Toddlers And Their Dirty Doings

Nov 09, 2012 No Comments by

‘My son has found a fun game; pulling off his dirty nappy and playing with his contents. Needless to say, for me the results are not pleasant.’

Toddlers will play with just about anything they can get their hands on. If it’s squishy, squeezable, spreadable, and forbidden – all the better.
Now that your toddler has discovered the delights of nappy-dumping, it won’t be easy top keep his hands out of his stash. Until he loses interest in this pastime (which can take a few days to a few hours), you can minimize the problem by.

kids and dirty doings

kids and dirty doings

  1. Limiting access. Your toddler can’t get his hands on his faeces if he can’t get his hands in his nappies. So try to secure his nappy so it can’t be loosened or removed. This may require using nappy pins to fasten terry nappies (rather than using a nappy warp with Velcro closings), pinning the nappy to your toddler’s vest with nappy pins, or using snug, pull-on plastic pants over the nappy (which might increase the risk of nappy rash, so make sure you change nappies frequently). Be aware, however, that a resourceful toddler intent on dipping into his nappy will may well find a way to circumvent such security measures.
  2. Heading him off. Many toddlers keep to a fairly predictable bowel-movement pattern (one moves his bowels after each meal, another just once a day after breakfast, others always make up with a mess in their nappy, and so on). If you’ve figured out your toddler’s pattern, try catching him in the act (or immediately after) as often as possible. That way you can get to his nappy before he does…
  3. Providing a substitute. Squishing, squeezing and spreading are irresistible tactile experiences for toddlers. Supply your toddler with plenty of alternative opportunities for such experiences, and he may not feel as compelled to look for them in his nappy. Try giving him squishy, squeeze toys (make sure they’re age appropriate and that pieces of them can’t be chewed off), and opportunities for finger-painting, sand play (especially satisfying when water is mixed with the sand), and playing with nontoxic clay. (Most of these activities will require careful adult supervision.)
  4. Remaining unfazed. Chances are excellent that, in spite of all your efforts to discourage or distract, your toddler will still find the will and a way to pursue his nappy probing. And chances are even better than the more attention (either negative or positive) you pay to his dirty little games, the more eager he’ll be to keep playing it. So keep both the smiles and the scowls off pour face. Simply make it perfectly clear that the behaviour is unacceptable (‘Don’t touch the poo. It’s dirty.’), without losing your cool. Remain unfazed, too, when tailing about it. Use words like ‘poo’, ‘doo-doo’ or whatever feels right for you and you’re most comfortable with.
  5. Telling him where to put it. Take this opportunity to introduce the toilet to your toddler. His interest in his faeces isn’t a sign that he’s ready for toilet-learning, but you can take advantage of his natural curiosity about his bowel movements to show him where they ultimately belong. Take him into the lavatory when you empty the content of his nappy into the toilet, and explain, ‘poo goes in the potty.’

After The Baby Is Born, The Toddlers Year
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