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It’s inevitable. Most little ones go through stages of hating diaper changes. Unless you have the rare child who is uncomfortable in wet diapers, most have no incentive to want a diaper change. Your toddler doesn't want an adult to swoop in and pick him up and disrobe him when he's busy with something. He will want to be more in charge of his body and his time.


Sometimes, simply slowing down and connecting changes everything. Sometimes, giving the child control is the key to avoiding a power struggle. Often, not interrupting their play solves the problem by meeting their needs as well as yours. And sometimes you will probably find yourself resorting to distraction.

Here's a list of 18 ideas to try, most of which will work sometimes or for awhile. You may find some good combinations that work for you:

1. Slow down

If you treat this as a chance to slow down and enjoy your child, he's more likely to enjoy the connection and therefore cooperate with the diaper change. If you rush through the diaper change like it's something unpleasant, he will react as if he is being held down and subjected to something unpleasant.

2. Connect with her

Children are always more likely to cooperate with us if we connect first. Take a deep breath. Get on your child's level and connect. Comment on what she's doing. Then, point out that her diaper is wet. Ask if she has noticed it. This gives her an opportunity to check in with her body. (This is a good foundation block for eventual potty learning.) She also feels, since you've connected, like you're on her side. You aren't just pushing her around, which of course would make her feel resistant.

3. Be more mindful

Mindfulness researcher Cassandra Vieten suggests that our ability to stay calm and connected during a diaper change models for our children how they can stay grounded in the face of their own discomfort. She stresses bringing compassionate, open-hearted full presence to the diaper change, rather than just rushing through it. In fact, she calls this the "Mindful Diaper Change Practice." (And you thought you didn't have time for mindfulness practices anymore!)

4. Give him some respect

Magda Gerber, founder of RIE, taught that even though babies can't understand our words, they feel the difference when they're treated with respect. So from the time they're infants, instead of just scooping them up, move slowly and explain what's happening.

Receptive language is about a year ahead of expressive language, so your son already understands much more than you think. And even tiny babies understand your tone of voice. If you do this from the time your baby is born, they have better associations with diaper changes and don't build up such resistance.

5. Give her some control and choice

Always ask, "Ready for a diaper change?" If she says no, say, "Your diaper is wet. Do you want to change it now or in three minutes? 3 minutes? Ok, let's shake on it!"

6. Get him laughing

Laughter reduces stress hormones and increases bonding hormones. So getting your child laughing for ten minutes is always a good strategy when you know you'll need cooperation. Before you start the diaper change, start roughhousing in a way that makes your child squeal with laughter. Chase him around the house, be completely silly. After ten minutes, make the diaper change part of the fun.

7. Help her transition

...by taking an object she's involved with and carrying it with you. For instance, "Let's drive the truck to the changing table!"

8. Don't make him move

If you can, use a portable changing pad and change him where he is playing, so there is less interruption to whatever's he's working on.

9. Don't interrupt his play

Play is your baby's work. Naturally, he doesn't want to be interrupted. Why not change his diapers standing up, if they're just wet? This will minimize the times that is necessary to ask him to lie down, so he is more likely to cooperate when absolutely necessary for messy changes. Since he may not be fully stable yet, pick a toy he likes and put it on the couch, and stand him against the couch. (I know it's harder than lying down, but if you practice, you get good at it. I did this with my daughter beginning at 11 months, until she was out of diapers.)

10. Invite her to a party

Most kids can't resist a party. Grab the drum, have a conga line, sing and dance your way to the bedroom: "Gonna change that diaper right off of your tush!" or "Happiness is a clean diaper" or whatever song gets her moving.

11. Let him do the walking

Many kids object to being carried off to be changed, but if you're making it into a party and he's dancing along into his room next to you in celebration, he's actively taking part in the plan, not feeling pushed around.

12. Ease into it by first diapering her doll or teddy

Let her help. Shower admiration on Teddy for how quickly he does his diaper change. Then say, "Your turn! Are you quick too?"

