Parents Should Ask Babies for Permission Before Changing Their Diapers, Expert Reveals

Newborns typically need their diapers changed every 2–3 hours, adding up to a total of around 8000 diapers until they are ready for potty training. Deanne Carson, a prominent Australian researcher, educator, author, and mother, has suggested that parents should ask their babies for permission before changing their diapers. This viewpoint has sparked a debate and raised some eyebrows about the potential benefits of such an approach. Let’s explore why asking such a question could potentially have a positive influence on babies.

The expert believes asking the babies for permission can foster a culture of consent.

Deanne Carson emphasizes that when she changes her baby’s diaper, she doesn’t expect to receive verbal consent from the baby since they can’t talk yet. Instead, she focuses on offering respect to the baby and reading their body language. She believes in introducing the idea that “I respect you as a human, I see you, and you matter,” emphasizing that their body belongs to them.

Contrary to popular belief, the expert wants to make it very clear that we should never leave babies in dirty diapers. She simply suggests that parents take a moment to allow the baby to acknowledge that their diapers will be changed. By paying attention to their babies and being attuned to their body movements, sighs, and facial expressions, parents can often discern their needs and emotions.

Communicating with newborns like this can positively affect them in many ways.

  • Encouraging bodily autonomy: By asking for permission, even from a young age, parents can foster a sense of bodily autonomy and respect for personal boundaries in their children. This approach aims to convey the message that their bodies belong to them and that their consent matters, helping to establish a foundation of bodily autonomy and consent as they grow older.
  • Building communication and trust: Engaging in dialogue with a baby, even if they may not fully understand the words, can promote positive communication between parents and child. It creates an opportunity for verbal interaction, eye contact, and responsiveness, which can enhance the bond and trust between the caregiver and the infant.
  • Recognizing nonverbal cues: Babies communicate their needs and discomfort through nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, body movements, and sounds. By incorporating the practice of asking permission, parents can become more attuned to their baby’s nonverbal cues, thereby promoting a deeper understanding of their child’s needs and emotions.
  • Supporting language development: Engaging in conversation with infants from an early age can aid in language development. Although babies may not comprehend the words being spoken, they benefit from exposure to language, tone, and inflection.

By consistently talking to and asking simple questions about their babies, parents can contribute to the development of their child’s language skills.


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