When a new baby enters your home, it brings the thrill of a lifetime. You have created (or adopted) a new life. You are the protector, the guide and the mentor for another human being. That precious baby will see the world based on the information you give him/her. You become a part of the overall immortal plan. Your training and teaching will determine how your child responds to life, the world, God, our country and on and on.
You also are faced with a ton of thankless, repetitive, boring and yes even disgusting tasks. You may laugh and enjoy your child but you will also clean up vomit, dirty diapers, spilled milk, food, spit….oh my, the list go on and on. One disgusted mother cried for ten minutes while she tried to tell me about her child smearing boogers under the edge of his nightstand. She was a spotless cleaner and couldn’t imagine how long that ugly mess had been there or how she was going to stop the habit.
Yep….Moms, Dads – the work is overwhelming.
But…did you know that diapering your baby (disgusting or not) can help your relationship? It can actually be a relationship builder rather than a deterrent.
O.k….stop scrunching your face. I know it feels like there is nothing that can make a diarrhea diaper seem better, but hear me out.
What if you looked at this “I’m going to restrain you so I can get the chore done” time as one to talk with and play with your child? What if you viewed this as a time to teach your child? Children are restrained easier when they are distracted. If you move their attention from the nurse with the needle to the talking dolly – the chore is over and done before they know what stabbed them.
Why not use your diaper time to coo, tease and talk to your infant? Rather than rush through the chore, rub his/her little belly with cream and create a song that lasts for the entire procedure. If it builds like Old McDonald, you can add to it as the child ages. Some like this…
Chrissy loves to look at mom, look at mom, look at mom.
Chrissy loves to look at mom and kiss her mommy’s nose (bend over and let her kiss your nose).
Chrissy loves to clap with mom, clap with mom, clap with mom.
Chrissy loves to clap with mom and clap away our blues. (clap your hands too.)
Chrissy loves to blink her eyes, blink her eyes, blink her eyes.
Chrissy loves to blink her eyes and wink a little too. (wink at baby
As you coo, cuddle, sing, tickle and basically make this chore a pleasant experience – you are building a relationship with your child. You are building a one on one that will help you later on.
When she’s a toddler and doesn’t want to sit still, you can rely on the need to sing and laugh with mommy to keep her distracted as you complete the chore. When she’s sick and miserable, your interaction with your baby will keep her occupied while the chore is completed.
Make changing diapers (or any difficult chore) a time of bonding, laughter and a source that builds your relationship.