I'm 3 days in to parenthood and every time I change my son he makes heart-wrenching screams that go through my skull.

I have deduced that it is due to being cold; it's Winter here and really starting to get nippy. Even so, it is 21°c+ in the room but he still gets incredibly cold and therefore unhappy.

I know he's cold because he shivers sometimes during, and often after nappy changes.

Are there any ways to keep him warm during the nappy change?

Are there any materials that won't be so cold and uncomfortable for him, that are used to make nappy changers?

I have been trying to keep his clothes on and only take off the bottom part, but sometimes things get messy and I have to redress him in new clothes. I also just tried leaving the nappy changer on the radiator which he seemed to like a little more - but still ended up shivering.

  • Change him quicker. 30 seconds at 21C wont hurt the baby.
    – dave
    Nov 13, 2013 at 22:46
  • 1
    I looked into it a little more, and apparently babies shivering is not related to being cold. Even so, I think he does get cold during nappy change so my question still stands. Great input so far everyone, thanks a lot. :)
    – Dom
    Nov 14, 2013 at 19:09
  • 21°C is warmer than we ever have had our house. Our three babies were changed at around 17° and coped just fine. In many countries the temperatures you are talking about are considered warm, not cold.
    – Rory Alsop
    Feb 24, 2018 at 11:33
  • @RoryAlsop In hindsight, I think it's more likely due to the change in temperature. Going from warm and snug to not-so-warm and exposed can cause an uncomfortable sensation no matter your age.
    – Dom
    Feb 24, 2018 at 15:33

3 Answers 3


You could always put a nice thick blanket in a dryer, test the heat level, and place it at the base of the changing table to keep his back side warm. If you have a changing table they typically have a cover but make sure its 100% cotton and you could warm that up. You can also buy some pads like these that are pure cotton. When also changing you could take some adult long socks and use them on his legs that will allow for his legs to stay warm while changing the diaper.

  • I like the socks idea most of all, and I think we're going to try and warm up the changing mat thingy-me-bobby before each nappy change. Thanks for the tips Matt. I will accept if the socks idea works in practice. :)
    – Dom
    Nov 14, 2013 at 13:09
  • make sure the mat on the changing does not have a plastic ring around it because it will melt in the dryer Nov 14, 2013 at 15:59
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    We don't have a dryer, I was going to use the radiator.
    – Dom
    Nov 14, 2013 at 19:00

A lot of German families (including mine!) use a kind of heat lamp called a Wickeltisch-Heizstrahler which translates to change table heater. I haven't experienced them outside of Germany, but it could help. They are available in models that can be bolted into the wall above the change table or are attached to a stand that would go near it. They provide a nice warmth that's not too hot or harsh.

  • 1
    Interesting idea! Hospitals all have them here in the United States above baby beds, but it never occurred to me to get one for home. Nov 14, 2013 at 19:56

You might consider keeping the baby's room warmer—around 24 or 25. Infants have a lot more difficulty regulating their temperature compared to adults. Aside from that, you can make sure your hands are warm. We also used a wipe warmer for one of our more sensitive babies, and she really liked it.

You'll soon get faster at changing him, and it won't be as big of a deal. Try to have everything you need at hand before undressing him.

  • 2
    About the wipe warmer: our baby wipes are reusable (just as our diapers are). They are pieces of cloth, you use a little water to get them wet. Using warm water is indeed a great difference in comfort, both for parent and baby.
    – Konerak
    Nov 14, 2013 at 11:09
  • Thanks for your input, temperature is a big issue that we're trying to find a happy medium for. We do try to have everything to hand when changing him, and I think we'll add a change of clothes to that list just in case.
    – Dom
    Nov 14, 2013 at 13:08

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