5 Tips to Stop Babies From Taking Off Diapers

toddler diaperBabies master a new trick just about every day -- and one of the most frustrating is when they figure out how to remove their diaper. They tend to keep removing it, even after you beg and plead with them to keep it on. Talk about a mess! And unless you can figure out why your baby's so determined to rid himself of this very essential article of clothing and reverse this trend, it means you're on carpet cleaning duty 24/7.

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If you're at your wits' end with a baby who just won't keep that diaper on, have heart. There are things you can do!

Tips to keep baby's diaper on

 

 

1. Make sure baby's comfortable. Sometimes baby is removing the diaper because they're uncomfortable when it's on. So check for anything that could be causing such discomfort.

"One common reason is diaper rash, which is characterized by red skin and can be fixed with diaper rash ointment containing zinc," says Tammy Gold, a therapist and author of Secrets of The Nanny Whisper. Another possibility is a yeast diaper rash, which is characterized by red itchy bumps and can be easily treated (check with your pediatrician for a prescription for an anti-fungal). Dry chapped skin rubbing against the diaper can be fixed with Aquaphore ointment -- or by keeping the diapers a little looser around the waist so it won't rub on those areas.

2. Switch brands. Even without a rash, some babies are just plain uncomfortable in diapers, particularly if they're made of plastic -- which can trap heat and make babies uncomfortable. If you suspect this is the case, consider switching to cloth diapers, which are more breathable. Gdiapers, a brand of cloth diapers with disposable diaper inserts, even has tabs in the back, which are harder for baby to reach.

More from The Stir: Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers: The Pros & Cons of Each

3. Stay calm. If you can't find any medical reason why your baby is determined to jettison his diapers, his motivation could be rooted in a desire for control -- not only of what he's wearing, but of you.

"Babies who are able to remove their own diapers are often just exploring and learning about their physical world and advancing their own fine motor skills," says Harry Broome, MD, a pediatrician with MVP Kids Care in Phoenix. Then, once they see you kick up a fuss, they start removing their diaper because it's a surefire way to get your attention. If you suspect this is what's up, try as hard as you can to stay calm and not overreact when the diaper comes off; otherwise, you're just validating your baby's behavior. 

More From The Stir: How I Potty Trained My 3-Year-Old in 2 Days

4. Foil your baby's removal method. Since this problem is so common, moms have devised various ways to keep diapers on; some even resort to using duct tape over the tabs. But Dr. Broome advises against this, since if the baby does remove the tape, it's a choking hazard. Or it may be SO hard to remove that you'll have trouble, too!

A better solution? Dress your baby in a onesie -- the snaps are often tricky for babies to detach and will keep the diaper tabs under wraps. Another solution is to put the diaper on backward so the tabs are in the back, or double up your diapers, putting one on the regular way, then one on backward on top. If the problem is mainly at sleep time, put a sleep sack on backward, which can't be opened.

5. Consider it may be time for potty training. Last but not least, if your baby is older (around age 2), don't discount the possibility that his habitual diaper removal means he's ready to try toilet training! So if your toddler is expressing curiosity about the potty, maybe it's time to start leaving the diapers behind for good.

What's your biggest struggle with diapers?

 

Images via MARCTRAN/shutterstock; © iStock.com/cujo19       

 

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