13. Ask for his help

Team up with your child to get the job done. For instance, maybe he would like to take off his own diaper? Kids love mastering new skills. Tell him what you are doing at each step and involve him, for instance, "I'm going to clean you off now -- do you want to hold the wipes?"

Ask him to put his feet flat and lift up his bottom so you can slide the diaper under him, if he doesn't want to, say, "Ok, I'm going to lift your bottom now to put the diaper under you."

14. Empathize

Say something like, "Does that feel cold on your bottom?" When your child gets upset, try not to get reactive. Instead, soften and stay compassionate. That way he'll know it isn't actually an emergency, and you understand and are looking out for his best interests.

15. Make it something to look forward to

When you absolutely have to ask him to lie down for a change, for instance when there's a messy diaper, have a basket of toys ready that he only has access to while you're changing his diaper.

You might even go hog-wild and find very small presents that you actually wrap in newspaper, and put in the basket. Every diaper change, he chooses one. What kinds of presents? Stuff you have around the house, or would have bought him anyway: Plastic measuring spoons or a funnel, small board books, little figures, a block with a letter A on it, a roll of masking tape, a broken cell phone, a plastic cup, Chapstick, colorful trinkets from Ikea, clay or playdoh with a plastic garlic press so he can make "noodles," a puppet, a tiny flashlight, little wind-up toys, stickers, an unbreakable mirror, you get the idea. You can even re-wrap things that he's left lying around and has forgotten about.

16. Depersonalize it

If this feels like a power struggle, depersonalize it by setting the alarm for three minutes. Tell her, "When the alarm rings, it is three minutes and time for your diaper change, ok?"

When the alarm rings, say, "Oh, listen, there's the alarm, it's been three minutes -- Time for that diaper change!" Then help her transition using one of the other ideas on this list.

17. Provide live entertainment

If he's fussing, try singing to him very softly. He will usually stop fussing to listen to you. Sing, dance, kiss his belly, blow down his neck, make as many silly faces and noises as you can. Somewhere in there, get the diaper changed as unobtrusively as possible.

18. Let him decorate

Keep a stash of stickers by the changing table. Every diaper change, let him choose one that he is allowed to put on the wall next to the table.

No one approach will always work, so you'll have to mix and match and be willing to try different things. But keep your sense of humor, and remember that this too shall pass. It will seem like the blink of an eye before you find yourself trying to get your six year old to take his bath!

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We spend a lot of time prepping for the arrival of a baby. But when it comes to the arrival of our breast milk (and all the massive adjustments that come with it), it's easy to be caught off guard. Stocking up on a few breastfeeding essentials can make the transition to breastfeeding a lot less stressful, which means more time and energy focusing on what's most important: Your recovery and your brand new baby.

Here are the essential breastfeeding tools you'll need, mama:

1. For covering up: A cute nursing cover

First and foremost, please know that all 50 states in the United States have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public. You do not have to cover yourself if you don't want to—and many mamas choose not to—and we are all for it.

That said, if you do anticipate wanting to take a more modest approach to breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must. You will find an array of styles to choose from, but we love an infinity scarf, like the LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Nursing Cover. You'll be able to wear the nursing cover instead of stuffing it in your already brimming diaper bag—and it's nice to have it right there when the baby is ready to eat.

Also, in the inevitable event that your baby spits-up on you or you leak some milk through your shirt, having a quick and stylish way to cover up is a total #momwin.

2. For getting comfortable: A cozy glider

Having a comfy spot to nurse can make a huge difference. Bonus points if that comfy place totally brings a room together, like the Delta Children Paris Upholstered Glider!

Get your cozy space ready to go, and when your baby is here, you can retreat from the world and just nurse, bond, and love.

3. For unmatched support: A wire-free nursing bra

It may take trying on several brands to find the perfect match, but finding a nursing bra that you love is 100% worth the effort. Your breasts will be changing and working in ways that are hard to imagine. An excellent supportive bra will make this so much more comfortable.

It is crucial to choose a wireless bra for the first weeks of nursing since underwire can increase the risk of clogged ducts (ouch).The Playtex Maternity Shaping Foam Wirefree Nursing Bra is an awesome pick for this reason, and because it is designed to flex and fit your breasts as they go through all those changes.

