Quality Nappy Times by Toni-Marie Brown
Changing nappies can sometimes been seen as a chore but in addition to meeting your child’s physical needs, it is also be an opportunity for learning and quality time together. It is a chance to have one to one interactions with your child and to give them your full attention whilst bonding and building on your trusting and caring relationship.
- You can do this by engaging in simple play activities like singing, rhymes and finger plays. Try pointing out the different parts of the body and repeating the words you use for example, “here are your toes on one foot and here are your toes on your other foot” Explain what you’re doing as you go along to help baby to feel involved in the process. The tone of your voice will help to soothe and comfort them.
- Build on their understanding of what is happening now and over time encourage them to predict what will happen next. As your baby gets older involve them in your nappy changing routine by asking them to collect the things you need such as the clean nappy.
- You can use non- verbal communication too such as eye contact and facial expressions, especially with very young babies. It is important to acknowledge and respond to your child’s communication by returning a facial expression or answering questions and offering reassurance that you are listening to them.
- If your baby fusses and squirms during changes, hang a mobile over the changing area for distraction but keep it well out of reach. You can also put up pictures or mirrors for your baby to focus on, or give them a small toy to play with. High-contrast patterns and bright colours are easiest for new-born’s to see.
- You can support your baby as they grow to develop their self-help skills, for example hand washing and dressing. Explain and have conversations about why it is important to wash hands for example and encourage them to recognise the feelings of achievement and satisfaction that go with these by offering lots of praise for their efforts.
By their needs being met through such a positive way it builds on your child’s sense of trust and security and nappy changing time can be an enjoyable experience for you both.
My name is Toni-Marie Brown. I work for Busy Bees Day Nurseries as a Childcare and Curriculum Advisor, and prior to this role I was a Nursery Manager for the company. I gained the Early Years Professional Status following the BA in Early Years Care and Education at Kingston University. I have over 15 years’ experience in the sector and draw upon this in my work to support Nursery Managers and practitioners to build on the teaching and learning taking place in their settings to ensure the best possible outcomes for all the children that attend them.