In the last two weeks, Maddie has mastered the commando-like maneuver of flipping from her back to the standing position. The flip is not a gentle or subtle action, it’s a flash of movement where the baby goes from being on her back to standing right up there in your face. This two-count process starts with the flip to her knees right before she stands straight up.
Maddie really shows off some great athletic potential with this action, but it is no fun at all on the changing table. Whether it’s a diaper change or just changing clothes, this wild bucking bronco is creating PURE HAVOC on the changing table.
The second I lay her down on her back, she takes that as her crazy cue to spin into action. I’m fine with all of that, but when I gently restrain these wild rolling tendencies, she goes absolutely insane. She starts screaming and crying as if she being lowered into boiling oil. This pattern took hold about three days ago and shows no signs of abating any time soon.
I love the enthusiasm associated with her stand and roll, but don’t really understand the temper tantrum that comes with it. I have tried multiple strategies to reduce Maddie’s mayhem including humor, distraction, soothing and restraint. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, Maddie flatly refuses to sit still for any changing table activities.
Like anything else with the baby, you just have to ride the phase out to its completion. However, it would be nice if I could find a way to reduce the stress for Maddie. The baby really seems to get desperate, but once the diaper is changed or the new outfit is in place, she is all happy and bubbly once again.
We’ve gone through a few phases like this one in the past, but I’m really hoping for a speedy resolution. This behavior does not seem to be linked to hunger or sleep, for now it appears to be another control issue. So for now we are in the grin and bear it stage until little Maddie Sunshine decides that it is ok to have her diaper changed again.
Please feel free to chime in on this situation if you have any pointers.
- She isn’t struggling with any type of diaper rash.
- There has been no deviation in the changing method.
- In the past we have used toys or items to distract her.
After reading Diaper Change Triggers Honey Badger Attack – A fellow Stay Home PaPa named LJ Burton told me about the double threat he faces from his two-year-old twins. LJ is our first ever Stay Home PaPa guest blogger.
By LJ Burton:
My newest two daughters, twin girls that will be 2yrs old close to the end of this month and like Maddie, they have learned several new tricks themselves.
The bigger of the two, Kassie, has somewhat of a Houdini streak in her. She is adept at getting out of her own clothes, particularly her nighttime sleeper. But that’s not enough. Once she gets the sleeper off during the night, she’ll manage to take off her diaper. Sometimes the diaper is found thrown underneath her crib, other times it’s stuffed down in the leg of the sleeper. Mostly it’s been a wet diaper when this happens, but a few times it’s been a messy one. Oh what fun!!!
Her twin sister, who’s also the oldest of the two and the smaller one, sometimes becomes Kassie’s dress up doll. She’ll manage to unzip and disrobe her sister and on occasion will also take her sister’s diaper off as well. The latest occurrence was just this morning. We’ve managed to somewhat stymie all of this disrobing by using a safety pin on the sleeper’s zippers, but that doesn’t always stop them. On night Kassie managed to pull the head off the safety pin, then proceed with her usual disrobing.
As if that’s not enough, Kassie has become very skilled at climbing in and out of her crib as well as her sister’s crib. She managed to go to such lengths that at the height of her activities she extracted a container of socks from the top of a dresser drawer, carried that container over into her sister’s crib, then climbed into her sister’s crib to throw them all around. Before she climbed into her sister’s crib she managed to pull all of their clothes out of the dresser’s three drawers and decorate them around their bedroom.
As if that’s not enough, my wife found Kati, the smaller of the two, sitting on the top of our cat’s condo tower earlier this morning. It stands about 4ft high and is about 2ft square and has three levels. There’s an armchair sitting next to the cat condo, but we still don’t know how she managed to climb up there. Particularly without falling in the process.
Kicking while being diapered seems like a walk in the park by comparison. 🙂 I’ll trade with you for a while if you’d like to see what it’s like with multiples!
