Babies

This Woman Says You Should Ask Your Baby for "Consent" Before Changing Diapers

Um, what?! (Because babies are known for their communication skills.)

Babies are like fat, drunk men. They have no idea where they are, they drool, they only want the bottle and they go to the bathroom on themselves. So why would you ever attempt to ask a baby a serious question? Or any question for that matter? Ask all you want, they’re not answering. Hey baby, what’s the population of New York City? You get nothing.

Still, there's now a woman who is being ridiculed online after saying parents should ask babies for consent before a diaper change. Yes, consent … from a baby. Again, babies can’t talk. They can’t walk, they can’t have a conversation, they can’t run errands and they can’t consent. They don't know what consent is, or what a diaper is. So how would they ever answer?

Through body language, suggests Deanne Carson, who said on ABC News Australia that families need to provide “a culture of consent” in the home by asking newborns, “I’m going to change your nappy now, is that OK?”

I’d imagine the universal body language when you go to the bathroom in your pants is, yes, change me immediately. Babies communicate this through crying or screaming bloody murder.

Deanne, whose brilliant idea it is to wait until your kid shouts out, “Yes! Change me immediately!” adds, “Of course, a baby’s not going to respond, ‘Yes Mom, 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.”

Eye contact is unusually hard with someone who cannot see a foot in front of their face and often goes crosseyed for no reason at all.

The video of Deanne was shared on YouTube, racking up nearly 100,000 views, before Deanne caught on that people were making fun of her.

She responded on Facebook:

“I gave an interview the other day about teaching consent to young children,” she wrote. “Sadly, some people have chosen to ridicule me ("oh no! Pink hair! Must be a lesbian!") and the notion of giving infants bodily autonomy ("poo in nappies har har amiright?!").

“For those people I’m posting this. One in three girls, one in seven boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are eighteen years old. One in twelve girls will be sexually abused before their sixth birthday. The work we do with children, teachers and parents is international best practice in abuse prevention. It teaches children their rights AND their responsibilities and connects them with people who care and can help. It invites their parents into the discussion and is sensitive to cultural and family values.

“Troll me all you want, add to your blog inches, but remember that when you do, you are negating the voices of these brave survivors of sexual abuse.”

It didn’t do much to stop the trolls, with one user commenting “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.”

Another called it “an insult to genuine sexual assault victims to compare their experience to a baby having a nappy changed without giving the right expressions.”

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