Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Am I Smarter Than a Two-Year-Old?

A couple months ago, Kyndall decided that it would be really fun to strip naked at night after we put her down to bed. After a couple of nights, she talked Kaydence into stripping as well. Each night when we went in to check on them, we would find Kyndall and Kaydence completely naked, curled up asleep in a puddle of she-she. We would get them up, put new diapers and jammies on them, change their sheets and put them back to bed. Not pleasant, to say the least! When the night time stripping escalated into poop-throwing parties, we knew we had to do something!

Our first strategy was to duct-tape the diapers.
I have heard many diaper duct tape success stories, but Kyndall is so skinny that she could wriggle right out of the diaper---with or without the duct tape.

The next course of action was the "straight jacket". We took a pair of "fuzzy" sleeper pajamas, cut the feet off and put it on backwards (with the zipper in the back).

The Straight Jacket, "back" view

The straight jacket stopped Kaydence, but Kyndall could wriggle out of the neck hole in the PJ's. We would find the straight jacket, still completely zipped up, lying next to her.

Next we tried safety pinning the neck hole so that it was too small for her to wiggle out of....

Safety Pin Close-up

The Straight Jacket with pin, "front" view

This worked for a couple of weeks. Then Kyndall discovered that she could climb from her bed into Kaydence's bed and they could unzip each other. Once unzipped, they could slip off the straight jackets, remove their diapers and party on as before.

In desperation, I bought a sleep sack and put it backwards (zipped up the back) on Kyndall. This kept her jammies on and prevented her from climbing out since she couldn't spread her legs wide enough to climb over the bar on the crib. The only problem is that the sleep sacks they sell in the stores are all 0-6 months size, so it was a pretty tight fit, even for little Kyndall.

The Sleep Sack

Fortunately, GG came to the rescue and designed a homemade sleep sack that was not quite as confining, but still did the trick!

GG's Homemade Sleep Sack

In the mean time, we discovered something that made Kyndall not WANT to take off her jammies-----for Christmas the girls all got jammies with little ballerina skirts. They LOVE the skirts (they call them their tippy toes, tippy toes). If they wear them to bed, no one wants to take them off so.......NO MORE STRIPPING!!!

Unfortunately it only took a couple weeks for Kyndall (who we think might be related to Houdini) to figure out how to climb out of her crib even while wearing the sleep sack! The first few times it happened, we could not believe it. We had to hide outside the bedroom door and spy on her to figure out how she did it. (She leans over the crib railing, swings both legs over together, then shimmies down the other side)

At this point, I am ready to admit defeat---I am NOT smarter than a two-year-old! (Jayson, though, has a few more ideas. I don't know if they will work in the long run, but I am keeping my fingers crossed!!)

Kyndall, wearing regular jammies, "straight jacket" and "tippy toes, tippy toes"---quite a fashion statement!



dakota said...

awww, that's so cute! love kaydence!

Amy North said...

Hey Rashelle, have you considered onesies? Some friends of ours had a similar problem with their little boy, and they found the solution by putting a onesie on him under his pajamas every night. But perhaps Kyndall/Houdini is smart enough to undo a onesie?? :) I hope you figure something out. She's a sneaky little thing! :)

Amy North said...

oh, and I spelled your name wrong! Sorry! That is how my best friend spells it, so it's habit. :P

Two Lines On a Stick said...

I have heard of people putting the jammies on inside out so they can't access the zipper as easily... just a thought! Hope you find something that works :)

Anonymous said...

What about the netting that goes over the top of the crib to prevent escapes?

Carrie M. said...

Totally changes the game when you have friends to help you out of your predicament!
You could try to safety pin the zipper on the jammies closed.
You could also add some snaps or other closures that 2 year olds can't undo, or buy some jammies with a back zipper and snap already.




Alison said...

I remember days of having to tape around the top of my sons nappy then all in one pjs on backwards with the zip pinned and taped also...most nights he would jsut go to sleep and not bother tryig to get to the nappy but other night he could still get out of all of that, how im not sure it seemed like there was enough to stop him....the things we do

Kim said...

Have you ever seen a crib tent? http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=309775&parentCategoryId=85182&categoryId=85214&subCategoryId=86192

Nikki said...

Oh goodness! My hubby and I had a good laugh. I think after all you've done, I might consider having her strip her own bed and clean up the mess.

So far, we've only had a couple incidents with foul play with our kids. But we've never had multiples before giving each other ideas. We'll see what happens in about two years.

I had a visiting teaching companion that told me once about her Houdini daughter. She would strip down during naptime, poop, and then play with it. She tried onesies under her clothes. She tried onesies and then drawstring pants tied. Pajamas and pants. Onesie over the pajamas inside out and backwards. EVERYTHING! Just like you have. I don't recall if she ever found a solution. Her daughter is now 9. I'll have to email her and ask how it eventually came to a stop. I'll let ya know! ;)

Mum2twopreciousgifts said...


