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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

‘Baby, may I change your diaper?’

Deanne Carson

An Aussie sex education expert says parents should ask for permission to change a child’s diaper, reports Kashmira Gander on Newsweek.

“We work with parents from birth” on how to create a “culture of consent,” said Deanne Carson, who works for Body Safe Australia.

She acknowledges that babies can’t talk.

“I’m going to change your nappy now, is that OK?” Of course a baby’s not going to respond “yes mum, that’s 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’re letting that child know that their response matters,” she said.

Body Safety Australia tries to prevent sexual abuse by teaching children “about consent and respecting boundaries,” reports Gander.

As it happens, I’ve been visiting my stepdaughter, who has a toddler, who’s quite able to say “no,” and a newborn, who’s able to fuss and wriggle. I’ve observed that sometimes a child doesn’t want a diaper changed — and yet the diaper needs to be changed.

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