Maddie must have sensed that her mother had an early morning flight because she on the warpath all night long. Even her full blown rock out session from 3am to 4am, didn’t stop the baby from picking up where she left off at 6:15 am. For some reason, a twisted and dark version of the theme song from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood kept playing over and over in my head.
It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood
Bleary-eyed and staggered, Stay Home PaPa took a deep breath, scooped up Maddie and prepared to face whatever this special day had to offer. Things started off with one of those diaper changes gone wrong. The old diaper was disposed of and the new one was coming on when Maddie opened up Hoover Dam and let the love flow.
A beautiful day for a neighbor
Not fun, but not really the end of the world either. Jump ahead about three minutes to our first morning bottle. The baby starts crying – I take the bottle away and she starts screaming. I give the bottle back, more crying – I take it away and another tantrum ensues. OK – we have a bad tummy, let’s slow down and switch to the pacifier. I gently move the pacifier toward her mouth when little Dwight Howard throws a full fury block knocking away the pacifier and sending it skittering across the floor.
Would you be mine?
Things are really heating up now and Maddie is getting more and more worked up. I hear some fireworks emanating from her britches, so it’s time for another diaper change. We have a cosmic mess on our hands and Maddie is not impressed with the efficiency of my cleanup efforts. She is kicking furiously and manages to knock the dirty diaper off of the table. Oh, is that for me? Fantastic! I know, let’s head back for another feeding attempt.
Could you be mine?
Two minutes into the feeding, milk begins squirting out of the bottom of the bottle all over both of us. A defective bottle – time to make a quick switch. Maddie cannot fathom the incompetence of her father and really lets him have it. Working one-handed with Maddie in my right arm, I spill more than half the milk during the bottle transition and now we need a new bottle. As it heats up, I call on my close friends Mountain Dew and Motrin to meet the Maddie challenge.
Won’t you please…
Four minutes later, the fresh bottle is inches from Maddie’s lips when little Chukita Norris delivers her coup de grace, lashing out with a roundhouse kick and sending the bottle flying to the floor, nipple first. The clock on the microwave is mocking me, “It’s not even 7am yet – Good morning neighbor!”
Please won’t you be my neighbor?
In recent weeks, the whole concept of clothes and diaper changes has fallen out of favor with our little honey badger. Maddie’s legendary kicking has only intensified and now diaper changes and wardrobe switches have devolved into a messy street fight. The ultimate problem is that Maddie does not like to be messed with and is rarely shy about sharing her stronger opinions.
Let’s start with the diaper change chronicles and figure out what’s been going on up until today. The problem really hasn’t been taking off the diaper; the challenge has been trying to put on a new one.
This in itself was not a terrible issue to have, just a bit time consuming. Once the diaper comes off and the clean up is finished – most of the hard work is done. But the simple task of putting on the new diaper has been a bit complicated.
The wild kicks have been causing some concern because those wild feet have been finding there way off of the changing mat and crashing into the hard wood of the table. (OUCH!) Maddie doesn’t seem to mind, but I still cringe every time it happens.
Another issue is when the baby kicks the diaper. I don’t mind having a clean diaper kicked out of my hand, but when it’s full a special treats, that’s another issue altogether. Also, trying to fasten the new diaper while Maddie is flailing away like a steel cage fighter in the heat of battle has its drawbacks.
These little tricks were really no big deal until today when things may have taken a terrifying turn for the worst. I hope it was only a fluke, but on two separate occasions, Maddie grasped the fastener on her dirty diapers and ripped it open herself.
Neither one of these incidents caused a great deal of disruption, but the specter of true carnage is hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles. I’m counting on the fact that these were isolated incidents. If Maddie has truly figured out how to release the fury all by herself, her parents are in for a special round of enjoyment.
Once again the baby got the drop on her PaPa during a particularly adventurous diaper change. The changing had been a complicated and messy affair, but it appeared that the worst of it was behind me.
The clean up was all but finished when I was reaching for a new diaper. That’s when Maddie let out a delighted gurgle and her legs shot straight up in the air. I thought she was just being cute, but I was way off base. While admiring Maddie’s awkward yoga moves and looking at her elevated feet – I was momentarily distracted from what going on down below.