Thank you for your post! I feel SO much better. My three year old is currently going through similar behaviours and to say the least, I'm beyond exasperated.

On the flip side, isn't it lovely to have have proof to know that your children aren't silly...and in fact they are quite clever?

Emma said...

I was going to suggest the same as Carrie, safety-pinning the zip so it can't be pulled down.

Maaike said...

Hi Rachelle!

Ooh, that sounds stressful! If all else fails, maybe take the plunge and single out Kyndall to potty-train her? Makes sleeping naked less of a problem, at least. Besides, once she gets into the game of going on the potty and keeping her clothes dry and clean, she may want to keep her bed dry and clean as well.

I know you don't look forward to potty-training the quints. But what's worse: This, or potty-training one child? Seems to me that either way you're cleaning up she-she and poop. Might as well let it serve a purpose.

Another thought: Have you tried to find out why she wants to be naked? It may be an idea to rule out the possibility she's irritated by the diaper or the laundry detergent, which might itch on her skin when she tries to sleep.

Of course, she could simply be one of those freedom-lovers. Many toddlers are! :)

Good luck with it!


HT said...

This story reminded me of my one daughter ET. She thought it great to get undressed and paint with poo on the bed and walls when she is suppose to sleep!

The carpet cleaning company had to come out to our house a few times!

No fun at all for me since I tend to be a bit of neat freak. I did freak out a little bit!

Thank goodness this behavior stopped after about the third incident!

Nurse Heidi said...

Have to say that this post especially cracks me up because I have a daughter the same age doing a lot of the same things. In a fit of defiance over being sent to bed early a few nights ago, she jumped out and started stripping. Your kids are very cute :).

(Heidi Spencer from Arvada, by the way...)

The Queen Vee said...

Rachelle, I'm still laughing although I know at times this is not funny, and very frustrating. Sign that girl up for gymnastics, she's clearly a natural and sooooo cute and innocent looking.

Grandpa Sparky said...

KYNDALL, Your my hero.

Three Little Brown Kids said...

I keep telling myself - eventually they all learn to go to sleep and stay that way. Waiting it out is tough though! I can't imagine 5!

Diane said...

God has definitely gifted her as a problem solver. I'll be praying for you as you help her learn to use her God-given talents constructively :)...and for patience for you too.

Melissa said...

This post was hilarious. Thanks for sharing. Our Houdini gave up when we tried the safety pin approach. We're very familiar with the single-girl poop party but it is so hilarious that they like to climb in and play together! You're a fabulous mom.

Melissa in CA

Nichols Family said...


Anonymous said...

maybe duct tape over the zipper?

Kristen Duke Photography said...

WOW!!! THat is hilarious! Did Jayson get a video of that?

Brad, Rebecca, Jacob said...

Dang, that girl is good! My oldest never learned to climb out of a crib (while he was using one to sleep in) and never once took off his own PJs...you've got it rough! I look forward to Jayson's ideas :)

Anonymous said...

so sorry you are going through this with kyndall and working part-time too!! I just dont know how you can do it all both you and your husband are wonderful parents and have so much patience.

I'm sure you both will find what to do - My first impression was that she wants to be potty trained. Kyndall is very smart and Im sure she would catch on quick and give her an extra boost by making you and her daddy happy and proud.

maybe she doesnt like the feel of wet diapers.

I didnt go through this with my children so I can only wish you the best in sorting it out and not getting into a power struggle with kyndall.

Dana said...

I never had to go past the duck-taped diaper. wow that is amazing. One day they will be potty trained and you won't have to do that any more. My sister is still bewildered at how to potty train her twins. she thinks it will never happen. I am sure it will for each of you guys. Good luck. Hope she keeps the tippy toes on !!!

My Boaz's Ruth said...

I vote for potty training (I know, harder said than done). My son is starting to ask to have his diaper changed on occasion (On other occasions? He throws a fit. I can't imagine having to change 5 diapers at times when he's throwing fits!)

Shelley said...

2 words: crib tent!! Love them!

Bonzomamma said...

I simply love your wonderful kids :) tons of fun.
For the diapers time to potty training... I guess.
We are starting now... lots of fun, lots of patience, lots of tears also.

Good luck

Granny Lin said...

Wilkinsons - it's been so long since I've looked at your blog!(I'm a freind of Ken and the Queen Vee). The kids (all 7) have grown so much! I, of course, had to look at all the videos. What a beautiful family! We had a problem with our grand-daughter doing all kinds of things to get her hand down to her belly-button. I can't imagine them teaming up together! God's blessings on your quest to figure this bedtime thing out.

tessa said...

Some friends in MOM club recommend these http://www.cheekeebaby.com/Home/Welcome.axd
and I did the crib tents with my twins too.
I was laughing out loud while reading. Thanks for sharing. Hope it ends soon.

Anonymous said...

Try the Little Keeper Sleepers. Their zippered back sleeper necks do not stretch and they have a locking system in the back the puts a stop to sleeper and diaper removal. See the amazing testimonials at: www.littlekeepersleeper.com