4. For maximum hydration: A large reusable water bottle

Nothing can prepare you for the intense thirst that hits when breastfeeding. Quench that thirst (and help keep your milk supply up in the process) by always having a water bottle with a straw nearby, like this Exquis Large Outdoor Water Bottle.

5. For feeding convenience: A supportive nursing tank

Experts recommend that during the first weeks of your baby's life, you breastfeed on-demand, meaning that any time your tiny boss demands milk, you feed them. This will help establish your milk supply and get everything off to a good start.

What does this mean for your life? You will be breastfeeding A LOT. Nursing tanks, like the Loving Moments by Leading Lady, make this so much easier. They have built-in support to keep you comfy, and you can totally wear them around the house, or even out and about. When your baby wants to eat, you'll be able to quickly "pop out" a breast and feed them.

6. For pain prevention: A quality nipple ointment

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the truth is those first days can be uncomfortable. Your nipples will likely feel raw as they adjust to their new job. This will get better! But until it does, nipple ointment is amazing.

My favorite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. We love that it's organic, and it is oh-so-soothing on your hard-at-work nipples.

Psst: If it actually hurts when your baby latches on, something may be up, so call your provider or a lactation consultant for help.

7. For uncomfortable moments: A dual breast therapy pack

As your breasts adjust to their new role, you may experience a few discomforts—applying warmth or cold can help make them feel so much better. The Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack is awesome because you can microwave the pads or put them in the freezer, giving you a lot of options when your breasts need some TLC.

Again, if you have any concerns about something being wrong (pain, a bump that may be red or hot, fever, or anything else), call a professional right away.

8. For inevitable leaks: An absorbing breast pad

In today's episode of, "Oh come on, really?" you are going to leak breastmilk. Now, this is entirely natural and you are certainly not required to do anything about this. Still, many moms choose to wear breast pads in their bras to avoid leaking through to their shirts.

You can go the convenient and disposable route with Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads, or for a more environmentally friendly option, you can choose washable pads, like these Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads.

9. For flexibility: A breast pump

Many women find that a breast pump becomes one of their most essential mom-tools. The ability to provide breast milk when you are away from your baby (and relieve uncomfortable engorged breasts) will add so much flexibility into your new-mom life.

For quick trips out and super-easy in-your-bag transport, opt for a manual pump like the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump .

If you will be away from your baby for longer periods of time (traveling or working outside the home, for example) an electric pump is your most efficient bet. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is a classic go-to that will absolutely get the job done, and then some.

10. For quality storage: Breast milk bags

Once you pump your liquid gold, aka breast milk, you'll need a place to store it. The Kiinde Twist Pouches allow you to pump directly into the bags which means one less step (and way less to clean).

11. For keeping cool: A freezer bag

Transport your pumped milk back home to your baby safely in a cooler like the Mommy Knows Best Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag. Remember to put the milk in a fridge or freezer as soon as you can to optimize how long it stays usable for.

12. For continued nourishment: Bottles

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when you know that your baby is being well-taken of care—and well fed—until you can be together again. The Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set is a fan favorite (mama and baby fans alike).

This article is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.

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A viral video about car seat safety has parents everywhere cracking up and humming Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

"I like safe kids and I cannot lie," raps Norman Regional Health System pediatric hospitalist Dr. Kate Cook (after prefacing her music video with an apology to her children."I'm a doctor tryin' warn you that recs have changed," she continues.

Dr. Cook's rap video is all about the importance of keeping babies facing backward. It's aptly called "Babies Face Back," and uses humor and parody to drive home car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"Switching from rear-facing to forward-facing is a milestone many parents can't wait to reach," Dr. Cook said in a news release about her hilarious video. "But this is one area where you want to delay the transition as long as possible because each one actually reduces the protection to the child."

Last summer the AAP updated its official stance on car seat safety to be more in line with what so many parents were already doing and recommended that kids stay rear-facing for as long as possible. But with so many things to keep track of in life, it is understandable that some parents still don't know about the change. Dr. Cook wants to change that with some cringe-worthy rapping.

