Toddlers taking their Diapers Off

Archived Q&A and Reviews

2 yo taking diaper off every morning/poops in crib

May 2008

My soon-to be 2 year old took to taking his diaper off in the morning and pooping all over the crib. Its disgusging! He smears the poop all over himself, matress, crib tent and the crib. We tried being upset with him, not being upset, showing him to a potty (on which he refuses to sit, even though he is mimicking his older brother whenever he pees); we even put scotch tape around the diaper before her goes to bed - nothing works. What do we do? I dont think he enjoys it as he starts crying whenever this happens but keeps doing it anyway. Signed: anon

I worked in a summer camp for special needs children. We had an eleven year old camper that would do the same thing every morning (he functioned on a two-three year old level) We tried everything - even duct-taping his diaper. Eventually we found that the best method was to put on a Carters full body jumper/sleeper with attached feet *BACKWARDS* so that he couldn't access the zipper (which now went down his back) to get at his diaper. I don't remember having to do any major cleanups after that. anon

We had this problem recently too. We put a onsie on her every night under her pjs and this has done the trick! Leslie

22-month-old taking her diaper off during naps

Sept 2006

My 22 month old daughter is removing her own diaper at nap time and sometimes in the morning when she wakes up in the crib. We have not really done any formal potty training- she has a potty and likes to sit on it every couple of days but nothing has gone in it yet. We've also read a book about the potty several times. She doesn't show many signs of readiness for potty training and I think the way she's taking off the diaper is more about ''Look what I can do by myself!'' than about being ready to nap without a diaper. Still when she removes it, sometimes I'll have her go sit on the potty to see if she needs to go, then put a diaper on her again and put her down again for her nap. I don't want this to turn into a game for her- we need to nap! Any advice?
Not ready to Potty Train Mom

You could try putting the diaper on back-to-front or putting her in pull-ups, which are harder to undo, at naptime. What about dressing her in a onesie? Or what about putting her in a sleepsack to nap? That has the advantage of her not being able to climb out of the crib, too! anon

Sorry to break it to you, but your daughter may be ready to potty train. However, you are right, taking the diaper off has nothing to do with it. To make this distinction, just dress her in something she can't take off, for nap time. You can try putting the diapers on backwards, or do a onesie plus pants or whatever it takes. anon

22 mo. old son removing diapers any chance he gets

June 2005

My 22 mo. old son takes off his pants and diaper any chance he gets. If we're up and playing in the house, it's fine. But what do people do when their kids are pulling their diapers off in their cribs all the time? He'll wake up from his nap (or in the middle of the night) and (super quiet) go crazy with his diaper. I feel like I'm hovering by his door all the time now while he is sleeping so as to catch him before the diaper comes off. And yet, he still seems to get if off and make a mess. Suggestions? I'm really tired of picking up poop. anon

What an annoying phase, huh? All kids go through it to some extent. It sounds like you are doing the right thing by letting your child run bare when you can supervise, but even parents need some poop-free sleep! Try finding a zip-up one piece sleeper, and putting it on backwards so the zipper is in the back where little hands can't reach it. You can cut the feet and arms off for summer if your baby gets too hot (just don't cut into the zipper.) I have found that The Children's Place has really great one piece sleepers and they sell them 3 for $25 whereas the Gap charges $22 each. Target will sometimes carry them, at about $5 each, up to 2T, but they run quite small. Hope the poop scooping ends soon! Toddler Mom

Both of my boys did this and I used duct tape around the diaper to keep it on. Not proud of myself but it worked. It is just a short phase.

A friend of mine had this problem during her twins' naptime. Yep, two times the poop smeared around the crib. Her pediatrician suggested duct-taping their diapers around their waists. Yep, an entirely duct-taped waistband, which she cut off after their naps. This Dr. also suggested the kids sleep in sleepers worn backwards so they zip up the back, which the kids couldn't unzip. A friend's been there

Oh, I could have written your post a few months ago! My son did exactly the same thing! What we did was putting him in overalls (that didn't have snaps for diper change - otherwise he was still removing his diaper) for naps and night time. At some point he managed to take his overalls off anyway, so we were doing all kind of tricks with the overalls' buttons.

