How can you stop baby crying when you change his diaper?

In collaboration with Rokiyah Hosen

Relecture professionnelle

Does your baby start crying and wriggling around when it's time to change him or her? A common situation for many parents, but one that can be very stressful. Here's our advice on how to make changing your baby a pleasant experience.

Why does baby cry during diaper changes?

According to scientists, the first three months of a baby's life are when he cries the most, and when his cries are the most intense. Your little one may cry when you change his diaper.

During the first few months of life, baby's crying patterns follow curves:

  • At around 2 to 3 weeks of age, your baby's crying starts to intensify and become more and more frequent;
  • Between 6 and 8 weeks, crying peaks;
  • Then, until the baby is 12 weeks old, crying diminishes.

On average, a baby cries for two hours a day. Some babies cry more often at different times, depending on their temperament.

During the first three months, a baby will often cry and then stop suddenly, without really understanding why. This happens particularly in the afternoon or early evening. Your child may also cry at night. Sometimes, parents can't understand why their baby reacts like this. On average, attacks last 45 minutes, but can last up to two hours. There's no need to feel guilty if this happens to your child: crying is normal and not your fault.

According to some studies, babies use crying to express their various needs - hunger, discomfort, boredom, pain , etc.

Although other scientists disagree with this view, babies can express different needs through crying, such as:

  • Pain ;
  • hunger;
  • Discomfort, such as the need to be changed, or to feel hot or cold;
  • Fatigue;
  • The need for stimulation;
  • Or the need to be close to a parent.

Babies can also cry when they're ill, if they have a fever, a blocked nose, or when their first teeth appear.

Finally, some scientists say that the intensity of crying indicates the intensity of the need, rather than the need itself. But this view is not universally accepted.

How to prevent baby crying during diaper changes?

Although crying during baby's diaper change is a common occurrence, there are some simple tips you can put in place to limit it.

Choose the best time to change your baby

If you pay close attention to your baby's behavior, you'll realize when is the best time to change him. In fact, to avoid tears, it's (logically) best to choose a time when your baby is calm.

Regulate the room temperature

When changing your baby, check that the room temperature is appropriate. Indeed, once your baby is undressed, his body temperature drops very quickly, which can cause him to cry. We recommend a room temperature of around 24 degrees Celsius at all times.

Choose a comfortable diaper suited to your baby's size

Sometimes, your baby may cry because his diaper no longer fits. You should choose a diaper size adapted to his age and weight.

The same applies if you change diaper brands or models and the diapers are not comfortable enough.

Have fun during diapering and listen to her emotions

To make diaper-changing more enjoyable, it's best to have toys on hand to distract your baby. Some babies also find it easier to change when a third party is present.

Put him in clothes that aren't too tight

If you give your baby clothes that are too tight, he or she may find them difficult to put on and take off. It's best to choose loose-fitting clothes that open at the front to give your baby more headroom.

What to do if baby is still crying?

If the above methods still don't work, here are some other tips you can implement:

  • Talk to your baby in a reassuring way;
  • Hold and rock your child;
  • Give your baby a bath;
  • Touch his tummy;
  • Provide a calm environment by reducing ambient sounds and dimming lights;
  • If you are breast-feeding your baby, you can breast-feed him;
  • Have skin-to-skin contact with your baby;
  • Take your baby for a walk, in a baby carrier or stroller;
  • Swaddle your baby;
  • Lay your child on his stomach and on your forearm;
  • Stay calm: if you're stressed yourself, your baby can feel it, and that can make matters worse;

Moreover, if you feel that you're losing patience, that anger is rising, ask your partner or a third person to take your baby. If you're alone, put your baby to bed and move to another room to try and calm down. Go back from time to time to check that he's safe and that everything's okay, but it's better to let your baby cry on his own than to lose patience and shake him.

Never shake your baby- the damage this can cause is serious, irreversible, can affect your child's development and can even kill your baby. Wait until you're completely calm before going back to see your baby.

If you're having trouble, don't hesitate to ask specialists for advice, and in a crisis, call numbers like LigneParents, available 24/7, or ask friends and family for help.

FAQ to stop baby crying during diaper changes

Why does baby cry when you lay him on the changing table?

When you lay your baby on the changing table, you can try changing him sitting or standing, putting the changing table on the floor to prevent him from falling.

Why does baby cry when I put on his clothes?

Your child may start crying when you change his clothes, which may mean, for example, that his clothes are too tight and that he's not comfortable in them.