9 month old hates clothing and diaper changes

My otherwise happy 9 month old absolutely hates having clothing put on/taken off and having his diaper changed. He also hates being wiped down after meals, whether with a damp cloth at his high chair (I know this isn’t preferable but sometimes he is just toooo messy to pick up after feeding himself!) or at the kitchen sink. He is very strong and active, so while I feel bad that he whines, a bigger issue is my physical inability to safely keep him in place to carry out these activities. Think, about to fall on the floor by flipping himself out of my arms or spread poop everywhere because I can’t wipe him down in time during a diaper change. Is this normal behavior for an active boy at this age? It is really difficult to deal with, making it such an unpleasant chore to dress him (now that it’s warmer sometimes I resort to leaving him in just his diaper) or change his diaper (which has to be done, but how?? Toys, phone, noise, other distractions don’t cut it). I don’t know if this is something that an OT could help with? I don’t know if this is a sensory thing, and if so, how to help. Any suggestions would be so appreciated!

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Ahahaha, my 10 month old is just like that!
I change diaper and dress him while he is standing or crawling, and he hates it.

The only useful tip I have so far is how to put sunscreen or other cream on a running-away-baby - use a big makeup brush, not fingers! He loves the brush. Before I started using this tip, putting any cream on him was next to impossible :slight_smile:

Oh, my 13 month daughter is this way too! We got her washcloths that she likes ( Sesame Street)… that helped for 4 months (which please read that as it helps make things easy for 4 months so it worked haha). We have songs that we sing for sunscreen and washing face. That sometimes helps. I find her videos on my phone for changing and that gives us both piece of mind. She gets it for 15 seconds at a time which is 2 minutes out of the day and I’ll take that over the stress for both of us. Lately, 4 pacifiers at once help, too. I’ve read changing in the floor helps, but not for my LO bc she goes everywhere.

I think on the whole, I’m going to try to find ways that she can be more helpful in the process. Otherwise, I’m going to find some social stories or make pics of her doing stuff. Let me know if you find anything more that works!!

@Kristen2008 my son was very much like this too! I’m assuming he’s crawling everywhere at this point, so it’s likely he doesn’t want to stay in one place to get changed, he wants to be on the go :slight_smile: I actually remember a huggies commercial that addressed this… it was a promotion for a diaper that slides on, sort of like a pull up, so that moms and dads could actually pull the diaper over the hips while the baby was crawling away lol

As far as the washing up goes, maybe tray offering him a wet washcloth too and see if he will wipe his face and hands. I’m sure he won’t be too thorough, but he may like having some fo the control. Let us know how it goes!! :slight_smile:

@Kristen2008 my son is still like this, too! He does NOT like having his diaper changed, and it can be a battle sometimes. I always change him on the ground (for safety) in an area that I can easily clean up if a little poop gets on it.

Here are a few tips we posted on our Instagram feed that may help - and remember, diapers aren’t forever!!

A few tips and tricks to try to help make the experience less frustrating!

:sparkles:Try using a special toy or a favorite book that is ONLY for diaper changes! Baby will learn that they get to play with something they love while you are changing them.

:sparkles:Give your little one advanced warning - tell them that it’s time for a diaper change before picking them up! Explain to them what you’re doing in real-time “time to put on a new diaper!”

:sparkles:Babies can go from cooperative to not so cooperative as they get older and realize they have to take breaks from playing, which is not so fun! Let them know they can play again when you’re done! Use our “When, Then” phrase - “when the diaper change is done, then you can play!”

:sparkles:Choices - give baby choices between two different diapers? It provides toddlers empowerment, and even babies can benefit from looking at different objects!

:sparkles: Sing a song! Songs are a great way to engage babies/toddlers, and we love all the language benefits!

Becky + Stephanie
Tiny Talkers, LLC

Those are great tips! Thank you!

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Thank you, everyone, for the advice and solidarity! Comforting that I’m not the only one struggling with this :joy: one thing I’ve discovered over the past couple days that helps a little with cleaning up after meals is that if I hold a damp kitchen towel between my hands and approach him making chomping noises and pretending my hands are a mouth coming to “eat” him, he will be too busy laughing when I engulf his hands to realize that I’m actually quickly wiping him down. Maybe this will work for someone else too, if only for a few meals! Thanks again for your replies!


Yes!! The art of distraction and fun is perfect! Glad to hear you found a way to make diaper changes a little easier for you :slight_smile: