exploring their independence. Take a deep breath, be cool about the clashing colours, and be glad that they’re at least wearing something.
5. Stay organised
Having an organised change area and clothing storage system does, without doubt, take some of the pain out of dressing your child. For babies who are still on change tables, this could mean having some readily accessibly shelves with all your changing supplies and onesies at hand. For toddlers, you’ll need a bit more storage, so a wardrobe or a good set of drawers are invaluable for all those adorable clothes and shoes they’re going to be growing into.
6. Let a few things go
A wriggly, confident baby is a good lesson in letting go of the small stuff and embracing the chaos. Sure, it would be really nice to get them into that new dress with the twenty buttons. But for today, the buttons can wait. Grab the simple clothes, switch to some easy nappy pants, and enjoy keeping up with your little one.