Ways to Keep Baby on the Changing Table

We’ve been through quite a bit of changing table drama over the last 11 months. Apart from the time that baby fell from the changing table (my fault…), most of the skirmishes have occurred table top.

When baby started to want to flip on the changing table at about 5-6 months of age, we distracted her by handing her light-up and colorful toys whenever she got antsy. That worked wonderfully for a while. Then at about 8-9 months of age, she started to fuss when we tried to change her clothes on the table. By this stage she could sit up well unsupported, so it turned out that she much preferred to have her clothes changed while sitting. Go figure.

The most recent battle we fought was when she turned 10 months. She suddenly started to kick, fuss, wail, struggle violently and attempt to flip or push back with her legs, whenever we tried to put her down on the table. It happened the moment her head hit the changing table, and didn’t matter what time of day it was. We tried to give her different toys, thinking she might have gotten bored with the current ones hanging from the changing table. That didn’t work. She just threw them away or it only briefly held her attention (even the colorful, music playing Einstein music toy). It got to the point that even when we lay her down in the play area she would start fussing loudly. It was extremely frustrating as we couldn’t figure out what was going on.

Finally after some research on the internet, we tried a different technique. We decided to give her lots of positive reinforcement and make it into a game. First, in the play area we modeled for her what we wanted. We lay down and counted till 5, then got up and made a big celebration over it. Then we lay her down and counted till 5 and made a big positive fuss over her when she cooperated. Then we stretched the time to 10, 15, and 20 seconds. On the changing table, we practiced this as well, counting or singing the Alphabet song very slowly. Miraculously within a day or two, she started to cooperate and stayed calm for the most part on the changing table. Now a week later, she hardly fusses at all, even when we needed more time to clean a poopy diaper. Hope our experience helps you!