Diaper Change

Mayhem, Chicanery Rule the Changing Table

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You can’t handle the truth!

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.

Diaper Changes Going to the Dark Side

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The many faces of my diaper dandy.

Please feel free to chime in on this situation if you have any pointers.

My glorious 9-month-old daughter has really started to ramp up her frustration level during diaper changes. I’ve taken a close look at some of the most common issues, but nothing seems to jump out as the cause of all this angst.
 
Maddie has never liked to be messed with. The baby gets annoyed when you pull a shirt over her head. She even gets fired up when you put pants on her. But lately, the diaper change has Maddie truly embracing the dark side of the force.
 
Changing the diaper is an activity that I have always tried to keep lighthearted and maybe even a little bit fun. The changing process is usually accompanied by a song or shared conversation. However, diaper changes over the course of the past week have really turned into a series of baby tantrums complete with kicking and some less-than-pleasant screaming.
  • 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.
It’s almost the thought of the diaper change itself that sets Maddie on this rocky course more than the actual change itself. I suppose these bad moods are more intense when the baby is tired, but there still seems to be little reason for such an Oscar-worthy performance.
 
Maddie’s parents concluded a long time ago that Maddie hates having a dirty diaper, but hates having it changed just as much. The fact that she is being awarded a clean diaper in the process is completely irrelevant.
 
To my knowledge, she has never had a bad experience while going through the motions. So we have no idea what is troubling her now.
 
To our knowledge, Maddie is not experiencing any physical discomfort, just the anguish of believing that she might be missing something interesting during the event. Hopefully this diaper change of discontent is just a phase that will be over sooner than later. But for now, the days of the easy diaper-living have come and gone only to be replaced by small arms fire and looting in the streets.

Guest Blogger Swept Up in Double Trouble

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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!

Baby Runs Roughshod over Mr. Rogers Neighborhood

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Hide the children!

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?

Diaper Change Triggers Honey Badger Attack

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Get ready to rumble!

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.

Diaper Change Goes to the Dogs

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Never let your guard down!

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.

Lessons Learned From Messy Day at the Mall

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Are we really still talking about this?

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.