Are you, like so many other families, struggling with a grumpy newborn? It hardly comes as a surprise that diaper changing time can be challenging for many babies. A great and simple way to distract a newborn in distress is to use attention grabbing graphics on the wall or anywhere close by to your baby.
Simple smiley faces have been distributed in Finland by the health authorities for years. The soothing images started as plain printed papers that you could tape on the wall, before becoming stickers given as a part of the very comprehensive maternity package (also known as the baby box) to all families with newborns.
The idea of the graphic is simple. As infants our vision is constantly improving. In the beginning we see everything mostly in black and white and extremely blurry. The first colors we learn to distinguish are red, yellow and green. As most things in our baby surroundings are mostly a blur, we tend to get distracted by strong contrasts and colors that we are close to us (and thus sharper than the background). Babies can also already from a very young age (2-3 days old and up) understand basic facial expressions like smiles and frowns.
The baby soothing stickers are effective for most 0-4 month old babies. After 4 to 5 months the eye has developed so far that the baby will be able to follow most things in her/his surroundings, making static images less interesting. At this time he/she will generally become more interested in movement and other sensory feelings like touch and bite.
Attach the sticker close to places where the baby spends time daily, these can be nappy changing stations, cribs or anywhere around the home where enjoy time with your newborn. Our stickers have a new kind of dot-based adhesive that will attach even on slightly rougher surfaces (they are also removable and re-positionable).
Make sure that the sticker is attached close enough for the baby to properly see it. We recommend around 30 cm from the baby with a clear line of sight.
Your newborn should show immediate interest towards the sticker, trying to mimic the facial expressions of it. Older babies will often also try to carry out discussions with the sticker. And most importantly for you, while the baby is distracted by the smiling sticker, you are free to change the diaper or clean in peace.