It’s that wonderful time of day again, an exhausting yet exciting time that we look forward to from the moment we awake in the morning. Yes, it’s bedtime. Time to gather any remaining energy you have left from your busy day into chasing, tackling, lotioning dressing, and duct-taping your children. Wait a minute, did I just say duct-tape? Yes, I did: I duct-tape my children at bedtime.

Now, before you call child services in a panic, let me explain. Failyn, when she was about 18 months old, got into the habit of removing her pj’s and diaper every night. You can imagine the resulting mess that awaited us each morning. It didn’t matter how many times we went in to check on her, re-dress, threaten or bribe her, by the time morning came the diaper was always off. Even if she was asleep fully clothed when we went to sleep, she would awaken during the night to strip.

I still wonder if she did it merely to see me pull my hair out day by day. Regardless of the reason, I had to find some way to keep my child, her crib and bedding and my walls, clean and dry. Someone suggested pjs that zip-up the back, where she can’t reach. At an amazing $20 a pop, this wasn’t an option I was eager to jump to unless absolutely necessary. Another mom shared that she uses safety pins to secure the zipper. I just wasn’t comfortable with my baby possibly harming herself with this; I’d rather clean up a mess.

After several weeks, I decided I needed just one morning with no cleaning and scrubbing, so I got our duct-tape, cut one slim strip that was just long enough to go once around the diaper waist, and secured it to my Failyn’s diaper. It didn’t touch her skin at all, wasn’t any more snug than her diaper, and could be easily removed, by an adult. Lo and behold, it was still on the next morning! I could handle the fact that she still removed her pajamas, but her diaper stayed securely around her every night, thanks to a small strip of duct-tape after lotioning at bedtime.

Much do my delight, Failyn did outgrow this phase after about a year. Once my twins hit that same 18 month mark, though, they both started in on the same messy disaster. Out came the duct-tape, and clean stayed my walls.

The twins have yet to outgrow this completely, so we still securely fasten a strip of duct-tape to their diapers every night until we’re sure there won’t be an unwelcome surprise come morning. We’ll see if and when Kaleb decides to follow in his older siblings’ footsteps, but for now he’s staying happily dressed and diapered.

Have any of your children taken their diapers off at night and proceeded to make a mess? What solutions worked and/or didn’t work well for you?

Danielle is the mom of four beautiful children, ages 6 (almost), twin 2 1/2 year olds, and a little one year old. They each came with a fully grown set of angel wings, and devil horns! She does her best to be the best mom possible, but knows that motherhood, just as all things in life, comes with it’s own sets of challenges. To keep herself sane, and have a way to communicate with other similarly busy women, she uses her spare time to run and enjoys sharing recipes, articles, crafts and all of the funny (sometimes embarrassing) stories that four kids and one handsome-yet-goofy hubby create!