Nursery: Changing Table Mobile
How to Use a Changing Table Mobile in the Nursery
Diaper changing is a chore, but it’s also an opportunity for connection and learning. The earlier and more often you teach and model active calming techniques like S.T.A.R., Drain, Pretzel and Balloon, the sooner children will be able to use them independently. A mobile or other visual representation of active calming strategies reminds us to teach this skill in regular intervals. It also reminds us to take deep, calming breaths ourselves in the midst of our busy days!
Print out the free downloadable active calming icons from our Free Resources. Before changing an infant’s diaper, look at and touch one of the icons. Then look into your baby’s eyes and take a deep breath using the calming technique indicated on the icon you touched. Continue taking deep breaths and offering reassuring affirmations like, “You’re safe, sweetie. I’m here to keep you safe! One wipe, two wipes, keep breathing with me. We’re almost done!” as you change the diaper.
Older babies are capable of making a choice between two icons. Provide only two options for one- and two-year-olds; more than that is too developmentally advanced and may become overwhelming.
Show the two active calming icons to the baby, hold them several inches apart, and say, “You have a choice! We can take a _____ breath or a _____ breath. Which do you choose, _____ (wiggle the card slightly) or _____ (wiggle the card slightly)?” Your baby will indicate a choice through eye gaze or touch. (Repeat if needed, and provide ample time for your baby to process the information and respond.) Restate the baby’s choice and offer encouragement: “You did it! You chose _____!”