January 29, 2012

How To Build A Better Diaper

Moe is a boy. And as such, he likes to do one thing most boys enjoy doing, and that is sticking his hands down his pants. He has no sense that he shouldn't, so why not? Generally, we just shout "hands up!" and he takes his hands out and moves right along.

Generally, I wouldn't be too concerned about this but it has caused a pretty serious problem at night. As Moe is going to sleep, he will (even through his pajamas, which are one piece and zip up the back), try to put his hands down the top of his diaper. This then folds the top of the diaper down. Then, somewhere between midnight and 2 am, Moe pees. The diaper, in its folded and crumpled state, does not contain the urine, and Moe gets soaked and uncomfortable.

For the last two weeks, this has happened almost every night. Moe cries. I change him. We fall back asleep, usually fairly quickly. Sometimes in the morning this happens again. Some nights, he's going through three pairs of pajamas, and three diapers.

Obviously, this is problematic. Moe and I are both on a pretty serious sleep deficit. Jelly sometimes wakes up as well. And let's not dwell on the affect this is having on the environment with all the extra laundry and diapers.

We are seeking solutions. I tried giving Moe melatonin, thinking that if he fell asleep quickly, he would not have as much time to mess up the diaper. This actually worked, but, as generally happens with melatonin, he woke up on his own in the middle of the night but instead of falling asleep after a quick diaper change, he was up for hours.

Jeff has tried to engineer the problem. First, we put some regular underpants over the diaper, thinking an extra layer might help. It didn't. Next, Jeff put some stiff tape on the top of the diaper to keep the top from folding over. Instead, Moe was able to use the top of the diaper as a kind of handle and ended up just moving the whole diaper around. It leaked.

Last night, we started by putting painter's tape on the diaper, covering the diaper fasteners as well. We figured it would help but not be hard to change in the middle of the night if necessary. This failed within minutes.

Jeff followed this up with masking tape.

I can't comment yet on the success of this. Last night was a nightmare, as Moe had a pretty serious meltdown, from about 7-9. He was exhausted, but unable to fall asleep. He was in full sensory seeking mode, and we tried every calming technique we knew. Some would work for a bit, but as soon as we even mentioned going back to bed, he'd scream again (hooray for receptive language?!). We broke down and attempted to give him melatonin, but by then he refused to chew the tablets.

We had some of the liquid stuff, so after a quick dosage calculation (if 10ml is 2.5mg, how many ml would be 500mcg?), we got him to drink the stuff. I'm not sure it even mattered at that point, as he was already starting to slow down. We stopped hearing from him some time after 9:30.

The good thing is both kids slept in until about 8:45 this morning. Moe's diaper had a little leak, but Jeff insists this was not a failure of design, just length of wear. Further testing needs to be done.


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