17 month old throws fits during every diaper change--HELP!

I'm pregnant with baby #2 and my 17 month old is starting to act out. He gets really upset at every diaper change. He kicks his legs, screaming and crying. It makes the whole process take a lot longer than it should and it frustrates me so bad I want to cry. Is there any advice out there for getting him to calm down for the 2 minutes I need to change him? I give him toys/books to distract him but he's so mad he just throws them at me. How can I get him to cooperate? Please help!

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I would give mine a sticker with every change. I kept a special book of stickers and gave her one every time to hold and it  kept her quiet for the diaper change. You could also try a video or cool app on your phone. 

i'm having the same problem with my 16 month old! it's a nightmare. toys don't help. tv doesn't help. having someone to distract him doesn't help. the pets don't help. he fights and kicks and screams and rolls away and strains and arches and cries and howls and screams. i don't get it. i get so frustrated and it seems like there is no answer. bueller? bueller?

I'm having the same problem with my son. He just turned one on the 15th. Every time I change him he acts like its the end of the world. He's fine with me wipping him clean but the second I go to put his clean diaper on, he flips! Kicking, screaming, trying to roll over.. You name it! I'm also pregnant with my second baby who is due in march so my emotions are everywhere, I know what you mean by wanting to cry!! It should only take 2 minutes to change him but he drags it out longer than it needs to be. Let me know if you find the answer!

our son has a toy car that he likes to hold/play with while he gets his diaper changed in his room. it's the only time he gets to play with that particular toy so every time he's on his changing table he gets his car and it keeps him occupied long enough to get him changed. if, by chance, he's not in the mood for that i let him pick out a book. letting him pick out the book instead of just handing him any random thing on the shelf (which is what i tried at first) made a big difference.


often times, though, we're out in the living room when i change him so i'll turn it to a show he likes and the TV will occupy him long enough. i try not to use the TV as a tool for distraction, but i think that we can all agree that sometimes we do what we have to do. :)


burp - have you tried having a special bag or container of toys just for changing time (similar to what's often suggested for road trips)? or let him pick out the toy for the changing time? luckily i found that when my now 26 mo old went through that, it was a phase and after a few days it passed (it still comes and goes depending on hunger and tired level, but it's not a regular thing). hopefully you find the same thing!

I give my son something that I would not normally allow him to play with like my car keys, the remote control, the tube of A&D ointment, his dad's glasses, my cell phone (lol) whatever works.

Lol, this is what works for me too... I keep the lotion bottle, ointments, thermometers, etc. right by the changing table anyway, so giving those things that normally aren't for play has been working for me too.  Oh, and the remote control works big time too!

These are all great ideas, thank so much! I'll be giving them a shot and crossing my fingers something works. 

Today I put up some wall decals right above the changing table and he stared and pointed to them while I changed him. It worked for a couple changes today and I consider that a victory! 

Thanks again!

My kids sometimes do that... sing a song while you change their diaper, this way you distract them a bit.. count to 10 or sing the ABC's... good luck!

I know what you mean about acting out during a diaper change! Both my kids were far more interested in playing than in laying there for a clean butt. What I found works well is singing to the kids... anything will do, whatever songs you know have potential to interest the little one. I find that ordinary nursery rhymes, like Mary Had a Little Lamb work well, only I substitute my baby's name into the song, such as, "Elly had a little cat, little cat, little cat. Elly had a little cat whose fur was black as coal."

We really do have a black cat. My daughter always thinks the song is funny.

If my baby or toddler is having a really rambunctious moment, I will change him or her on the floor, sing, and GENTLY restrain the little arms with my bare feet as I hold one of the ankles gently in my left hand (I'm right handed). Stay very loose and move as much as you can with the baby. It takes some practice, but it helps the change if you're quick. Even that doesn't always work, but the toddler will soon realize that he or she can't get away, and will settle down for changes.

I have a 15 month old and around 11 months he decided he no longer would allow me to use the changing table so we moved to the floor but about a month ago he now does the same thing every one else is saying. I am always afraid people will think I'm beating him by the way he is screaming, he is otherwise a very happy child.  It has come to the point where I have learned and mastered changing all of his diapers while he is standing up.  I know it is letting him have more control but I got tired of having dirty diapers smeared all over him and the floor while he fought me.  He still tries to elude me when he sees me get the new diaper out but I put him in front of some toys and let him distract himself while I sit on the floor behind him, sometimes he will even stand facing me, it actually works very nicely and calmly. My son knows that I'm changing him and wiping and actually helps by standing still for me intentionally.   I try to see it as a compromise of sorts.  I am hoping he outgrows this stage because I truly hate it.  My husband can't quite do this so he still struggles with him.  I am glad to know that I'm not alone in this struggle.

Good luck!

I was so happy to read these postings today.  My 16 month old has been crying and throwing himself around for diaper changes for a month or so.  It's gotten so my husband and I were worried that something is wrong.  Do the wipes hurt?  Did he have a bad experience and is getting scared?  It seems like maybe this is just another stage of toddlerhood.  I have tried the special toy which usually doesn't work.  I am going to try having him pick out a book or maybe try the stickers.  Thanks for the good advice from everyone.

I could never chance my son lying down every since he could flip over.  I just have to adapt to him moving around, and sometimes chasing him.  Now I change his diaper while he stands up, but he just won't stand still. Most of the time I put him in front of table height toys to distract him and then put the diapers on.  If he poops, I soak him in a tub of water to clean him up. I don't have good advice, but I know your todder won't understand what cooperation is.


You might also want to put diaper rash cream on  him. He might be getting rash that you are not aware of since he kicks and cries so much. This is just based on my neighbor's experience


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