Welcome back and if you are joining me for the first time, welcome to my page. I started journaling about my experience as a somewhat new mom to a little redhead boy named Jaxon. He is my grand-nephew who came to live with me in April 2020. Starting over as a parent at 54 has its challenges, and I know there are others out there in similar situations. Someone suggested I journal about the experience as it may help others. Today, it’s all about diaper picking.
Journal date 8/10/21
Jaxon is my cute little grand nephew who is living with me for now. He is has been here since he was 17 months. I thought my diaper changing days were over until Jaxon came along. My hope is at some point my daughter will have children, but that is down the road. I knew I would change diapers as a grandparent. I didn’t realize I would be changing them every day, all day long.
Diapers are a lifesaver. I never experienced cloth diapers as a kid or adult, and I am thankful I don’t have to. I can’t imagine using the old cloth diapers on Jaxon today. The pins would definitely be an issue as Jaxon is very curious about his diapers.
We have found there is only one diaper that works best on Jaxon. We have tried all others, and they don’t feel thick enough or work well for our situation. Huggies is our brand of choice.
He is so curious; he picks at them.
Diaper picking is a habit. One moment Jaxon is running; the next moment, he is picking. Picking at his diaper is what Jaxon does when he gets bored. Lay him in his bed at night, and he will start picking if he doesn’t go to sleep right away. Wake up before everyone else, and Jaxon is picking at his diaper. Watching a show that he has lost interest in, and you find Jaxon picking his diaper.
One day Jaxon came home from the daycare (he is in a private daycare) with tape across the top of the diaper. Apparently, he picks his diapers there as well.
When I asked the sweet lady what the tape was for, she said it prevented him from picking his diaper. She makes the children lunch, and when she reappears from the kitchen, she finds Jaxon picking and little diaper pieces all over her floor.
What’s so terrible about diaper picking?
The little diaper pieces go everywhere. He picks and drops.
When he picks his diapers in the crib, the little pieces stick to everything. If Jaxon sits in his high chair for mealtime, the little pieces go all over the floor. I have spent countless hours cleaning up diaper pieces.
I have to be honest
I hate when he picks his diaper for a few reasons.
The little pieces are everywhere, and I have to clean them up. Because he picks his diaper, there are times the diaper falls off. And of course, there are the times he has picked it down to the dirty area, if you know what I mean.
Yes, he wears clothes, but that doesn’t stop him from picking.
Rubber pants? Yes, but those don’t stop him from picking.
Onesies? Jaxon can still get to his diaper. He pulls the onesie down off his shoulders to his waist until he can reach his hands down inside and grab the diaper. We have several onesies with stretched necklines. Sometimes, we find the onesies completely off. Zippers and buttons on the front do not stop him.
We have found him buck naked a few times.
I got so frustrated with the diaper picking; my daughter decided to get him a pair of inescapable pajamas since most of the picking happens in bed. She ordered a pair of inescapable pajamas advertised on Amazon. I don’t know what she paid, but they were guaranteed to prevent your child from undressing himself. Sounds great! The pajamas are made with a zipper in the back. I saw them and thought for sure we finally had a solution.
They remind me of the old-fashioned onesie bathing suits men wore many years ago. Basically, they look like a jumper.
They don’t work on Jaxon. The “guaranteed inescapable” pajamas are escapable. Within five minutes of having them on, Jaxon pulled them down off his shoulders and began picking at his diaper. My daughter wasted her money. Oh sure, they are cute, but this kid escaped from the inescapable pajamas.
Moving tape, anyone?
Since the babysitter added tape to his diaper, I decided to do the same thing. I bought a couple of rolls of clear packing tape from the big box store and proceeded to start adding a piece of tape along the top of the diaper. Basically, you line the top of the diaper where the tape falls on both sides.
One day Jaxon came home from the sitter’s house with tape around the entire top of the diaper. When I asked why she said Jaxon moved his picking to the back. Since he couldn’t pick the front, he started picking in the back.
While this seemed like a good idea, imagine how difficult it is to change a diaper that has been taped all the way around. It requires scissors to access.
Imagine you are trying to handle a pair of scissors next to a little boy’s body who makes wrestling moves on the changing table. Easier said than done. It takes both of us to remove the diaper. One time my daughter cut into the diaper too much, and when she removed the tape, wet diaper pieces went everywhere. It looked like we blew on a dandelion—what a mess. The pieces went everywhere. Jaxon cried because they stuck to his skin and caused itching and redness. Epic fail.
Each day for a while, I was picking up diaper pieces off the floor. I picked them out of the crib, off blankets and stuffed animals. My fear was he would eat them or inhale them while sleeping. Admittedly, I lost my patience a few times, disgusted I had to spend time cleaning up his mess. I don’t understand why Jaxon likes to pick his diapers.
What is it about diaper picking that fascinates him so much, and why is it so upsetting?
And why, when I tell him to stop picking, does he have a meltdown?
Not long ago, I gave up trying to get Jaxon to stop picking his diapers. Instead, I bought a dust buster to suck up all the little pieces off the floor and in his crib. I gave up on taping the diaper too. Fighting tape was an extra step I was tired of doing. I found a better way to tell him to stop picking. Each time I see him picking, I reach over and gently remove his hands from his waist and redirect. It can last for a few minutes or several hours.
Surprisingly enough, the diaper picking has slowed down. It hasn’t stopped as I still catch him doing it at the table and sometimes at night.
Getting upset about it doesn’t work. There has to be an underlying reason Jaxon is fascinated with picking his diapers. Jaxon is a picker. He picks his upper lip, too and I quit worrying about that. When I see he has picked it red, I apply vaseline to his lips at bedtime. I am thankful he doesn’t pick his nose. They say there is a silver lining. I’ll take it.
What I have learned so far.
I have learned some things in life aren’t worth getting worked up over, and this is one of them. He doesn’t understand why it’s a problem. If I don’t understand why he does it, how can I expect him to understand why it’s a problem?
Like the headbanging, is there an underlying issue that causes this behavior? Is it tied to something bigger? I believe there is, and I am trying to get answers.
Notes to self:
-Jaxon likes to pick his diapers and upper lip.
-Pick my battles.
-Remember he is only a toddler.
Each morning I thank the Lord for another day, food on my table, clean water, a safe place to shower, a towel to dry, my health, family, and Jaxon. And each morning, I ask the Lord for strength, wisdom, endurance, and patience to help me get through the day. People say don’t pray for patience. The Bible says to pray for all things.
Philippians 4:4-7, “4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness[a] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18, “18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
I know I am not alone. The Lord goes before me as I walk this path. I will follow the Lord and hold fast to his word. There are no better options in this lost and dying world.
The Teaching Lady