I know it sounds impossible, but sometimes I really miss diaper changing. My kids are now 4 and 6 and way past their diaper and potty training days (I wish I could also say the butt wiping was over, but I try to be honest here). While I would love to be able to forget some of the smells and sights I experienced, the bonding time and intimate connection you can have with your newborn and growing baby at changing time is something I wouldn't trade for anything.
I suggest making a cozy changing station somewhere at a comfortable height so you are not hunched over, with all the needed supplies within reach, toys or art for stimulation for baby. Here are some ways to ENJOY those special little moments with baby.
1. Change them at the right time.
Not every changing session is going to optimal for bonding time. More often the goal will be to finish the task as fast as possible, but if you find baby alert and ready to connect like after waking from a nap, these are the perfect times to slow down and take your time. Did you know that newborns have 6 different states of alertness? A lot of them have to do with sleep but when baby is in an active-alert state, take advantage and get in those sweet moments of playtime! An active-alert baby will have a relaxed face and body, bright eyes, and be responsive to sounds and sights. This little window is perfect to practice the following connection builders.
It doesn't matter how bad you think you sound, baby loves your voice. Talk, sing, make silly sounds, engage baby in little games like itsy bitsy spider or this little piggy... the changing table is the perfect place to lay them down and practice these tactile games. This provides them with a lot of stimulation, comfort, and a lovely connection between the two of you.
This is also a great place to give baby a little massage. Your doula can show you techniques or there are lots of videos of youtube on how to give baby a relaxing rub down. It is a great way to get more skin to skin time while also hydrating baby's skin or applying any creams that your newborn may need. Who wouldn't feel more connected after a nice relaxing massage?
Get baby to turn their head and balance those neck muscles by hanging high contrast art or dangling toys on either side of the pad. It is fun to watch their curious gazes and it's great for stimulating their eyes and brain!
We love to know everything about our babies. Take this opportunity to check out their little body for any changes, concerning patches/rashes, or just to soak in those chubby thigh roles. This is also an opportune time to get in some up close and personal face time. Relish in their amazement of you, soak up all that awe and give them that important eye contact they crave so much. You will be glad you noticed all the little things and a little sad to see how fast they change.
I could have sworn my first born was possessed. He would just stare at me so intently with no other expression. I wish someone had told me about awake-alertness! Newborns don't laugh, or smile, or really make many facial expressions at all in those early days. Be silly anyway. make funny noises, dance, be crazy, because that moment they do crack that smile and start to laugh is priceless.
Those moments of bonding with my babies built a strong foundation for our relationships today. So slow down in those special moments and get really fast at doing the actual diaper change part before they pee on the wall or ceiling, or dresser, or in their own eye... or yours.