In less than three seconds, the baby had unleashed a gusher of the bad stuff. The second I saw it, she slammed both of her feet down into the new pocket of sewage. (Stay calm, shields up!) I reached for her feet a second too late as they both shot straight up again. (Houston, we have a problem) She grabbed at her poopy feet with both hands. (I shall fear no evil)
Question – Where does a baby automatically put their hands after every new tactile sensation? In their mouth of course! I realize I have about a second before Maddie gets a taste of her own toxic medicine. I pin both of her arms with my right arm as I am using my mouth and left hand to gather critical paper towel reinforcements.
Maddie is completely delighted with all the carnage unfolding around her. She’s smiling and carefully observing as I am scrubbing her nasty paws down with wet paper towels. Once her hands are clean, I notice that my little artist has also decorated the wall with a poopy footprint.
Next up, time for little foot cleansing. Thank God for my secret stash of cloth diapers. Between those and the paper towels, I managed to clean the baby, the diaper staging area and the newly minted wall. It was only then that I realized that the war had left its mark on me as well. I finally got myself cleaned up before Maddie and continued her EPA scrub down operations in the baby tub.
Unlike our poop storm in the mall last week – Maddie found this entire fiasco very entertaining and looks forward to our next poop wars encounter.
With all the mayhem with Maddie at the Short Hills Mall yesterday, a couple of friends reached out to me about the fear factor associated with having a baby. This is when I realized that I left out a few critical components in telling yesterday’s story.
First let’s recognize the obvious points of my poop adventure at the mall.
- It was pretty nasty.
- It was relatively embarrassing.
- It definitely sapped every ounce of energy out of my body.
But believe it or not – there were multiple positives that came from this uncomfortable situation. Spending time with your daughter is an amazing experience even when everything is going to POOP in front of you.
Number One: When you are walking through a public place and the baby is screaming – you are much more focused on soothing the baby rather than the stares that are coming your way. That focus on the child makes this walk of shame much more palatable.
Number Two: Many other parents were very kind and offered words of encouragement as Maddie and I passed by. One guy even stopped and said, “I’ve been there, man.” Another woman held the elevator for me and assured me that things like this happen from time to time.
Number Three: When Maddie and I finally made it to the car – She gave me a big warm smile and fell asleep right there in my arms. There is no feeling that compares to that in the world.
So despite the day’s trials and tribulations, I was practically swimming in my love for little Maddie. No matter what adventures we enjoy or are forced to struggle through together – the love for the baby overcomes all difficult or unsanitary situations – even when you are slugging it out through a poop storm at a mall in Northern New Jersey.
Maddie and PaPa had just finished a quick and efficient trip to the mall in Short Hills, New Jersey when things took an abrupt and alarming turn for the worst
We had been in the mall for less than 20 minutes and were already on our way to the car. I lifted Maddie out of her stroller and stopped dead in my tracks – say it ain’t so! The stroller had a long brown smelly stain that could only mean one thing – BACKDRAFT! Backdraft is the name I’ve given to the gravity-defying phenomenon that takes place when poop blows up the baby’s back instead of where it belongs into the diaper.
Much to my dismay, I turned the baby around and the evil gravy had obliterated her shirt! You cannot be serious! Now it’s decision time. At this point, the baby is still happy. Do I risk taking her home covered in the goop or do I risk a trip to the public bathroom? The last time we changed a backdraft, Maddie screamed bloody murder for several minutes. I made the only decision I could – try to clean things up and hope for the best.
One we got into the bathroom, Shakespeare came to mind: “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!” It was a nightmare! To date, it’s the worst diaper disaster I have ever encountered. I honestly didn’t know where to start – there were nasty pockets of poop in too many places to count. As soon as I started cleaning up Maddie, she went nuclear, screaming at the indignity and discomfort of it all.
