An Australian childcare chain has suggested parents should be asking permission before changing their child's diapers. The advice was issued by Only About Children, which runs more than seventy-five early learning centers across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
The chain has expressed that parents should be putting themselves in their child's shoes and asking if they were a baby, how would you like to have your diaper changed.
"The most significant thing about a nappy change is not the new nappy," the chain wrote, "It's the good feelings shared between baby and parent. It's the relationship. How can you slow down your nappy changes and give them your full attention?"
They also offered their own diaper-changing tips that included waiting for toddlers to finish playing before attempting to change their diapers because they "don't like to be interrupted."
"Toddlers don't like to be interrupted when they are playing, wait for a gap in their playing before starting the nappy changing process," the advice read, "You may wish to give your toddler some autonomy and ask, 'Would you like to walk to the changing table or should I carry you?'."
"When toddlers become mobile, nappy changing may look quite different! Continue to ask for cooperation but understand that your toddler may wish to now stand for their nappy change. Also, encourage their independence, you may ask him to take off his own nappy or wipe himself. You may be surprised by all that your toddler can do!"
The chain admitted the endeavor won't be easy, writing: "Acknowledge that sometimes nappy changes can be disastrous, embrace it and share your feelings with your toddler, 'Wow, that was a tough one for both of us, wasn't it?'"
The idea has since sparked mass debate online, with a majority of parents and commenters agreeing with the ridiculousness of the idea.
"Literally every kid's answer will be no and they will end up with a severe nappy rash," one commenter wrote, "It's called duty of care, sure we could ask but despite their answer, they need to be changed, much like aged care and disability care we can't just neglect their basic needs because of a temporary mood swing."
Another added: "Wake up to yourself. A nappy needs to be changed when it needs to be changed not when a baby wants it changed."
While a third, who tried the "not interrupting thing", explained: "No. Change when it needs changing. I've tried the not interrupting thing. That just results in rashes, clay poop, and a shower. Of course, you tell them what you're doing. They aren't an inanimate object."
Your telling me you have to ask your own newborn for consent to change its diaper. What is this world 🤣
— Anthony Gagliardi (@Anthony_Gagz) June 29, 2021
The idea was expressed in 2018 when sexuality expert Deanne Carson made the suggestion on ABC news during a segment about teaching consent to young children. She suggested parents ask their infants questions such as "I'm going to change your nappy now, is that okay?"
She said: "Of course a baby is not going to respond 'Yes mom, that is awesome, I'd love to have my nappy changed.'
"But if you leave a space and wait for body language and wait to make eye contact then you are letting that child know that their response matters," she continued.
Since the segment aired, many people on social media have criticized Carson and her suggestions for building an environment of child consent.
"Sorry but if a child has a dirty nappy then their parents should change it because that's part of caring for your child properly - not because their child granted them permission," one person wrote on Twitter.
What do you think?