A Year of Twins Taking Off Their Diapers

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As our children grow, we often amazed at all the new and amazing things they can do – the first babble, the first smile, the first roll, the first laugh, the first crawl, the first steps. All of it! It’s awesome. Even funny things, like the first time your child eats grass, or the first time they fart. But, somethings, while we are amazed at their new skill and exploration, are not so funny or great when they become repeated habits.  The habit that wasn’t so cute and adorable after the first time?: my child taking off their diaper.

It was at about 13 months 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.Twins Taking Off Their Diapers (for a year!) - How to stop a child from taking off their diapers at nap time. 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: I’ll write about that in another post.

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. Soon, they learned how to remove the duct tape off their diapers too. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that a few months into this diaper removing trick, my other daughter 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, most of the time… A 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 in general.

Because twins taking off their diapers for a year, a solid year, was… horrible. There I said it.

Here’s a recap of the nine ways to keep your child’s diapers on!

  1. Keep pants on them.
  2. Keep Onesie on them.
  3. Put pants underneath a Onesie.
  4. Safety-pin pajamas.
  5. Put pajamas on backward.
  6. Pull-Ups
  7. Bribes
  8. Potty Training
  9. Duct Tape

And one I forgot? Put the diapers on backward, tabs in the back. Also didn’t work.

Did your twins, triplets, or singleton ever go through this diaper removing stage? What did you do? How did you cope?

ldskatelyn is the owner of What’s up Fagans? a blog all about living each day better.  Passionate about family, parenting, faith, and life, Katelyn shares the simple things she does to make her family life better: from great books she’s read, to preschool lessons she’s taught, to date nights she’s had with her husband, to ways she makes ends meet, she shares it all with her simple, honest blog. Katelyn is a SAHM to twin 3.5 year old g/g twins and a 7 month old baby boy. Follow What’s up Fagans? on Facebook, twitter, pinterest, and google+.

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What Would Mary Poppins Do?

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Ballet shoes
Photo Credit: clogsilk

After taking the summer off, it was time for my 7-year-old twins to return to dance lessons. Since their lesson is on a weekday evening, I have to leave work early to get there on time. I let my daughters know that their dance bags needed to be packed and ready to go well ahead of time.

Of course, they waited until the final moments I would allow them to, but 2 days before their first lesson, I put my foot down. In the mad scramble to pack, they had no trouble finding their dance clothes, but their shoes were another matter. I told them to check our shoe rack, their dance bags, their dance cubbies, and their room. All they could find was a lone tap shoe, a size too small for the littlest feet in our house.

It was time for Project Clean Your Room, Episode 2.

Thanks to Episode 1, there was no need to sift through detritus from the floor. However, we did have 3 bins of unsorted stuff to go through, as well as 2 desks to examine. I started barking out orders. I would go through the bins, distributing their contents to the girls. M was in charge of returning toys to their rightful homes, whether that was the toy shelf, the toy bin, the donation bag, recycle bin, or trash. J was in charge of books and paper.

We weren’t 5 minutes in before J returned from another trip to the bookshelf, huffing in indignation. “This is not fun!” she informed me. “What would Mary Poppins do?”

What Would Mary Poppins Do? from hdydi.com
After Mandy’s Halloween post, I couldn’t help pulling out my daughters’ old Halloween photos. They were both Mary Poppins (from different scenes, of course) when they were 3.

I started singing “Just a Spoonful of Sugar,” but was informed that it wasn’t working.

“Okay, M,” I improvised. “All the stuffed toys are secret superheroes with invisible cloaks. They’re going to fly into the toy bin. Try not to crash them! And J, you’re Super Librarian, and your mission is to get the books through the Hallway of Word-Eaters to the Bookshelves of Knowledge. Go!”

And they went, willingly and in good spirits.

As it turned out, the dance shoes were exactly where I’d told them to look first, in the shoe rack. But hey, their room is being put to rights, and I learned to ask myself, “What would Mary Poppins do?” You know what? A spoonful of sugar, imagination, or laughter does make that medicine go down, in the most delightful way.

Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.

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Do What I Say, Not What I Do

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I’m a big believer in teaching by example.

If I’m going to talk the talk, I need to walk the walk. If I want my children to make healthy food choices, I need to make healthy food choices myself. If I want them to treat others with compassion, I need to do that in my own life. If I want them to be honest and open with me, I need to be honest and open with them. Whether or not my children are watching me, I try to model the things I want them to learn.

The problem is that I am messy. Really, really messy. I am good at many things, but tidying is not one of them. I am so bad at putting things away that two of my friends came over to help me move in and save me from myself. While the husband took all our kids to the nearest park to play, the wife walked me through my home, telling me where to put my things.

I’m great at cleaning, but lousy at tidying. In an hour, I can leave a bathroom sparkling and germ-free. My dirty laundry doesn’t pile up. Dirty dishes in the sink? Forget it! However, my bathroom counter is cluttered. When it comes to folding clean clothes and putting them away, I’m an abject failure. My kitchen counters are covered with mail, kitchen appliances, and spice containers. My dining table has a pile of books on it. My buffet is covered with paper. I moved into my house in August, and half unpacked boxes take up half my garage. The last time my daughters had a friend sleep over, she told me that I should really clean my room.

How can I realistically expect my children to clean their room when I leave the rest of the house, inlcuding my own room, a mess?

The one area of tidiness where I am consistently successful is the containment of dirty laundry. My dirty clothes always make it into the hamper. Therefore, I feel that this is an area in which I can insist the children follow suit. They don’t, though. Their bedroom floor is littered with worn clothes.

A month ago, I laid down the law. My daughters are 6 years old and dress themselves. I think this means that they can take ownership of discarding worn clothes appropriately. I would no longer wash clothes that didn’t make it into the girls’ laundry basket. Over the last several weeks, I have pushed their dirty clothes scattered on the carpet to the side of the room instead of helping them into the basket. I’ve only washed what the girls toss in their basket.

The first thing they ran out of was pajamas. These girls LOVE their pajamas, so imagine their dismay at having to sleep in daytime clothes. (I used to make them sleep in school clothes. I’ll tell you about that another day.) Next, they ran out of sweatpants and tights. They live in sweater dresses and tights or sweatpants and T-shirts during Texas winters, so this was The End of the World.

It worked. Last Thursday, M told me that she had picked up part of the growing pile of worn clothes and moved it to the laundry basket. By the time she woke on Friday, I’d washed and folded every last item she’d taken ownership of. I placed them in the bin from which they are supposed to put their clothes away, and she dressed herself in sweatpants in deep gratitude.

My girls aren’t going to do what I say, unless I do it myself.

Now tell me: How do I teach myself to be neat so I can teach my kids?

Sadia fails to keep house in the suburbs of Austin, TX. She is a single mom of 6-year-old twin girls, and works in higher education IT. Her desk at work is disarmingly clutter-free, and her electronic folders well-organized. Her desk at home is another story.

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