Reducing Distractibility Around Changing Pad Stations

Changing diapers is one of the hallmark activities when it comes to taking care of a baby. When designing a nursery, the changing station should always be placed strategically and in a location where the parent can easily stand. All items needed to change a baby such as wipes, diapers, Changing Pad Covers and other items as needed. A good diaper changing table with soft and easy to clean changing pad covers can make the whole experience much easier.

So what should parents look out for when setting up a changing table or changing pad station? Well in addition to the basics briefly mentioned above, there are a few other major things parents should look out for, one of those things is managing distractions. Minimizing distractions in Changing Pad Station is a good approach especially if your baby shows signs of being easily distractible.

Babies from as early as two months old are known for being easily distracted and some more than others. For example, when they are breastfeeding they can keep pulling away with every minor sound or activity. This is a passing developmental stage that can be quite a nuisance – it’s usually at it’s worst between four and five months. At around 2 months, your baby will become able to see things clear across the room. At around 3 months, he’ll start to stay awake longer and take a greater interest in the world around him. Your baby is also beginning to recognize that he is separate from mom. All of these things can result in a distractible baby. When a baby first becomes aware of the rest of the world they want to engage with anything they can lay their hands on. This is a fun stage and shows your child is developing well but it can be a challenge when you need them to stay still like when you are changing their diapers.

It’s best to keep the changing pad station free from possible distractions such as toys, keys, or anything you can think of.

Distractibility lasts even till the baby is around 8-10 months, and in cases of it happening a lot during breastfeeding, it can lead mom to think that her baby is trying to wean. If your baby is younger than a year, it’s highly unlikely that this temporary disinterest is self-weaning. It’s very rare for a baby younger than 12 months to self-wean.

Many moms find it more and more difficult to nurse a distractible baby, and sometimes even interpret it personally. At the very least, it’s frustrating to deal with a distractible baby while changing and it’s a bigger challenge in public or when a parent is in a hurry. It can also lead to sporadic or shorter nursing during this distractible stage can lead to a low milk supply, so do your best to get in a few decent feedings during the day.

Until this stage has passed, the baby may need a quiet place to nurse and/or more night nursing until he’s figured out how to deal with the distraction. Do take advantage of night nursing during this time – it doesn’t matter when the baby takes in his calories during a 24-hour period. One study showed that older babies can consume as much as 25% of their total daily intake of mother’s milk during the night, probably partly because of daytime distractibility.

Nursing in a quiet, darkened, room with calm lighting often helps. Talk in quiet, soothing tones and keep the distractions away. Nurse while lying down which is known as a nap nurse. Cover baby with a shawl or put him in a sling to nurse. Nursing while in motion such as walking up and down the room or on a  rocking chair can also help baby to focus better on nursing. Try to catch your baby when he’s more willing, such as when he’s just waking up, already a little sleepy, or actually asleep. Baby’s initial pulling off is probably not an indication that he is finished – just an indication that he saw/heard something interesting across the room. When he pulls off, try to coax him back to the breast a few more times before giving up.

If the baby is not nursing as much because of distractibility, make up for lost time by nursing more often during the night. Older babies may nurse better if you try different and novel nursing positions in which they have more control – baby standing up, sitting on your lap facing you, etc.

Other ways of reducing distractibility during nursing:

Breastfeeding Scarf: Another way to reduce distraction while breastfeeding is by using a breastfeeding scarf or a nursing cover or shawl. This cover isn’t really designed for the kind of coverage you need while pumping because it is intended to cover one side at a time. However, you could probably manage it in a pinch by single pumping. The coverage is especially useful when breastfeeding in public but it can also be used indoors if your child is particularly distractible.

360-degree Nursing Poncho: A 360-degree nursing poncho is a great option if you want to tackle handling and reducing distraction while breastfeeding. It also has other uses such as covering up when breastfeeding in public. This cover is really easy to use while pumping – if it weren’t for the noise, other people might not even realize what you’re doing. Take note that this cover is not ideal for the very warm weather; I think that if you were using it outside when it’s hot out, you could get a bit overheated, it is, however, it’s a great option for use indoors or in milder weather.