Walking into a room and seeing a dirty diaper that was taken off in the middle of the night isn’t fun – at all. Find out the best way to keep the little hands out of the diapers during night time and more!
If everything else fails, there is still hope. I’ll give you a simple solution on how to find an answer to the common reason that they’re taking off their own diaper. It might be a poopy diaper, it might be dry diapers, or it might be that they have sensitive skin and just don’t want to wear it at all.
You just may have good luck with these suggestions for your little houdinis. I know that they’ve worked for me.
Ways of Preventing Your Baby from Taking Their Diaper Off
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 farts or burps are awesome! But, somethings 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, 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 a baby 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 simple 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 repeated 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 nap to find that she was still fully dressed, pants still on, onesie still snapped, but diaper off! 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 Their Diaper:
- Keep pants on them at all times.
- Keep a Onesie on them at all times.
- Put pants underneath a Onesie.
- Safety-pin pajamas.
- Put pajamas on backward.
- Use Pull-Ups
- Use Bribes
- Start Potty Training
- Use Duct Tape on the diaper
- Put the diapers on backward, tabs in the back.
Did your twins, triplets, or singleton ever go through this diaper removing stage? What did you do? How did you cope?
While you may find the need to have a big reaction, just understand that there is a way to find a solution. If your toddler keeps taking off their diaper, it’s time to find a true method that will work for them. You may want to start the process of potty training or encourage them with a few special toys.
Even changing up the type of diaper brand that you use may help out a ton. The options can also change for different ages of kids as well. Try and figure out the right time and do your best to stop this from happening!
Do you have any other tips for keeping their messy diaper from being taken off and tossed around the room?
This was content was originally shared at How do you do it?. It is reposted with permission.
Be sure to check out my other popular posts on diapers!
Amanda Middleton says
This post came just in the nick of time! The twins are taking off their diapers all of the time now! It’s driving me nuts! I’m tired of cleaning up messes at nap times! I thought it was a boy thing since my twins are boys. 😉 thanks for this post. I’m going to try some of these ideas before getting out the duct tape. I’m afraid I would have to cut it off of them 😉
The Ruthless Crafter says
Great ideas. I’m looking at this from a geriatric perspective. Hopefully it can help with a grandparent situation.
Brittney Mcauslan says
my son started doing this too~ we tried the pants thing….. then started getting creative and putting the tape(we used packing tape) over the entire diaper top with the seams at the back, which helped for a couple of days……next we tried putting the diaper on backwards WITH tape, and this was the best method we found that worked, of course it only lasted a week. So we bit the bullet and started potty-training. Did I mention my son was only 15 months at the time??? My daughter is now starting the houdini diaper removal, I’ve got the duct tape ready to go…..
Katelyn Fagan says
Oh, I am so sorry Brittney!! But, I am right there with you!! My son is doing it now at 18 months and I just don’t know how I got so lucky. 3 for 3!
The irritating part is that the diapers dont work properly when put on backwards..
Katelyn Fagan says
For sure! And they aren’t as easy then to manage come diaper change time.
I think disciplining the child when they take off the diaper, consistently, would eventually teach him/her that taking it off is a no no. Probably the most effective method in my opinion. By simply trying to keep the diaper on is not teaching them they aren’t allowed to take the diaper off-it’s just making it harder to do so. If they receive a punishment after taking it off they will learn it is not okay.
Katelyn Fagan says
And what discipline did you have in mind that would deter this behavior effectively?
Maybe Audrey, a better word is “training” through correction instead of “discipline”. And then I totally agree. And yes, I’m a mother, newborn nanny, and grandmother. Audrey is correct in that what ever the negative behavior is that our children do, if it’s not corrected with training then, it just continues without the child realizing their behavior is inappropriate. And how sad for them.
Training in this situation would consist of time and a fair amount in the beginning but could be
nipped in the bud a whole lot faster and easier than just putting fixes or duct tape on it. LOL
I would certainly tell the child that they should not take their diaper off in their crib. I’m using this example for an 18month old. My granddaughters age who started doing this. She understands most of what we say to her. Then once I put her down, I’d watch the whole time via the monitor. When she starts picking at her clothing I’d go in and correct her. “ No no, leave your clothing on.” I would continue to do this everytime until they give up. If you have ruled out all the other reasons babies might strip, soiled diaper, to hot, something poking or rubbing their skin, etc., and you come down to them just learning and perfecting their new skill, they can also learn stopping this behavior is also something new found skill.
There are many more little distractions you can give them to replace the unwanted behavior but yes it should be corrected just as much as you would throwing food from their high chair. Until
We tell them, this is a no no, how can they learn what’s ok and what’s not. 🙂
Marah Skidmore says
Spoken like a person who does not have a child. Haha
Yes training works, but you have to “discipline” asap or else there’s a disconnect between the action and the consequence. With my frist, yeah, easy to get him to stop playing with his diaper. My third? Aka, reason I’m on here, is that I can’t just sit there and stare at the moniter now, I’ve got other kids that need attention during his naptime. So while I appreciate the lesson in “just train your kid”, this article is for the parents who feel there is no other option. 🤷🏼♀️
Haley Allen says
Every morning my son would have his diaper pulled to the side with his winky hanging out from playing with it. He’d have pee all over everything too! I got tired of cleaning the sheets and blanket every day so I eventually bought some special pajama’s from http://sleeptight.tictail.com with the zipper in the back. This stopped in cold turkey lol
Katelyn Fagan says
Ha. Awesome! Zipper in the back!
Oh my lordy do I feel you. I have 3 kids and they all did/do it. My eldest grew out of it but my youngest 1 & 2 are doing it. I hit the trifector. Really only of a night though. I laugh that ive done and tried every single thing you did all have only worked short term a week at best. I was really hoping you had a new trick for me. Anyone I ask seems to either think I’m embellishing my attempts and frequency or insinuate its my fault and I’m a bad parent. I’m sick of cleaning up midnight poo poo painting, I’m tired of a toilet stinking nursery and the amount of washing i have to do. I need some sort of houdini restraints for the diapers. You have any more tips for this mummy?
Never ever safetypin a Childs pajamas. My friends kid died from choking on a pin she pulled off the zipper.
My son is only 10 months an he’s doing it am trying the the pants one now .
Katelyn Fagan says
Smart! At 10 months they don’t have as many fine motor skills so that should work just fine. Hopefully you don’t need to escalate!