Diapering is a daily routine of any child care setting. It is also a key time to take advantage for communication and relationship building. When diapering it should be viewed as an intimate time to bond while completing an essential task. It is also vital for the health and safety of the child. Here are five tips that every caregiver should do when diapering.
Have all the supplies ready. When diapering it is important that you are prepared and have all the essentials at hand. A great tip is after cleaning the changing table down, place a napkin down, pull the needed amount of wipes out and place it on the napkin. This will help reduce the transfer of germs to the wipe container. You should also have the pamper and needed ointment, if necessary, placed out.
Talk to the child and explain what is next. It is a great time during diapering to build vocal and communication skills. All caregivers should be talking to the child and telling them what is happening. It is good practice to tell the child before you wipe that the wipe might be cold and you should ask the infant for permission to put the diaper on. This not only shows respect to the child as a person but also helps the child associate the word cold with the sensation. You are then building vocabulary and a personal connection with the child. Use the child's name, have a conversation, and you can even sing to the child.
Wash the babies hands and your own hands. When diapering there is a lot of germs that can be transmitted. It is essential that the infants hands are also washed with soap and water. This practice keeps the infant being changed safety but also everyone they come in contact with. It also helps start a healthy habit of hand washing after toileting.
Know what supplies belongs to which child. Parents send their child with the supplies they wish to be used on their child for a number of reasons. Some diapers or ointments can make some infants breakout and develop rashes. It is very important to know which diapers belong to which child. It is common practice to write the child's name or initials on the diapers. You can also purchase our Diapering Card that can be personalized for each child and is a guide to what should be used for each child. This is a practice that can protect the business from negligence.
Keep track of diapering for documentation. We are observers and it is important that we keep track of diapering and any key details. It is essential to document bowel movements and urination for health concerns. Many parents ask "Has he/she had a bowel movement in school?" With documentation you are able to answer in confidence and without hesitation. We use ClassDojo to keep track and it also allows documentation of time and frequency. If you would would like a hard copy version, our Infant Daily Report would be ideal.
Diapering is a relationship builder when done right. A child must be connected with their teacher and trust them in order to learn from the teacher. Diapering should be filled with smiles, talking, and love. Enjoy diapering and the most important change every caregiver has to make is to view it as a teaching opportunity and not a burden or disgusting part of the job. It is a teaching and relationship building opportunity that can help and support our children's development.
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Personal Experience Corner:
I enrolled a little girl at the age of 4 months old and I practiced these skills with her. When she was about 2 years old she started changing her dolls and she did the same things with her dolls. She could be overheard saying "Its cold get ready" and "Is it alright if I put the diaper on". When she started potty training we practiced the same skills. She then started potty training her dolls and used the same positive messages. They are watching us and will mimic our actions, words, and behaviors. So be mindful of what we say and do because they are our future and they are watching us!