27 answers

HELP PLEASE! Twin Toddlers Taking Poopy Diapers Off...

Hello mamas!
I really need some advice here. My 23 month old twin boys are obsessed with taking their diapers off at nap and even play in their poop...YUCK! Besides the obvious, the major problem with this is that they only do it at daycare. They go to a private in-home daycare where she only watches my boys and one other baby. I am worried because she uses a "3 strikes and you're out" policy and I know she has to be at her wits end. This has been going on for a couple of months now. She has duct taped their diapers, we have put leggings under their onsies, layered clothes, etc. They still manage to get in their diaper. Our ped. just said to be consistent with strict discipline and to be patient. The only punishment for this age is time-outs and even though they seem to HATE being in time out they still do it. She gave them a bath today, for instance, after it happened and when we got home this evening their little hands still smelled like poop. This has to stop...please feel free to leave any advice you have. Thanks a ton!
p.s. As a response to the responses I have recieved so far I just want to add that we are starting potty training this weekend. This has been our plan for a while. They have shown signs of being ready for a little while but we were waiting to got through our Disney World trip to start working on it. And as far as the time outs...that method of discipline was reccomended by our pediatrician whom I respect and like very much.

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So What Happened?™

I just want to thank everyone who has responded so far. We have been working on potty training this weekend and it has become very clear to me that they really are not ready. They have NO CLUE when they are peeing. Being born a month early, their maturity is somewhat behind their age and I, as their mother, can tell that they are not at the point yet to tell me when they need to go. It is clear that they don't know "the feeling." I'm not gonna rush things...I know them best and I am certain they aren't ready. Like I said, they don't only take their diapers off when they are poopy...they do it no matter what so it has nothing to do with not wanting to sit in dirty or wet. I appreciate you all taking the time to respond. My only advice for further responses would be for some of you to watch your tone. A lot of my responses came across as trying to make me feel like I am doing something wrong with my children. Remember, everyone parents different, everyone has their own circumstances, and every child learns at their own rate. No 2 families are alike.

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I'de start looking for new day care. Why isn't this woman changing the diapers when they poop? Why is the poop there long enough for them to play in it? Maybe they're trying to remove the poop themselves. She can't be to clean if the twins hands still smelled after a bath...think about it mom.

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I have I nice roll of clear packing tape that has worked wonders for my little one. I just put a small piece over the tabs on the diaper. Also, onesies with a little of the tape over the buttons. A couple of weeks and mine stopped trying to take it off. Hope this helps.

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I'de start looking for new day care. Why isn't this woman changing the diapers when they poop? Why is the poop there long enough for them to play in it? Maybe they're trying to remove the poop themselves. She can't be to clean if the twins hands still smelled after a bath...think about it mom.

1 mom found this helpful

They are ready to potty train. I found that this is the time to put both of them in the tub and give them wipes and make them clean themselves up. Then make them sit on the potty every so often.

Do they go about the same time every day? Make them sit on the potty during this time.

Put them in training pants...like teri cloth pants...not pull-ups (those are just glorified diapers) and have them sit on a potty chair. Put the chair in whatever room they are in. If they look like they are straining make them sit. If they make a mess, put them in the tub and make them clean themselves before she baths them. I give mine a grocery bag and some wipes and help them clean up. I explain it is disgusting and babies poop on themselves. WE make a big deal about being a big.

If they manage to poop in the potty, give them a chocolate chip.

I would even suggest that she start out the first day or two letting them run around naked. Does she have a big bath or kitchen with linoleum floors? Get some coloring books, games and such, lots of juice in cups, a potty chair, a plenty of paper towels.

Every time they start to go, sit them on the potty real fast. If they manage to get some in the potty, make a huge deal out of it and then give them a chocolate chip. This usually takes one day. One or two accidents down the leg and they figure it out. That's when you move on to teri cloth pants or big boy underwear.

Talk it over with your sitter and see what she says. If she agrees...then go out and buy all the supplies she will need.

potty chair
chocolate chips
training pants like the teri cloth kind
carpet cleaner for the carpet
paper towels for the linoleum
coloring books/crayons
books to read
games of some kind
And some extra money in her check :)

Bring it all over like a big present and have the children open it and make a huge deal out of it. It may take a day or two being naked to figure out what pee pee and poo means and when it happens, but then the traning pants for a week and they should get it.

She will have to maybe set a timer and remind them every half hour or less (depending on them) to not go in their pants.

It is time consuming, but it works every time. I've trained four thus far and had no problems.

My 25 month old does the same thing. Even while on the commode she reaches back there and likes to touch. We've had to do baths 3 times in one day - 2 is our average. I agree, this is the most disgusting behavior I have ever experienced with any of my children. You said you tried leggings. What about the tights with no feet? I have noticed that when she has tights on I am able to catch her before she makes it to the diaper/ poop. It has been two days since I started consistently putting tights on her, HTH!

Try putting them in the onesie inside out and backwards (it's harder to get to the snaps that way). Also, pin their diapers to their clothing with an old fashioned diaper pin (Wal-Mart and Meijer carry them). I also put my girls (and the other diaper escapees I nanny for) in a zip up, footed, one piece outfit and put a diaper pin at the top right under the zipper so they can unzip it. At night, you can do the same with footed sleepers and/or put the sleeper on backwards!

Good luck!
mom to 8 year old ggg triplets
nanny to 2 sets of triplets (2 in Aug and 2 in Dec!)

I totally feel for your sitter (and you)!!! My daughter has been doing this for a while now. (27 mo.) She would take her diaper off, fling her poop around the room and smear it on her crib- DISGUSTING I was very stressed out from all the changing of sheets and trying to get the smell off her hands. We tried everything. My girl can pretty much get out of any clothing situation and would stick her hands in her diaper even if it was duct taped on. I read that they might think it is a "reward" to get a nice warm bath afterwards (since my daughter LOVES her bath) and to give her a cold shower and after 2 times it should stop. It did seem to help but I felt like I was torturing my girl. She sometimes is interested in sitting on the potty but refuses to go in it. I think she is afraid not to "go" in a diaper, so I don't want to push her to potty train if she is not ready. So what we found works best for us is POSITIVE reinforcement. We bought her some stickers that she really likes and if she is a "good girl" she gets a SPECIAL STICKER! So, now she knows that if she does not play with her diaper she will get good attention and a special treat. None of the punishments worked. Wouldn't we all rather be praised for our good doings anyway? Good Luck!!!!

It sounds like your twins are very tactile learners. Make sure you and your caregivers are providing them with enough activities that offer a variety of textures...Play dough, shaving cream, finger paints, even mud (yes I know messy, but better that poop!) If they have enough stimualion with the gooy things they seem to like feeling they will not feel the need to play with the poop. Good luck!

My son is 26 months (almost) and the minute he ripped off his diaper, no more diapers. Granted this only started a few days ago, but we're almost done. He's telling me for the most part or just going on his own. That is sometimes he makes it to the potty, but others he hits the floor, however at least he's making it to the bathroom. I thougt 2 was too young for a boy, but he started asking me to use a potty once in a while at 23 months, and the minute he started showing me he likes to "finger paint" I decided that I'd had enough of the stinky diapers. Maybe work on it over a 3 day weekend, or take a friday or monday off if you can. I've heard 3 days naked with a potty seat in the play room works wonders. Just set a timer for 25 minutes and make him sit every time it goes off. Everyone I know swears by it, so we're giving it a shot, and 1.5 days left so we'll see. So far im impressed.

One of my sons was taking his diaper off a lot when he was about that age. He wasn't playing in his poop but just liked being naked. So when I went in the room after nap he would be naked...except for his shirt he couldn't seem to get off. I started putting him in overalls all the time...until he forgot about taking his clothes off. He couldn't get out of the overalls. So if your boys can't work the snaps on overalls you could try that. Good luck!!!

Put them in overalls, and put them on backwards, over the regular clothes, everyday for nap. They can't snap at the bottom though. Do they sleep separately or are they helping eachother get undressed? If they are together separate them. And you said the only form of discipline is time out's at 23 months. In day care yes, but at home a spanking done calmly and lovingly may be apropriate. Also a two minute time out was not enough for my two year old. Eventually, as they get more verbal, they should stay in time out until they are ready to say they are sorry and ask for forgiveness. If it takes a three year old 20-30 minutes to be ready to say it, so be it.

Maybe they're uncomfortable sitting in a poopy diaper and are trying to tell you they're ready for potty training?

Time outs are not an appropriate discipline tool for children of that age. The technique was originally designed as a way to condition pigeons (time out from positive reinforcement). A lot of newer clinical research suggests that they generally are not a good idea and are definitely not appropriate for a child under the age of 3. The only thing they achieve is making a child feel isolated. It sounds like your boys are ready for potty training and they aren't fond of poopy diapers (who is?). So I would start them on potty training. Also the following books are great: Smart love by martha heineman piper and william pieper, unconditional parenting by alfie kohn and positive discipline by jane nielsen. While the parenting style they teach "loving regulation" is more work involving more reasoning and discussion and no punishments or rewards, it gets much better results in the long term with respect to your relationship with your children. good luck.

I would say that I would agree your sitter has to be at her wit's end--especially since there is 2 of them!! I do home daycare and would be really upset with this--buy her something nice if you want to keep her:)

I would say it is time to start potty training. If they are so fascinated with poop--have them do it in the potty. It is not too early!! I started potty training right at age 2 and the little girl I watch just turned 2 and is totally potty trained!

Good Luck!

Have you tried potty training them yet?

Most kids at this age do not understand nor do they like seeing their poop leave their body and go down the toilet. It is a separation issue for them. Maybe the twins figure this is part of their body so it's Okay to do.

I wouldn't, however, punish them with time outs and strikes, etc... nor would I duct tape their diapers!!! Try potty training them so they understand what is supposed to happen with the poop.

C. T.

My advice is that this is a huge indication that they are both ready for potty training. They are obviously uncomfortable with a full diaper and most often that's the main thing you want the child to feel. Get crackin' and good luck!!! You should be happy that they've reached this point at a young age.

have her put duct tape on the diapers prior to going down for nap

Or you can put them in zip up footless pjs.outfits - backwards or forwards and safety pin the zipper closed.


ps totally start potty training, but in the mean time you need to make sure naps (when they still need diapers for up to 3 more years) are not a poop party.

Another vote for potty training here. I know a lot of people think that boys are harder to train and you shouldn't even try until they're three, but my son was trained by 27 months. He honestly was probably ready sooner, but I knew I had time off coming up and could devote a few entire days to the process so I waited a little while. It can be done and I think your boys are ready. Good luck!

ugh can they still get them off with a onesie on? overalls? yuck it is just a phase but it is a gross one. good luck. onesies stopped it for mine.

My mother in law (mom to three boys) has always warned me that this day would come. My son is 23 months old, but has not yet figured out how to take off his clothes. However, I have a friend with a daughter the same age and she has just started doing the same thing as your boys. Totally gross - but not abnormal, I guess! You got plenty of advice that I agree with - but I just wanted to mention - Why doesn't your sitter have a baby monitor in the room with them while they're napping. Could you bring a monitor over to her home for her? It seems like between the two of them doing this - there'd be a bit of noise before they got down to the diaper & that would be her warning to get in there before the mess! Right? I used to have a video monitor in my son's room - I kept the sound down b/c I could hear just fine in our small home - but if I heard a peep, I'd look on the monitor to see what he was up to.

Hi There!
My 27 month old daughter has done this....and I totally understand your frustration! I did the whole time-out thing...and while she hates time out..it did not stop her from doing it again. I have had success with the book No David! by David Shannon.....my daughters LOVE this book and in the book David does things he shouldn't and his mother says No David and gives him time out. In one part of the story David brings tons of mud in his house (covered from head to toe) and my daughter thinks that he has covered himself in poop and we talk about how that is not okay for David to put poop in his house on the floor and all over himself and we say "No David" and since we have started reading this book....my daughter has not "painted" with her poop! Good luck....hope this helps!

Use the zip up jammies but cut the feet off and turn them around so the zipper is up the back...this should eliminate them from being able to unzip themselves and get the clothes/diapers off..

I had that problem with my son. I tried taping the diapers on and such. Something that did work was putting his diaper on backwards. Yes, it was quite a hassle getting it on, but it worked. If you're worried about leakage from a different fit with the diaper being backwards, you could even double up just in case (the outer one should be useable for another diapering). Put the first one on normal, then the 2nd one backwards. I think a couple times I might have even taped it on backwards. It really threw him for a loop. He was used to the tabs being on the front and once they weren't there, he didn't know what to do to get it off.

Take footed pj's and cut them off at the knees. Turn them around backwards and put them on your sons at nap time, and zip away! One of my daycare moms gave me this idea years ago, and it has worked like a charm!

Maybe it is about time to start potty training your boys. They are old enough.

I have I nice roll of clear packing tape that has worked wonders for my little one. I just put a small piece over the tabs on the diaper. Also, onesies with a little of the tape over the buttons. A couple of weeks and mine stopped trying to take it off. Hope this helps.

ok......they are old enough to get their diaper off and certainly old to be thinking about potty training. My son was potty trained before shortly before this time. I realize having twins is a little more work but since you don't have anything to compare to,twins are the same to the rest of us having a single birth the first time. I just looked back and saw that you are working on the potty training but wanted to wait til after a trip. Why not now?? Your trip might be more enjoyable not having the worries of starting when you get back. I understand thinking highly of the doctor,but obviously time outs are not the answer since they are still indulging. Supporting the fact they are "big" boys can go a long way!!! and too, the diapers/pullups allow a little more than regular undies,so maybe moving forward into regular underwear is the best answer. Good luck and consider yourself blessed that they are showing signs of wanting to be big boys!!! Not every child shows signs nor at an early age.

My daughter went through this phase. She took off her sleeper and diaper - what a mess! I did not like putting the pj's on backwards because the way it fit around her neck or using duct tape. I found this sleeper on the web, it's called the Little Keeper Sleeper. It worked miracles and I never had to clean another dirty crib! I'm so glad I found this sleeper. It works Great!!! Check them out on the web at www.littlekeepersleeper.com.

Hi there! I know I'm about a month late on this, but I wanted to see if the situation has changed, and offer my own suggestion. My son is 21 months and has started taking off his diaper at the sitter's and at home (only wet ones so far, thankfully). I switched him to pull-ups, which are a pain to get on, but he hasn't figured out how to get them off yet, so it's working for the time being. I also put a onesie on under his clothing, but it looks like you've already tried that. Actually, my son's problem isn't so much that he likes to take the diaper off, but he likes to reach in and grab his 'boy-junk' :-) and point it upward so the tip is outside the diaper. Then when he pees, it's all over. Charming. So for me, the pull-up and onesie works well. Another suggestion, and it may sound odd, but using sign language. When I change my son, I make the sign for potty. On a couple of occasions, he has made this sign immediately after pooping in his diaper, so even though he can't really say 'potty' clearly, or know ahead of time, I feel like I'm on the right track because he recognizes it after the fact. Since he knows the sign for it, he can communicate it to me even though I might miss it if he tries to say it. Though we're not quite ready for potty-training, it's got to be good that he understands that he just went potty, right?

Anyway, I was just curious to see how things have unfolded. And I've gotten some less than friendly responses on some of my previous requests. Everyone needs to remember that this is meant to be a site where we help eachother, not berate eachother. As long as we're keeping our kids safe and as happy as we can, the differences in parenting style shouldn't matter so much. Be nice to eachother people!

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