Creative Solutions to Common Problems

Miscellaneous Baby Topic Pool

(Work in Progress)

1. Keeping the pacifier in

Many babies won’t even try a pacifier. You put it in there and they pop it back out. You can’t believe a newborn could be so smart so young, but they can be! Some are so determined to thrust that thing out. Now I don’t recommend pacifiers per se, but our firstborn used one when he was trying to fall asleep, and we helped him adjust by putting a dab of maple syrup on the nipple. He’d take a couple minutes to suck it off and then pop it back out. After repeating this for week or so, or holding it in gently when he first wanted to thrust it out, he got the victory. We only had to keep using the syrup for about another week, just to help him accept it when we laid him down.

2. Smearing poop on the wall

Somewhere around the age of two, toddlers get into their diapers while they’re in bed. You wake up in the morning with the diaper off and poop everywhere. Their favorite thing is to smear it on the wall, like it’s finger paint. If you are a tenant somewhere especially, you just can’t let this go on. We used onesies and shorts as pajamas when it came up in our household (one size small so they were not loose). This combination seems to make it harder for them to get in there, unless you have a real determined spud in which case you should put the shorts on first and then put the onesie over top. What you are really doing here is retraining their wandering hands… when the fingers are itchy and looking for something to pull, those diaper flaps are no longer available. You shouldn’t have to do this forever. Most of our kids stopped trying after a week or two, I think.

3. Finger painting or marker all over the hands

Put latex gloves on them before they start their art projects. You can get them at walmart or the grocery store, in the cleaning aisles. Use a smock for clothes.

4. Rotavirus (chronic vomiting, diarrhea)

When the rotavirus or stomach flu hits your baby/toddler, put them in a Pack ‘N Play for easy cleanup. And preferably over a non-carpeted floor or rug. Don’t use sheets or blankets, just make sure the room is warm. And definitely remove as much clothing as possible, like socks. Try a onesie or T-shirt only for easy changing. For diarrhea, get some plastic pants like those you put over swimmies or disposable diapers; the elastic will help any diaper messes from running everywhere. You will save yourself much cleaning and sanitation trouble if you use the playpen instead of letting them get sick all over their beds/walls/floors. Plus, you can move it to any room of the house to be near them. Even into the bathroom if it is big enough.

An older child might not mind resting in the bathtub if you put a pillow and towel in there, with some soothing music. This is good for those chronic times where they are in the middle of their vomiting/diarrhea spells.

5. Stopping the thumb-sucking

Everyone has their own opinions on this. When we were ready to help our two and a half year old stop, we used hospital tape wrapped around the tip of thumb. I will try and find a website for it because it is common stuff, cheap, but special… the sticky side had this elastic in it that actually bound itself to the skin and came off like rubber cement. It was perfectly sanitary, transparent (discreet), soft, and form-fitting. But it deterred the sucking because it felt funny to suck on tape. It lasted all day without getting gross, and then we took it off at night so he could go to sleep.

Don’t ever use bitter tasting stuff. In a pinch, I’d use a tiny piece of duct tape instead, adhesive tape, or band-aids.

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