How to Stop a Child from Digging in Their Diaper
Imagine sleepily making your way to your toddler's bedroom to wake them one morning. The sun is peeking over the horizon, birds are beginning to chirp, and you're ready for your first cup of coffee to get this day going. You're facing a packed schedule and even if everything goes perfectly you'll still be rushing to get where you need to be.
Now imagine that as soon as you turn on your toddler's bedroom light you notice something's off. Sometimes little ones wake up to a dirty diaper, which is no big deal, but something is different this time. As your eyes start to focus on your child smiling blissfully in their crib, your gaze darts to the horrific scene you've discovered. Feces. Feces everywhere. It's on the wall, on the crib bars, and your child's hands and hair. And oh goodness, is that poop on their face?
It happens to most of us. For whatever reason, sometimes our children just decide to go for a good diaper digging session. It's frustrating, it's messy, and it's just plain gross. Thankfully, with a few tips up your sleeve you may be able to prevent it from happening again.
Have you experienced the horror of diaper digging?
If your child is showing all of the signs of potty training readiness then it's time to start toilet training. Sometimes children who remove the contents of their diaper are trying to tell you that they recognize that they don't want that mess there anymore.
Beware: introducing or pushing potty training too soon can backfire. Children who are pressured too hard or too soon to ditch the diapers can become resistant (which means it will take even longer than it would have initially) or can develop adverse health problems. My son was diagnosed with encopresis after we pushed him a little too far. Trust me. You don't want to deal with that crap (pun intended).
Onesies with Snaps
Dress your child in a pair of pants with a onesie as the top layer. This not only prevents access into the top of the diaper, but it also prevents access through the leg holes.
Beware: older infants and toddlers can fairly easily unsnap their onesies. If your child knows how to undo the snaps, you should definitely consider a different option.
Video or Audio Baby Monitor
Use a video or audio monitoring system for an extra layer of supervision for your child. It's just not practical to try to be in the same room with your children every moment of the day. A baby monitor can help keep tabs while you throw in a load of laundry. There are even video monitors that stream directly to your smart phone to save space on equipment.
Beware: this can be an expensive option. Consider purchasing a used baby monitor on Craigslist or a local Facebook swap page.
Backwards Footed Pajamas
This is the holy grail of stopping diaper diggers in their tracks. I learned this method from a fellow child care provider, Tori Fees. While I don't necessarily agree with everything she teaches, the backwards footed pajama trick has saved me time and time again. It helps keep those hands out of diapers as well as prevents little ones from continually stripping their clothing. If you only try one of my suggestions make it this one! I've included a video created by Tori Fees herself to show how to get the pajamas on backwards.
Beware: going out in public can be interesting if your child is wearing backwards pajamas. Then again, a diaper digger in action while in public would be far worse. Also, during warmer months try to find pajamas that are made from a light material to prevent overheating.
Out of Options?
If all else fails and you've done everything you can to get your digger out of their diaper then you may just have to wait it out. I know. This option stinks. Some kids are determined to get in there and make a mess.
My suggestion? Stock up on cleaning supplies and air freshener.
Your Poop Horror Stories
Do you have a diaper digging horror story? I'd love to hear about it in the comments and what solution you chose to prevent it from happening again!