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Toddler Diaper Tricks

Diaper changes are like torture for high energy, 15-month-old Calvin Strothenke, of Katonah, NY. He squirms, he struggles, he screams, he runs. It's a wonder that his mom, Elena, can get him in a clean one at all.

Toddlers have a natural and healthy drive to walk, run, climb, and tumble, which sure doesn't make for easy changes. Plus, kids this age live completely in the moment. So while you understand the process will only take a few seconds, your child doesn't. To minimize diapering dramas:

Take a stand. Instead of interrupting playtime, change her diaper while she's standing up and happily engaged.

Enlist her help. Even on her back, your toddler can hold a clean diaper or her pants and use them to surprise you in a quick game of peekaboo.

Offer a treasured toy. Or a favorite board book. Or stuffed animal. Keep a bin of items handy and rotate them so she's always intrigued.

Try a high-tech tactic. Give her your watch, cell phone, or even a calculator. She'll be fascinated while you get to work.

Talk her through it. Enthusiastically narrate the process, and she'll learn to anticipate each step  -- and how soon you'll be done.

Hold on tight. When all else fails, just pin her down and change her fast.

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