How to Change a Two Year Old’s Diaper | Plus tips to stop changing time tantrums!

Changing your baby’s diaper was a sweet, calm time to bond. However, we know babies don’t stay little for long. Once your baby is a toddler, diaper changes can become very challenging. The last thing a squirmy, energetic 2 year old wants to do is lie down or stand still while you clean and change them. They want to run around and play! 

This post will go into detail about how you can change the environment and manage your expectations for diaper changes with a 2 year old. Gone are the days where they would just lie still and smile up at you. Toddlers bring so much joy and happiness to a home, and this is simply the next phase of their life. Embrace it with them! 

Don’t be discouraged if you find it difficult and frustrating to change a toddler’s diaper. It’s certainly not an easy task, but we know you’re up for it. 

How to Change a Two Year Old’s Diaper

  1. Let the child know it’s time for a diaper change.
  2. Make sure you have supplies: a fresh diaper, wipes, cream, and a change of clothes (just in case!) 
  3. Lay them down (on the changing table or the floor) and let them get comfortable. 
  4. Slide their bottoms down so you can access the diaper tabs near their waist.
  5. Pull open both tabs and pull the front of the diaper off their bottom, towards their feet. 
  6. Grab your wipes and thoroughly clean the area. 
  7. Lift their bottom off the changing pad by gently holding their ankles up, and pull the dirty diaper out from under them.
  8. Put the dirty wipes inside the diaper, fold it in on itself, and use the tabs to secure it shut. 
  9. Slide the fresh diaper under your toddler’s bottom, with the tabs facing up. 
  10.  Unfasten the tabs and pull the front of the diaper between the child’s legs, and secure the tabs. Make sure the diaper ruffle is fluffed out to prevent any leaks. 
  11. Pull their bottoms back up around their waist, help them sit up, and celebrate! 
  12. Thoroughly wash your hands.

Related post: How to change a baby girl’s diaper

How can I change my two year old’s diaper while they stand up? 

Instead of feeling frustrated if your child insists on standing for diaper changes, try to shift your perspective. They are learning how to use their words to voice what they want, and that’s a big step. 

They may also be curious about the toilet because they’ve seen either parent or other family members approach the toilet standing up. Toddlers often don’t want to do ‘baby’ things anymore, and standing may be a sign they’re ready for more independence. 

Here’s how to change a two year old’s diaper while they stand up.

  1. Place a disposable (or washable) mat in the changing area. Mats are particularly helpful if you know there’s a mess waiting in the diaper.
  2. Make sure you have all the supplies (wipes, fresh diaper, cream, etc.) ready.
  3. Pull down their bottoms and have them hold on to something steady (or use your shoulder) for balance.
  4. Unfasten the diaper tabs one at a time, while cradling the underside of the diaper to contain any mess. 
  5. If there’s any stool stuck to their bottom, use the inner backside of the diaper to wipe it off. Always pull the diaper backward towards their bottom, so any stool can easily be wiped away.
  6. Grab the wipes and thoroughly clean their bottom. 
  7. If you aren’t sure that everything is clean (it can be difficult to see if they are standing straight up), you can ask the child to squat by placing their legs apart and bending slightly. This will help you to see their bottom better and make sure the area is effectively wiped clean. 
  8. Put the dirty wipes inside the diaper, fold it in on itself, and use the tabs to secure it. 
  9. Unfasten the tabs on the clean diaper, and slide it between their legs. With one hand, hold the back of the diaper against their back and fasten the tabs on either side of their hips, one at a time.
  10. Make sure the diaper is snug and is providing full coverage. Fluff the diaper ruffles out to prevent leakage. 
  11. Pull up their pants. Celebrate!
  12. Wash your hands thoroughly. 

It may seem more complicated and time-consuming than a standard diaper change, but some toddlers prefer it. It also is a great distraction since your toddler is focused on balancing.

Some parents and toddlers also find it useful to do standing diaper changes near a dresser or something that the toddler can hold onto for balance.

The more diapers you change with a standing toddler, the better you will get at it. You’ll be a pro in no time!

How can I make my toddler’s diaper change easier? 

how to change a two year olds diaper- use toys as a distraction!

The best way to make toddlers’ diaper changes easier is to find distractions. Whether it’s a special book or toy that is saved for diaper changes, taking the focus off of the task will give you time to get the diaper off, wipe them up, and get a clean diaper on. 

If the toddler has a sibling or there’s another person in the house, having them help distract the toddler often works great, too. 

What do you do when your toddler hates diaper changes?

If you feel like your toddler hates diaper changes, try changing the environment. They may just want to participate in something that involves them. Most kids around this age thrive off feeling like they are helping, and participation is key. 

So, get them involved! Explain what you have to do and find some tasks that they can help with. This can be getting the wipes ready or holding the diaper cream for you. Celebrate their helpfulness and encourage them to continue offering a helping hand. 

Another strategy is to try a new location. The changing table may not be a realistic place for a diaper change anymore; they may not even fit! 

Put your toddler on the floor, where they’re more comfortable and can continue playing. You have more control over how much they move, especially if it’s a messy diaper and you need them to stay put. You can use your leg to gently hold them in place to prevent any escaping. Wriggling toddlers are masters of movement and can be out the door in a flash. 

Related post: How to change a diaper without gagging

Why does my toddler cry when changing their diaper?

Toddlers typically cry during diaper changes because they are cold, hungry, or upset. They’re probably mad that they can’t wiggle free or that they had to stop playing to get their diaper changed. 

You can combat the tears by narrating what you’re doing, singing a special diaper song, playing peekaboo, or asking for their help. There’s no right approach, so test them all and see what works for your child.

Related post: How to wash your toddler’s hair without crying

How many diapers should a 2 year old go through?

A 2 year old should go through between 5 and 7 wet diapers each day. This is an average, based on their weight and how much water and other liquids they consume daily. 

If you’re stocking up on diapers and want the total amount you’ll need for the month, we estimate a hydrated, healthy toddler will use anywhere from 150-210 diapers per month. 

You might also enjoy: How many diapers does a baby use by size? and How many wipes does a baby use in a day?

Wrap up- How to change a two year old’s diaper

how to change a two year olds diaper pin

Well, there you have it! That’s how to change a two year old’s diaper. It may not be easy every time, and you may feel impatient or frustrated, but now you have a few tricks up your sleeve to help distract them and re-focus their energy. 

The toddler phase has an entirely new set of challenges, but you’re helping to shape a human being and that is important work. Be patient with them, try to include them as much as you can, and remember you are learning new things just as they are. 

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