As exciting as new milestones can be, they also can present new challenges. “Around the age of 5 or 6 months, when your baby has mastered rolling over, she’ll want to explore and see what’s going on, not stay still,” says Ari Brown, M.D., a pediatrician in Austin, Texas, and co-author of 2007’s Baby 411. “This can make diapering a chore.” Try the following mom-tested strategies to keep a busy baby still—and you clean—while cleaning a messy bum.
1. Keep a favorite toy nearby.
Reserve one or two toys to be used only on the changing table; your child will (hopefully) see them as treats and stay occupied. Find a plaything that requires using both hands, if possible, to keep flying little fingers out of the mucky mess.
2. Shave off precious seconds.
Instead of laying your child down and then scrambling for supplies, do your work ahead of time: Open up a clean diaper; lay out several wipes; and have your toy at the ready.
3. Skip the changing table.
If all else fails, grab your supplies, a changing pad or a towel, and do your diapering on the floor. This lets you really lean over your child and exert more control.