To Duct Tape or Not to Duct Tape?

Please excuse this bit of a diaper rant….

You know the developmental milestone of clothing removal?

My boys have it MASTERED

Sleepsack, Pants, Shirt, Diaper, Every Stinkin’ Article of Clothing!

And apparently it hasn’t quite sunk in that clothing is REQUIRED during nap/night times. The sleepsacks had been our saving grace prior to now. We’ve tried wearing them backwards and pinning down the zipper, but they’ve resorted to a new Houdini-maneuver of removal by slipping their arms out of the holes, leaving it completely unzipped and stepping out.  Little boogers!  I don’t think there’s a zipper, snap, or contraption they couldn’t figure out except for dear ole duct tape. It worked wonders in the past for the McNulty’s with their "3 Levels of Security".  Let’s review those levels of progression, shall we?duct tape

1.Place a nice strip of duct tape over the two tabs in the front.

2. Wrap the duct tape fully around the waist.

3. Wrap duct tape around the waist then lasso between the legs.


So I have a written plan of action, thanks to my veteran quad mama sista, but I feel like making one last ditch effort before I become a lifetime stockholder in 3M.  Which explains my excursion tonight to Michael’s to buy a graph-lined poster board and smiley face stickers. Instead of exclusively disciplining the diaper remover, I’m making an effort to reward those who keep their diapers in tact during crib time.  My plan is to hang their chart on the back of their room door, as a visual motivator while they are in their cribs. It does no harm in trying, right?

(Attention 3M, now would be an optimal time to open all production lines and operate at maximum capacity at the duct tape factory. Hi, Dids, if you are reading!)

I’ll let you know how it goes, and if you have further ideas, solutions, or you just can completely relate/sympathize, I’m all ears!

swimmersWhile we are on the diapering baby bottoms topic, could I add that, quote, "Holy Smokes, Huggies Little Swimmers Diapers are costing me a small fortune!" Sure they are great for the pool and our water adventures, but come on people, 7.99 (discounted cost with a 1.50 coupon) for a bag of 11, when the package says 12, is quite the hefty investment!   That’s almost 75 cents a diaper x 4 for each water excursion! Thankfully this is our last summer for these pricey disposables! 

Alright, that’s all I got tonight…Continue on with your normal feces-free night!

33 thoughts on "To Duct Tape or Not to Duct Tape?"

  1. Lyn says:

    You can actually wash Little Swimmers and get several uses out of one.

  2. jodi says:

    I'd definitely be emailing Huggies to let them know the contents of the package are not true to the advertised amount. Chances are very good that they will send you some good coupons!

    Good luck with the duct tape!

  3. Meg says:

    I cloth diaper, which I think discourages my LO from trying to undiaper herself. BUT, if it dissuades them AT ALL, would plastic pants help at all (just an extra layer over top of their diapers)? Mine doesn't try to undress herself, so maybe this is not all helpful to you.

    Cloth diapers are not too difficult to wash — they make CD's for swimming…not too pricey considering what you're paying for the Little Swimmers. Check out

  4. Anonymous says:

    Babies R Us sells re-usable washable swim diapers & swim trunks with built in diapers for about $6-8 apiece. The brand is Play Baby. You can also google search for iPlay… they sell them also. 🙂

    Anne Schrader

  5. Suzanne says:

    dude! amen about those little swimmers diapers!!! SHEEEEESH! i was thinking the same thing. we run through those like water!

    LOVED the shout out to gen and dids! those little boogers are SURE keeping you on your toes—let me know how the poster board goes! LOVE YOU! praying for POOP FREE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. Eli, Noah and Anna's Momma says:

    We were duct tape users on our trio – back in the day. But we preferred to call it their "Nappy Belt." Takes the edge off, huh?

    As far as swim diapers, if they hadn't been "soiled" I let them dry and used them again. I might have a few for you.

  7. Gen McNulty says:

    Oh Jen Jen!

    I LOVE the shout out but hate that you are in this really fun stage of raising toddlers! Girl, you KNOW I tried everything before resorting to "the belt," as my kids liked to call it. Lord knows.. when i finally did turn to duct tape… my sanity bounced right back. I thought I was going to lose my mind. I mean, you can only clean up SO MUCH POOP in one day! Some battles are not worth fighting. I'm sure people have lots to say on the topic, but you don't know 'til you walk a day in our shoes! Anyway, I so feel your pain and just reading this post brings me right back to the good old days!

    Hey, a light at the end of the tunnel with the swim diapers… potty training! Next summer, things will be much better!! I love you Mur! Stay strong and let us know how the chart works!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

    Give those little STINKERS a big hug from Auntie Gen and tell them to be nice to their poor mommy!!!!


