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Jul 3 2012

Potty Solutions: Can I Duct Tape My Kid’s Diaper?

By at 9:59 am

diapers and toilet paperMy son is 28 months old and has lots of new habits. He talks in full sentences, “Are we done yet, Mama?” and memorizes his favorite books so that he can “read” them aloud to himself. He also strips down naked and urinates everywhere.

My boy has no interest in using the potty. We had a small window where he was peeing in his little potty and then one day, complete refusal. When we talk about or offer the potty he cries and says, “No potty!” and with a baby on the way we have no intention of pushing the issue. We want him to learn to use the potty in his own time and at his own pace.

But in the meantime, he needs to wear a diaper. He doesn’t want the diaper changed, doesn’t tell me if he pooped, and when we put him in his crib awake or when he wakes from nap or nighttime, he strips himself down naked. In the morning, before even calling for me, he’s tossing around his completely FULL overnight diaper and has had at least one accident in the crib. My husband went in to wake him from his nap to find him sleeping naked soaked in urine, requiring a mid-afternoon bath and a complete bedding change. Also all his blankets and stuffed toys had to be washed. The next morning his drenched overnight diaper was also full of poop. When I walked in he was quietly sitting with the soiled diaper, ON HIS HEAD. His bed, animal friends, and ankles already covered in poo.

Changing crib sheets, additional loads of laundry, and toddler baths are the LAST things I want to do at 30 weeks pregnant. I don’t yell or discipline him because I truly believe that he doesn’t understand that the diaper has to remain on to catch the accidents. I calmly explain why he wears diapers and that if he doesn’t want to wear a diaper he needs to tell me so that his poop and pee can go in the potty and not all over his room. I’m getting nowhere with these conversations. I honestly think he’s stripping himself down for funsies. So I did what any 21st century Mama would do and I asked the wise world of Twitter for solutions. These were the suggestions:

1. Potty train him: this is a logical suggestion, it’s just not going to work in our case.

2. Make sure he wears a onesie to bed: We already did this. He learned to take it off.

3. Put him in zip-up pajama’s and pin the top so he can’t get them open: this is a good suggestion but the thought of my kid getting the pin off and poking himself in the eye freaks me out. I don’t want to clean up eye balls or blood, either.

4. Use a pull-up diaper: this is on my list of things to try, although I’m skeptical because my son can pull his pants down. Also, I’m not sure a pull-up will hold the overnight pee. We’re currently using a size larger for overnight and still having leaks.

5. Use a cloth diaper with snaps: I don’t cloth diaper because our laundry situation is less than ideal (read: two flights of stairs and a super scary basement) but I’d rather wash diapers than all of his bedding so this is also on the list of things to try.

6. Cover his diaper with a tight-fitting swim diaper: I want him to stop taking off his diaper, not suffocate his boy-parts for 12 hours.

7. Put him in zip-up pajama’s BACKWARDS so he can’t get out of them: This is the solution I ended up going with. I had a hard time finding toddler jammies that zip up without feet, so I did what any other desperate mother would do, and cut the feet off.

8. Duct tape his diaper shut: This is my back-up method of choice, although something about it seems a little off-putting to me.

The most reassuring part about all of this was that many of my friends and Twitter peeps had suggestions because at some point it has happened to them, too. I am not the only mama raising an exhibitionist and it is so comforting to know this frustrating toddler habit is completely normal behavior and eventually stops. If mamas never talked to one another I feel like we’d all sit around thinking our children are horrifyingly unique, when in actuality all kids are boringly normal. I’m happy with normal, just as long as it’s legal to duct tape your child before nap and bedtime.


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