Monday, November 29, 2010

Stripping down

Dahlia has been hard at work on a big project: Learning how to undress herself. As you may recall, it all started with the girls figuring out how to pull down their pants and remove their diapers. After that rather alarming development, I began to dress the kids only in one-piece outfits, hoping that the snaps would provide protection against further diaper-removal episodes.

This tactic has been a success in that it has banished bare tushies from the playroom (for the time being, anyway—read on). It has not, however, kept Dahlia from continuing to experiment with clothing removal. Her next challenge was to learn how to unzip and shed her sleepsack. Mission accomplished—this is how I found her after a nap a few weeks ago:

To prevent her from taking off her sleepsack again (and possibly causing further naptime mischief, such as learning how to unsnap her onesie to remove her diaper, or figuring out how to climb out of her crib by gripping the rails with her toes), we started putting the sleepsack on her backwards. Problem solved.

But for how long? Even with the zipper in the back, she can still unzip it up to her knees. And her zipper-mania is no longer limited to just her sleepsack. Last week I found her in the playroom like this, almost completely out of her zip-up jammies: 

Of course, none of this unzipping business matters, as long as she doesn't know how to unsnap her onesie, right? After all, it's the taking off of the diaper that I am really worried about. Well, here's the newsflash: As of a couple of days ago, Dahlia has figured out how to work snaps, too. And she is very happy about it:

What am I going to do with this girl? She will not be contained, but I can't afford for her to have access to her diaper (I shudder even thinking about the possibilities that this could entail!). And I know that if Dahlia is becoming adept at taking off her clothes, the other three are probably not far behind. Could duct-taped diapers really be in my future?


Michelle F. said...

Hi Suzy!
Of course I have no experience with 4 babies, only one at a time, but something I learned that you may ponder how to relate it to your situation...I found it MUCH easier to potty train younger (2 or under) than older. For mine, the terrible twos (where everything becomes a battle of wills) didn't kick in until about 2 3/4...and it was easier to potty train when it was a matter of learning instead of a matter of learning and rebelling against mommy at the same time. You might want to put plastic down on the carpet before trying it with 4 toddlers, or maybe only try 1-2 at a time...or maybe with 4 you'll just end up waiting. But it's worth considering since it has to be done at some point, and it may be easier now (plus save some $ on diapers!)

Valerie said...

I must admit that I have duct taped a diaper or two with my daughter. She began stripping around 14 months and it was making me crazy. Then I brought out the potty chair and the girl potty trained herself by the time she was 18 months old.
Your kiddos might not be ready for the potty yet but then again, all of this stripping might be leading in that direction. I'd buy a roll of duct tape and a potty chair and see what kind of day y'all are having. :)

Suzy said...

@Michelle and Valerie: I have definitely been looking ahead towards potty-training and wondering how to know when the "right" time is ... thanks for your words of wisdom!

jimber said...

1. you're amazing, and i'm in awe of your super-mom-ness.
2. i have a co-worker who safety pinned the zippers in place for the sleeper (but for the record i thought spinning it around was genius!) don't know how much time that might buy you.

Christine said...

As a mom of multiples, I honestly would not advise potty training this young. Even if you do manage it she will still likely need a fair amount of assistance in the bathroom, and then you have to figure out how to keep the other three occupied while you are helping her back on with her clothes, washing hands, etc. Diapers are expensive but they sure are convenient, and I am betting by now you can change one in about 30 seconds. Personally I would wait until they can get pants/underpants up and down on their own, get on/off the potty on their own, and wash hands on their own before potty training, because if they can't do it, you'll have to.

Rachel said...

I had to laugh when I read this because I went through the same thing with my quads. Right before they turned two they all figured out how to take their diapers off. We tried backwards diapers, backwards pj's, and onesies, but nothing worked! I finally started using duct tape, and it solved the problem. They loved it and reminded me if I didn't put it on right away! After a while I decided to stop using it, and I guess they just decided they didn't need to take their diapers off anymore. Once in a while I will discover that I have four naked toddlers running around my house, but that's usually only when I'm making supper or something and they are wanting my attention! My kids will be 3 in February, and we still haven't potty trained. I decided it would be easier to wait until they are a little more independent in the bathroom and until I am 100% sure that they are ready! Good luck with keeping those diapers on!

Katy said...

Have you tried putting her diaper on backwards? Or pants over the top? I have just the one child (17 months) but I don't plan on even considering potty training until he's over 2!

Suzy said...

Hmm, haven't tried putting the diaper on backwards ... that might be my next move!


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