An Australian childcare chain has suggested parents should be asking permission before changing their child’s nappy. The advice was issued by Only About Children, which runs more than 75 early learning centres across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The chain believes parents should be putting themselves in their child’s shoes and asking: “If you were a baby, how would you like to have your nappy changed?
“The most significant thing about a nappy change is not the new nappy,” the chain wrote. “It’s the good feelings shared between baby and parent. It’s the relationship. How can you slow down your nappy changes and give them your full attention?
They also offered some nappy-changing tips that included waiting for toddlers to stop playing before changing their nappy because they “don’t like to be interrupted” and even asking their toddlers for “cooperation”.
“Toddlers don’t like to be interrupted when they are playing, wait for a gap in their playing before starting the nappy changing process,” the advice read. “You may wish to give your toddler some autonomy and ask, ‘Would you like to walk to the change table or should I carry you?’.
“When toddlers become mobile, nappy changing may look quite different! Continue to ask for cooperation but understand that your toddler may wish to now stand for their nappy change. Also encourage their independence, you may ask him to take off his own nappy or wipe himself. You may be surprised by all that your toddler can do!”
The chain also noted that it won’t always be easy, writing: “Acknowledge that sometimes nappy changes can be disastrous, embrace it and share your feelings with your toddler, ‘Wow, that was a tough one for both of us, wasn’t it?'”
The nappy-changing tips have already sparked a fierce debate online, with the majority of commenters saying it’s absolutely ridiculous.
“Literally every kids answer will be no and they will end up with severe nappy rash,” one commenter wrote. “It’s called duty of care, sure we could ask but despite their answer they need to be changed, much like aged care and disability care we can’t just neglect their basic needs because of a temporary mood swing.”
Another added: “Wake up to yourself. A nappy needs to be changed when it needs to be changed not when a baby wants it changed.”
While a third, who tried the “not interrupting thing”, explained: “No. Change when it needs changing. I’ve tried the not interrupting thing. That just results in rashes, clay poop and a shower. Of course you tell them what you’re doing. They aren’t an inanimate object.”
The tips come a few months after midwives in the United Kingdom were told to stop using terms like “mothers”, “breastfeeding” and “maternal” when working with “pregnant people” as part of a new trans-friendly language policy at a hospital trust.