The AAP recommends:

  • Babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
  • Once they are facing forward, children should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible. Many seats are good up to 65 pounds.
  • When children outgrow their car seat they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, between 8 and 12 years old.

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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

Suicide rates for girls and women in the United States have increased 50% since 2000, according to the CDC and new research indicates a growing number of pregnant and postpartum women are dying by suicide and overdose. Suicide rates for boys and men are up, too.

It's clear there is a mental health crisis in America and it is robbing children of their mothers and mothers of their children.

Medical professionals urge people to get help early, but sometimes getting help is not so simple. For many Americans, the life preserver that is mental health care is out of reach when they are drowning.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg just released a plan he hopes could change that and says the neglect of mental health in the United States must end. "Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal," says Buttigieg.

He thinks he can "prevent 1 million deaths of despair by 2028" by giving Americans more access to mental health and addictions services.

In a country where giving birth can put a mother in debt, it's not surprising that while as many as 1 in 5 new moms suffers from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, more than half of new moms who need mental health treatment don't get it. Stigma, childcare and of course costs are factors in why women aren't seeking help when they are struggling.

Buttigieg's plan is interesting because it could remove some of these barriers. He wants to make mental health care more affordable by ensuring everyone has comprehensive coverage for mental health care and by ensuring that everyone can access a free yearly mental health check-up.

That could make getting help more affordable for some moms, and by increasing reimbursement rates for mental health care delivered through telehealth, this plan could help moms get face time with a medical professional without having to deal with finding childcare first.

Estimates from new research suggest that in some parts of America as many as 14% or 30% of maternal deaths are caused by addiction or suicide. Buttigieg's plan aims to reduce those estimates by fighting the addiction and opioid crisis and increasing access to mental health services in underserved communities and for people of color. He also wants to reduce the stigma and increase support for the next generation by requiring "every school across the country to teach Mental Health First Aid courses."

These are lofty goals with a lofty price tag. It would cost about $300 billion to do what Buttigieg sets out in his plan and the specifics of how the plan would be funded aren't yet known. Neither is how voters will react to this 18-page plan and whether it will help Buttigieg stand out in a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

What we do know is that right now, America is talking about mental health and whether or not that benefits Buttigieg's campaign it will certainly benefit America.

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[Editor's Note: Welcome to It's Science, a Motherly column focusing on evidence-based explanations for the important moments, milestones, and phenomena of motherhood. Because it's not just you—#itsscience.]

If you breastfeed, you know just how magical (and trying) it is, but it has numerous benefits for mama and baby. It is known to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and cuts the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by half.

If this wasn't powerful enough, scientists have discovered that babies who are fed breast milk have a stomach pH that promotes the formation of HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells). HAMLET was discovered by chance when researchers were studying the antibacterial properties of breast milk. This is a combination of proteins and lipids found in breast milk that can work together to kill cancer cells, causing them to pull away from healthy cells, shrink and die, leaving the healthy cells unaffected.

According to researchers at Lund University in Sweden, this mechanism may contribute to the protective effect breast milk has against pediatric tumors and leukemia, which accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancer. Other researchers analyzed 18 different studies, finding that "14% to 19% of all childhood leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for six months or more."

And recently, doctors in Sweden collaborated with scientists in Prague to find yet another amazing benefit to breast milk. Their research demonstrated that a certain milk sugar called Alpha1H, found only in breast milk, helps in the production of lactose and can transform into a different form that helps break up tumors into microscopic fragments in the body.

Patients who were given a drug based on this milk sugar, rather than a placebo, passed whole tumor fragments in their urine. And there is more laboratory evidence to support that the drug can kill more than 40 different types of cancer cells in animal trials, including brain tumors and colon cancer. These results are inspiring scientists to continue to explore HAMLET as a novel approach to tumor therapy and make Alpha1H available to cancer patients.

Bottom line: If you choose to breastfeed, the breast milk your baby gets from your hard work can be worth every drop of effort.

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