  8. I've successfully re-used Little Swimmers – just squeeze it out, soak it, squeeze again, and let it dry…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Get swim diapers for the boys! you will save a ton of money. I have never bought little swimmers and My sons have been taking swimming lessons since they were both 6 months old. the swim diapers have saved us a lot of money! They are cheap in buy buy baby with the 20 percent bed and bath coupon.


  10. mumof2 says:

    Hi there, while I never had 4 boys at once (still don't, I have half and I am barely sane!) and never had the 'nappy strippers', I totally back you on rewashing the little swimmers… but here in Aus I would not bother especially now they are over 2, let the swim in their undies(not sure what you all call them, sure hope you know what I mean) honestly running around outside in undies and a tshirt is heaven for a toddler, and you may find you could jump on the toilet training wagon (definately no preasure from me, they will do it when they are ready) but this will give them some feedback about what is happening and when… Oh hot tip only trust my idea if they have a rough pooing schedule…. or purchase an insane amount of undies! obviously for puplic pools etc, you will probably need more of a guarentee of 'capture' here in Australia you can purchase 'togs' that look like togs but work like a nappy – you just have to rinse….and wash… lots nicer to the hip pocket, I am sure you would find something similar in the land of a thousand shops! (oh how I envy the american shopping…… ahhhh dreaming right now!!)

    good luck!


  11. Jenny B says:

    Jen–i just bought the reusable swim diapers at BRU for about $4 ea (they were on sale 40% off). they are GREAT!!! definitely helps cut costs!

    love ya and hope to see ya soon!
    Jenny B

  12. Kirst says:

    I feel your pain. This is an area I have experience in. I've been through this with my first, second and now third. I've done bothe the wrap around and the wrap around/lasso combo. Have they started the poop playing? My boys especially like doing that once they get everything off. Come check out my stories.

  13. Christina says:

    We went with Jen's duct tape route with my 22 month old (not the multiples that are my newbies) she hands me the tape now at changes and I found packing tape is cheaper and it works just as well but you go all the way around(because if I dont with either tape she pulls the diaper down……

  14. Hilary says:

    I work at a waterpark so I see lots of babies and different combinations of diapers/protection and from what I have seen, swim diapers do not work that much better than regular diapers. What really works the best is if you buy plastic pants and put them over any kind of diaper. The plastic pants keep anything in that the diaper may not be able to hold and they are also reusable. Here in Illinois, it is a state health code that any diapered child using a public swimming pool must wear plastic pants. My guess is that Indiana has a similar health code (although you may have never heard of it before because, sadly, not a lot of pools inforce the health code), so if you ever go to a public pool you may have to purchase them anyway. Good luck with keeping them clothed and diapers on!

  15. tessa says:

    Here in AZ we do a lot of swimming and the swim diapers are expensive. With my twins I learned to pop them in the washing machine and wash regularly with a load of laundry, then hang them up to dry on the door knobs around the house. Saves us a small fortune. They eventually get worn out/stretched out and you have to replace but I can get quite a few uses. Also, trying to time pooping around not being in a swim diaper is key. Those ones go straight in the trash. Love all the sweet pics and stories. Keep them coming, amazing mama.

  16. Rebecca says:

    The Baby Cheapskate blog just did a good review of reusable swim diapers here:

    I've done the reusables with my daughter, and they seem good, but we've never, um, fully tested them.

  17. kale's mom says:

    if they only urinate in the swim diapers you can rinse them out , dry and reuse. also they sell reusable CLOTH swim diapers..try them. or better yet..maybe its time to toilet train your kiddos! yay

  18. I only have one almost 2 year old boy but I'm cheap. When we swim at home, he just wears underwear(to hold any accidental poops) under his swimsuit. Swim diapers don't hold in urine anyway so I figure it does the same job but for free (after the cost of the undies that we will use eventually anyway).

    We are still at the stage where a onesie and shorts keeps the diaper on at naptime so I'll have to bookmark your post that gives your secrets to success.

  19. Kris from NH says:

    The disposable swim diapers do not actually absorb any pee. I'm sure you've witnessed the urine running down one of the kiddos legs at some point. (in reality if they absorbed urine they would also absorb pool water). The only purpose of a swim diaper is to keep poo contained.

    Tru/Bru, Target, Walmart all carry the reusable cloth swim diapers. I found they worked well with younger kiddos or perhaps those with less chunk on their toddler thighs (I had some chubby babies)

    Gymboree swim trunks go up to 5T and have the swim diaper attached. They are going to run less than a summer of little swimmers especially if you have a gymbo outlet near you.