One day it got to the poing when I wanted to put anything on him - diaper, pull-up, underwear, but everything was coming right off!!! I was so mad, I left him naked for a few hours. To my surprise, my boy was going potty every time he needed to (I did introduce him to the potty a couple of weeks before, and was putting him there between changes)! So, he has potty-trained himself at 24 months, and I guess might have done it earlier if I would leave him naked before :) So, may be, your son is also ready? Try it, and if it's too early, you might want to try to find overalls without snaps for diaper change (though, I noticed that those are not easy to find). Good luck and hang in there. Used to be tired of picking up poop too :)

We went through this with our daughter at the same age. Our solution was to put her one piece (footless) pijamas on backwards. That way, she couldn't get herself out of the diapers. We would put her in pj's for naps, too. We also took this as a sign that she was interested in learning to use the potty and started talking about it with her. She trained herself within two months. Between these two things, the diaper-removing behaviour stopped pretty much immediately. good luck! Ruthie

You may get advice to put his clothes on backwards, but that was often uncomfortable for my kid or unfeasable for me (like when he wore two-piece pajamas). This may sound crazy, but it really worked for me. I comfortably wound masking tape around his diapers every night - a couple of times, and he simply didn't have the dexterity to undo that. I did this for a few months, and by that time, the phase had passed. been there

You've probably tired this, but keep him in onesies that snap at the crotch. There was also a recent post asking for sleepers that don't snap at the crotch- but have a sewn inseam. JM

I know it seems early, but maybe it is time to toilet train him? Our 22 month old boy hated diapers, too, so we just left them off and put him on the potty every half hour or so. To our surprise, within a couple of weeks, he was completely toilet trained (day and nght)! -diaperless

Taking Off Diaper, Pooping and Peeing in Crib

May 2006

Has anyone else found their toddler taking off their diaper and pooping or peeing in the crib? This started with my daughter recently and for the past week, it has happened either at the beginning or end or her nap every day that I've been home with her (the 3 days she was with her nanny it didn't happen). One day I was just in the next room and went in as soon as I heard her moving, and found she'd pooped - atleast that time she didn't have a chance to throw it out of the crib or wipe it on the wall. PLEASE! I would love to hear any ideas or advice on how to handle and stop this behaviour!
Sick of the smell, Tired of the laundry

Two words that will solve your problem: duct tape. Our daughter went through the same phase for a month or two - it was awful! Finally we put some duct tape over the velcro on her diapers, making it extremely difficult for her to take them off. We would do this before naps and bedtime. She quickly outgrew the behavior

Ah - This only happened to us a couple of times (''The Great Poop Incidents of '03'') but I understand most kids go through this. An easy solution someone told us is to put your child in a BACKWARDS diaper AND onsie at naptime. This way it is double hard for them to get access to the poop. Hope this helps! jennifer

I had that issue times two with both my girls. Looks like you are ready for potty training. I don't know how old she is, but that what it looks like. My oldest was doing that at 3yrs old and she was ready to train to potty and my youngest did that at 2yr. old. No joke they both were ready and trained in less that 2 weeks. If you need a good potty video, check out ''Potty Power''. That was my husband and my life saver. Oh, now that I think of it, my nephew did that when he was 4 and it was b/c he was experiencing arguements between his mother and father. He was already potty trained, but was taking his pants down and making his mark throwing it across the room. It was his way of expresssing want for attention and anger. It would only happen when my sister or my bro-in-law were home. Never with me. But I sure helped clean the results. Either way, I wish you the best anon

I can't remember if you mentioned your child's age. But, it may be time to see if he/ she can be potty trained. Some kids, however, are just enchanted with their poop and pee but eventually get tired of the novelty; it's gross, but it's normal anon