Now it’s a party! Poop, screaming and penetrating stares from fellow shoppers! The only thing that could possibly enhance this experience would be if my baby bag were missing a backup outfit! Yahtzee!!! No backup!
Now what? Just like in the movie Legends of the Fall, I had to wrap Maddie in a bearskin! Well actually it was my fleece jacket, but you get the picture. Now Maddie is really screaming as PaPa rushes through the mall in search of some baby clothes.
Some people are giving me encouraging or sympathetic looks while others are shooting daggers at me – Honey Badger don’t care, she’s just screaming. I rushed into Macy’s and told the clerk, “I need a onesie – Right now would be good!” I laid Maddie down at the register on my jacket and dressed her right there. I’m already doing things I never imagined and Maddie is only four and half months old. I think this parenting thing may take a little more practice.
For three weeks now, I’ve been terribly apprehensive about writing this article about how we defeated sweet Madeleine’s diaper rash. The fear is that if I publish the article, the rash will comes back at my 4-month-old with a vengeance!
Diaper rash had been constant headache for all of us since the baby was born. It actually seemed to impact the parents a great deal more than it bothered our little girl. We would fret, complain and complete exhaustive research projects like we were trying to cure yellow fever.
We purchased every darned product we could find under the sun:
- Butt Paste
- Burt’s Bee’s
- Home Remedies
- VooDoo dolls and potions
- Ouija board
One of three things happened every time:
- The rash would get temporarily better
- Stay the same
- Get worse
Every time it was right back to square one with bumps, the redness and sometimes blood. Never has there been an affliction with so many cures available that only seem to make the problem worse. Maybe teenage pimples, but isn’t that another billion dollar pharmaceutical industry designed to rip off desperate consumers?
Sorry, I promised Maddie that I would not get carried away. So without further adieu, here’s the cure.
STEP I – Stop using baby wipes, especially the medicated ones.
STEP II – After each diaper change, use a little container of water and cleanse the affected area with GENTLE paper towel halves. (Pick a brand)
STEP III – Throw all of that diaper rash crap out the window – Every tube, jar and bottle of magic potion (unless it actually works for your baby.) Sometimes a little Mustela can go a long way, but try the natural route first!
STEP IV – In 3 to 4 days, Maddie’s rash went the way of the 8 track player and the dinosaur. It’s gone. There’s been no flare-ups, no bumps and no blood.
I don’t know if this remedy will work for you and your baby and we don’t know for sure if it made Maddie any happier. However, we sleep much better at night knowing that the baby is not resting on a chapped bottom!
It’s too early to tell if Maddie has been blessed or cursed with her thunder thighs, but what’s become painfully apparent in the last week is that they pack an amazing punch. Her thighs have transformed those cute little feet into thundering hooves that leave widespread devastation in their wake.
It’s not so much the kicks that are causing the problems, but the stamp down that seems to come at the end of the kick. It seems obvious now that Maddie is not interested in sharing the house with any siblings. No matter what position I feed her in now, her sledge hammer feet keep finding the mark on my private parts. Maddie might have deduced that if the family jewels are crushed – she will be the center of attention for the next 18 years.
The baby’s foot impacts the groin area very similar to the way a doctor wields the reflex hammer against the knee. It’s a sharp blow and accurate blow that is so well-placed that PaPa is forced to suspend each feeding to try and catch his breath and regroup.
Another area impacted by the baby’s hoof is the diaper change. The second the diaper comes off, one of her feet races down expertly burying itself in the poop area. We are now going through at least two to three pairs of socks a day, because socks and poop are not a good match.
Even if you maintain a vise-like grip on her ankles, those legs are spring-loaded and her foot seeks out the messiest area like a predator drone hunting for a convoy of terrorists. Maddie stamped so hard this afternoon that the pacifier actually flew out of her mouth. I decided to look for it later because I was still prying off the nasty sock. When I looked up, the baby was smiling and the pacifier was actually lying right there on her forehead.
I can hardly wait to see what her kick/stomp will be like when she’s one-year-old!