Friday, August 1, 2014

Containment systems

My eight-year-old came running to me this morning, screaming half in horror, half in exultation.  "BLOWOUT!  BLOWOUT!  COME CHECK THE BABY'S ROOM!"  My big kids think the term "blowout" is hilarious, so while they were grossed out by the poop, they loved announcing it to me.  Sure enough, inside the crib was a serious breach of fecal decorum.  (Actually, A Serious Breach of Fecal Decorum is the perfect name for my future memoir on raising three boys.  I call dibs.  Trademark.  Copyright.  Etc.)

I've dealt with this issue before, when the big boys were two and four, and big brother would say in their shared room at bedtime, "Hey, Alec, you should take off your diaper.  Just pull the tabs like this..."

I thought I'd share the solution we came up with, in case anyone else out there has a toddler doing the same thing.  Footed pajamas that zip all the way up can be helpful, but in the middle of a 100 degree summer, they are not a great option.  I found a couple pairs in a lightweight fabric on sale at The Children's Place or some other strip mall store, then cut off all the excess that I could.
Then you put it on them backwards and hope that they don't have long enough arms to reach the snap closure and zipper.  Or a helpful and mischievous older brother.
You can buy similar products online, but they are obviously more expensive than this DIY option.
Besides containing the contents of the toddler's diaper, we are also trying to contain the toddler himself.  Here's the tent that we installed when Alec started climbing out of his crib.
In the shot above, you can see that he has reached his arm through the bars and pulled the folded laundry, a piece at a time, into the crib with him.  In the shot below, you can see that he pulled on the tent frame until it flipped concave.  Ohhh, toddlers.  Am I really heading into this again?
My uncle Phil used this product with his own little Houdini, and the child destroyed the mesh by poking holes in it with his fingers, then reached for the zipper to free himself.  Phil said it best, "It's the only product that you buy, then realize it's crap and doesn't work, but totally buy again when it breaks."
Check out Alec below.  You can really hear the wheels turning, can't you?  "Let's see, if I can't reach to undo the zipper on my back, at least I can figure out how this thing works..."
The crib tent is no longer available due to safety recalls, but I must admit that I'm so glad that we had one during that insane time period.  Consumer Reports has this advice:

What to use instead: If your little one is climbing out of her crib, it is time for a toddler bed, which looks like a regular bed but uses a crib mattress.

Shut up, Consumer Reports.  Have you ever tried to explain the concept of "Stay in your bed until morning" to a 17-month-old?
The best alternative seems to be a sleep sack, which just might solve the diaper and crib problems at once.  But remember how it's 100 degrees here?

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