The seven stages of nappy changing

So you have your baby, you’ve bought the nappies and wipes. Now what?

Nappy changing can’t be that tricky can it?

Don’t be fooled first time parents, it might be straight forward for a while but don’t bet on it staying that way until your little one can use the toilet on their own.


Stage 1

The scrunched up newborn phase – for the first two or three weeks it won’t be entirely straight-forward to change your little ones nappy because newborns tend to be all scrunched up and no matter how hard your try to stretch them out, their little legs will ping back.

Stage 2

The easy phase – this is brief so make the most of it PLEASE. Once they have un-scrunched you will have a short window of time to enjoy blissful nappy changing, where your baby lies still on their back.

Stage 3

The half twist – this is when it all starts to get interesting. Once your little one can roll, they may be trying to do so at every given opportunity, including when you are trying to wipe the poo from their little cheeks. In the early stages of the twist, you may be able to roll them back or even pin them down with an elbow, at least long enough to get that final nappy tab stuck down.

Stage 4

The full twist – OK so this is when it gets really challenging. You have to start putting nappies on back to front because your little one insists on completing a full twist before you have even got the dirty nappy off.  You cannot turn them back over because they are ninjas and will be back over on their tummies faster than you can blink. Do not wrestle them, you have all that to come, just put the damn nappy on back to front and be done with it!


Stage 5

The wrestle – damn this stage, the wrestle offers a full workout at each nappy change. By this time you have sacked off the changing table for fear that your little one will dive over the side and you are always changing on the floor. The disadvantage is that your now crawling child sees this as an opportunity to spin and wriggle and then crawl off at lightning speed, knowing that your knees cannot compete. You will find yourself holding onto one of your childs’ feet trying to get them back on the change mat.

Stage 6

The standing shuffle – to get over stage five above you may want to progress your child to stage six early. Put them in front of something that will distract them for a couple of minutes, stand them up and perform your nappy change up right.

Stage 7

Compliance – if your child is not yet using the potty or toilet, you may well have another few weeks/months of relative compliance. Don’t mistake this for stage two as it can breakdown at any moment if they realise they suddenly need a particular toy for example. For those who are not in a rush to potty train, you might find that your child will happily lie themselves down, legs in the air, ready to be sorted out. The alternative of course are the extra ‘helpful’ children who take off their own nappies and swing them around their heads before launching them at you.

Good luck- you might need it!

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  1. With a three month old and a two year old both in nappies, I can totally relate to this! We are at the easy with one and impossible with the other stage!! Nappy training is commencing very soon! Xx #TheList

  2. Spot on! We are currently at the tail end of Stage 7 with my 2yo. Unfortunately, not so much the ‘compliant’ variation as the ‘MY DO IT, MUMMY!’ ferociously independent variation. Pull-ups are great for wees, and she can almost do an entire change unassisted. However, pull-ups are horrendous for unassisted poo changes. Toilet training is imminent, needless to say!

  3. Haha, I am at full shuffle phase, also known as “chasing a naked baby around the house praying that they don’t poo while the nappy is off.” It takes about 20 minutes to change a nappy at times. Looking forward to compliance at some point in the very distant future!

  4. Love this post. I have a 10 month old grandson I care for 3 days a weeks and yes we now change him on the floor! He is at the compliant stage but I just know this won’t last……..

    1. That’s the thins isn’t it – you just start to relax and think things are getting easier and then boom, something else. Good luck and thanks for reading 🙂

  5. So glad my girls are potty trained now and I don’t have to deal with nappies anymore! cute are those pictures! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

  6. Our little boy is suspiciously compliant during nappy changing time, and I suspect it’s because he’s discovered his willy. So we do the ‘hello winky, byebye winky’ game, and now my daughter is insisting on waving bye bye every time I change his nappy. Also no one told us until about three days in that willies needed to point downwards when you put nappies on boys — we had a lot of leaks. (And on a totally unrelated note when did I start saying ‘willy’ and ‘winky’?) #bigfatlinky

  7. Ah yes! I remember it well. Spot on. They get to hate it and see it as an annoying interruption to their own exploration. Once potty training was one it was a relief (although it was harder for a bit). Brought back memories. thanks. #twinklytuesday

  8. My little girl is a nightmare at the moment when is the time of nappy changing! She won’t stay still at all! I’m finding it very hard! She walks since she was 10 months (now 1 year old) so I might start trying stage 6 with her. Let’s see how it goes!! LOL Great and funny post!! Thanks for sharing, xx

  9. Ha Ha this has cheered me up today. When my first son was born I was so scared of hurting him changing his nappy, that soon changed by about stage 3! #TwinklyTuesday

  10. Haha absolutely love this! Every part is so true! It also makes me incredibly thankful that I am past all of these! Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week

  11. I am in between stages with my 2 year old. He likes to try and kick me and will tense his legs as much as possible, and will then attempt to escape! Unbelievably frustrating, but the best thing for us to do is keep him distracted using various methods. It’s worked for us so far! #binkylinky x

  12. This is absolutely brilliant. I have officially hit all of these and in the last stage with MM then no more diapers. lol hahaha Love it. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

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