Editor's note: This article was originally published on Katelyn Fagan's blog, What's Up Fagans. It has been republished here with permission.
As our children grow, we are often amazed at all the new and amazing things they do – the first babble, the first smile, the first roll, the first laugh, the first crawl, the first steps. Even funny things, like the first time your child burps is awesome! But, some things get old real quick, like your baby taking off diapers and smearing poop all over their crib and bedroom. Once is quite enough of this first! But, lucky me, I had twins who both took of their diapers, and now my son is doing it too! Consider the following advice from someone who is a pro at knowing how to prevent children from taking their diaper off!
My daughter Lisa – The Diaper Houdini
It was at about 13 months old that my little Lisa discovered that she could remove those Velcro tabs on her disposable diaper (note: this might be a great reason to use cloth – I hear they aren't as easy for little ones to remove themselves). While we were slightly impressed (look at those fine motor skills!), we didn't want it happening again. I didn't want to clean up the mess that resulted from this new skill very often! So, we just made sure she always had pants on.
Problem solved, right?
My daughter Lisa proved to be a Houdini of taking off her diaper, no matter what we tried.
Shortly after making her wear pants at all times, she learned how to take off her pants, and then her diaper.
We next tried making sure she always had a onesie on, but she soon learned how to unsnap the crotch, or just reach up those leg holes and undo the Velcro on her diaper.
At this point, we began to ask around for advice. We were first time parents and were getting a little overwhelmed with the endless soiled clothes and crib sheets. So, we tried a few more things.
It was repeatedly recommended to us that we put pants on underneath her onesie. Sounds genius right? Oh, but not for my daughter! She's got talent and determination! Would you believe that after trying this winning combination, I came in after her nap to find that she was still fully dressed, pants still on, onesie still snapped, but diaperoff! How? HOW?! Only God knows for sure!
So, after this we realized that onesies were not the solution. We had to get more creative.
We tried safety-pinning zipped pajamas closed (though always worried they'd undo it and poke themselves, plus it always meant they had to have zippered jammies on during nap time, which essentially meant changing clothes more, which just didn't happen … ). And we tried pajamas put on backwards (by far the most effective), but not a great option during those hot summer months (and our limited supply of zippered pajamas).
Other things we tried were Pull-Ups (nope!) and bribes (keep your diaper on during nap and I'll give you a treat!). We also attempted potty training.
The most common thing we ended up doing? Duct Tape. You betcha. We would tear the duct tape in half, and put it over the front Velcro part of their diapers at every diaper change. And it worked!
For a while …
Twins - Double the mess
Soon, both of my daughters learned how to remove the duct tape off their diapers too. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that a few months into Lisa's diaper removing trick, that my other daughter, Alison, also began doing it too? Because, that totally happened. I had two diaper removing twins to deal with every, single, day.
But, we were willing to give duct tape another go. This time we put a thin strip of duct tape all the way around their diapers. This worked very well, most of the time. The hard part about duct tape wrapped all the way around the diaper is that it's harder to take off –for the parents. But, they stayed on, except for the few times they managed to undo the tape, or wiggle out of their diapers.
I was very happy when my twins stopped taking off their diapers as often. I was glad that I could stop buying rolls of duct tape (we went through at least two) and didn't have to remember to bring duct tape with us for the babysitter. I was also very glad when they decided to potty train and we could just say goodbye to diapers forever!
Because twin babies taking off their diapers for a year, a solid year, was … horrible. There I said it.
10 ways to prevent a child from taking off his diaper
Katelyn Fagan is a young mom of three young kids, including twin preschoolers. She is painfully aware of her own flaws, and writes to help herself, and others going through similar shortcomings, to become better and more balanced. On her blog, What's up Fagans?, you will find parenting advice, penny-pinching tips, cleaning hacks, and general help managing marriage, life and faith.