Memoirs of a Mummy

Mummy’s Tricks: How to Dress a Toddler Who Won’t Stay Still

Asking Aki to sit still is like asking him not to be himself. It is impossible to make him sit throughout the entire mass. It is a challenge to keep him seated while he is eating. It used to be difficult to dress him up after a trip to the bathroom. We used to chase a butt naked, wet and wild kid all over the house before we can put his diaper on him. After re-reading the Happiest Toddler on the Block book, I found an effective way to keep him in one place and entertained for a couple of minutes.

the happiest toddler on the block.actually he is the only toddler on our block

Dr. Harvey recommends several ways on how to encourage cooperation. One is by playing the boob. When we pretend to be a little silly, kids feel smart.


This is a portion of the book . I got the text from here:

Playing the boob

“Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” –Helen Keller

We all know how tough it is to raise a toddler, but not many people realize how tough it is to BE a toddler. Toddlers feel like they lose all day long! They’re weaker, slower, shorter, less verbal, and clumsier than almost everybody. That’s why they love stomping in puddles (to make a big splash) and showing off their huge muscles. It’s also why they can be so darn stubborn –They just want to win a few!

Playing the boob is a silly idea…that’s super smart. If you ever pretend you’re startled when your child goes “Boo!!” or have a pillow fight and let your tot topple you with each swipe… you’ve already discovered the great fun of playing the boob!

Being able to beat their all-powerful parent at something makes tots laugh and feel clever and strong, and that helps them feel okay about giving in to us about other things — things we care about!

There are tots of wacky ways to play the boob. Here are two ways I’ve used for years in my office to boost my little patients’ cooperation:

  1. Be a baby.Pretend you want something your toddler has. Reach out and whine like a baby, saying, “Mine, mine…pleeease!!” Let hereasily defy your pitiful request. Act a bit pouty but resigned to the fact that she has got her own way. “Okay okay, you win. You always win me.”
  2. Be blind. Pretend you’re searching for something that your tot can see is right next to you. Say, “Book! Book! Where is my book?” When your child giggles and points to it, ham up your search and exclaim, “Where? Where? I don’t see it.” Then finally listen to her advice and say, “Thanks. You found it! You’re a good finder!”

Once you get the knack of it, playing the boob will become your toddler’s – and your – all-time, favorite-est game. And, if you play it 10-20 times a day, you will be rewarded with an immediate rise in cooperation and good spirits.


Asking them questions and offering choices also make them feel smarter.

So after coming out of the bathroom, we ask Aki where should we put on his diaper. We get silly by asking him if we put his diapers on his tummy. We try it and then laugh. Aki will then ask to put his diaper somewhere else, like on his face or on his foot. We follow until eventually he tells us to put the diaper on his butt.

Same goes with his shirt and shorts. We first makes a silly recommendation and then asks him what we should do next until he is dressed properly and ready to play again.

Where do we put your diaper?

On your face??!! Oh yeah. How can mummy forget?

Do we put the shorts on your head?

No? Silly me. I forgot we put the shorts on your arms!

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