    Good luck with the little nap time nudist. One of my crew was a super Houdini; no item of clothing, stroller or carseat was impossible for her to wiggle out of. The sticker chart and some dollar store prizes worked for us.

  20. Heather says:

    Alright, I'm not judging but if you are reusing the little swimmers why not buy the actual swim diapers meant for reusing? I guess it's okay with boys, but I know if the girls keep them on too long they result in rashes and infections.

    You can find the reusable swim diapers at Target or look online. They are AWESOME! I think Flaphappy makes some, definitely iPlay as mentioned before, and there are others. One family I worked for used the same swim diaper for 2+ YEARS with their son then again for that long with their daughter. It was still in great shape and they passed it on to cousins – and these were kids that lived on the beach – they used these a good bunch of hours every day, twice a day.

    I like the light colored ones b/c they don't show through suits, but a lot f my families have enjoyed the patterned ones because they are just as cute without a suit. Personal preference. And I'd go a size up, they are made to fit snugly around the kids legs and such to keep solids inside. Generally buying their exact size yields in elastic marks around those chubby little thighs and then they only last one summer.

    Another option, not that I'm knocking duct tape because I'm not – if it works I'm all for it, could be to try pull ups. They aren't as absorbent as regular diapers but they are one solid piece and they could slow your boys down, although I wouldn't guarantee they'd stop them entirely as duct tape can. I love [LOVE LOVE] your sticker chart plan. It's great to motivate kids to choose the behaviors that you prefer. It's a great idea and I hope it's just the thing you need.

  21. Somebody might have already mentioned it, but you can just let Little Swimmers drip dry and then use them again. I just found this out this week. What a savings!

  22. Lauren says:

    Ok maybe I am an aweful parent, but if we are in our backyard just playing in the kiddie pool I usually let my 2 YO go without a swim diaper. She is usually just running around in the grass. If we go somewhere I put her in a swim diaper. But I am going to try the drip dry thing though.

    I am also having trouble with the stripping right now. I have been buying white cloud pull ups and for some reason she leaves these on. I have found they leak at night though. So my solution has been those plastic underwear that have a lot of padding in them over a regular diaper at night. She has only taken it off once.

  23. GibsonTwins says:

    If you're using swim trunks for the boys (which I'm sure I saw pics of them recently on the blog in swimtrunks) then you probably don't even need little swimmers diapers. Especially if at home! Both of mine go in just swimsuits (same as last year) and I only had one of them pee (at home on the deck thankfully!).

    Also, since they're taking their diapers off you could try sitting that one on the potty even.

    We used duct tape all last summer and wish we'd just potty trained when they began those undressing antics 🙂

  24. Mama Bender says:

    for about the cost of one pack of little swimmers you can get a swim diaper. It's what we have used on our boys and they dry quickly.

  25. Anonymous says:

    You can check out moms' reviews of cloth swim diapers on

  26. Oh, I feel for ya. I've been there- trust me…thankfully, my quads are now 4 1/2- so beyond this. Just the other day I told them about how they used to take off their diapers, play with their poop, etc, and they were HORRIFIED!
    Here is my thought for you- go with the duct tape. Ask the store if they will give you a bulk discount. Buy some alcohol beverages, and sit back and remember- this won't last forever (THANKFULLY) and soon, they too will be horrified 🙂


  27. JCF says:

    We have the Bummi Swimmi for our two little ones:;=405

    It works great, and I must say from experience that if you're going to buy a reusable swim diaper, make sure it is a velcro once, not a pull on/off one. Trust me.

  28. Meg says:

    hahaha, I love the 4Miracles reply. hahaha. I just wanted to follow-up on the poster who said to put plastic pants on over the diapers at the pool – I think this is a brilliant idea actually (at least something worth trying out at home). I use Dappi plastic pants over my regular cloth diapers. They are inexpensive but, unfortunately for you, come in packs of THREE 😉

    Good luck!

  29. Quad Squad! says:

    Ahh…diaper removal…what a fun stage! Can't say I miss those days! Mine all did that too, but thanks to duct tape we survived it! I didn't have to wrap it between their legs like Gen did though, just "a belt" around the waist. Good luck!

  30. Jen says:

    Well thankfully I am not at the taking all articles of clothing off but we are swimming with our little ones. I don't know how much you want to invest but MY POOL PAL is a company that has excellent swim diapers. They are designed to filter out the bad stuff in urine and they are not bulky. We use them for our four and some of the ones we use were from my nieces who are now 7 and 9, so they really hold up. This website also has lifeguard approved floating bathing suits. They are much nicer than life jackets for acutal swimming and boating. Good Luck!! 🙂

  31. