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Why Does my Baby Always Take off Their Diapers Easily?

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When our little ones grow, we are often taken aback at the cute things they do and the skills they learn with each passing day. The very first smile, the first snorty laughter, the first babble, the first roll, the first crawl, the first steps. Even funny moments like the first burps and farts are incredible! But there is a phase that is not cute where a baby learns how to take off the diaper, and makes quite a lot of mess in the process.

When it comes to making a super-fast escape, my little Sierra is a mini Houdini. One minute her dad has her dressed up in a cute Minnie mouse dress we had bought her when we went to Disney world, the next minute she is flashing through the house wearing nothing more than a super-naughty smile. The dreaded baby diapers battle doesn't only happen at home, or around family. She’s ready to bare it all if you’d leave her alone for 2 seconds, then laugh at you and run. While a diaperless baby is cute the first, second, fourth, and fifth times… but not the 240th time.

I don’t know what my kid's urge to be ‘au nature’ is but I figured out a few tips and tricks that are helping us immensely. If you are someone whose child's newfound skill is taking the diaper off, you're in a good position to learn from my ongoing sticky, tricky, and messy experience.

Try figuring out what's wrong

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There is a possibility your little Houdini won't appreciate your well-reasoned argument about why she should have her diaper on all the time but there are some things that you can do to figure out the reason. Some babies start taking off their diapers because they're about to develop a nasty diaper rash, they don’t feel comfortable in the diaper, a scratchy or thick part on the diaper is bothering them, they're wearing a diaper that’s not comfortable, has a tight waist and breathability issues, or they're overheating.

All this indicates switching diaper brands. What is working for Sierra might work for you too,  we switched to a diaper brand that had a  bonding tape to grip well with wider and longer-sized waistbands for added comfort.

Dress for success during night time

There is a possibility that your child might be dealing with boredom during pre-bedtime in their crib. Just like our little Sierra who loves to explore new fun tricks out of boredom such as taking off her pajamas and un-taping diapers, which of course has a very messy result. We make her wear a double diaper to give her something to mess with until she dozes off. We have also tried unique things like putting the sleepsuit on backward so that she can't figure out how to unzip it.

Shop smart

Sierra started taking her diaper off when she was around 17 months old. Around the same time, she grew a lot of fondness for Barbie and the color pink. For Christmas, she wore a pink Barbie dress, if given the chance she would wear the same dress every day. However, what we noticed is whenever she has her favorite pink Barbie dress on she is less likely to remove her diaper. So we have started getting a lot of pink clothes for her.

Other creative things we try doing with clothing are to add a pair of shorts under a dress or put her in a sleep sack before bedtime and put it on backward so that it zips in the back and not the front.

Don’t give an instant reaction

When sierra goes commando, no matter how embarrassed we feel, we don’t shame her or laugh at her, even if she does it in front of a friend, family member, or a stranger. We gently take her by the hand, remove her from the scene and go somewhere quiet, and see that she puts her diaper back on.

Don’t pay attention

When your child strips in front of other people, does your face turn red, your eyes get big and you find yourself laughing? Mine too! But my reaction is amusing for Sierra. Sometimes even if I manage to hold back the reaction I somehow still show our little one some form of attention after the stripping incident such as running and putting the diaper back on instantly. Drawing more attention to Sierra's behavior means, she wins and the behavior will be more fun for her next time.

Keep them occupied

We think we can keep an eye on our babies all the time but at some point, we have to step away to answer the phone, use the restroom or go to the kitchen for a glass of water. Going out of your baby's sight may mean trouble.  

We give something safe to Sierra that occupies her while we aren’t watching her closely. Such as blocks, busy boards, and educational toys.  I also make sure I or my husband are close by and paying attention, if Sierra goes quiet for more than 5 minutes, she is probably taking her diaper off!

Maybe it's time for potty training?

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For a lot of parents, the point when their children start taking the diaper off seems like the perfect time to introduce them to the potty however, they are many other reasons a kid might be taking the diaper off such as an uncomfortable fit.

Sierra isn’t showing any interest in the potty yet, which means she just isn’t ready to be trained. We got her comfortable diapers with good solidarities such as a wider and longer waistband and a high-quality gripping technology and those are helping big time.

Finally, if you believe your little one is simply taking off the diaper to entertain herself or just to cause a ruckus to liven up her not-so-happening life, don’t let it pass. Stay calm and tell them that the diaper stays on no matter what the situation. Teach them that the only naked time they will get is when they’re in a bath.  We are slowly teaching Sierra to use simple words to show discomfort, or to let us know through actions that she has a soiled diaper. Whenever she lets us know, we praise her, reward her with a sticker and try to remind ourselves again and again that this is a phase and it will pass.

You can prevent this habit from continuing with the above strategies, and by staying consistent during all times your child will stop taking the diaper off eventually.

Reading next

Diapering Baby for The First Time
How to Clean a Baby During a Diaper Change?

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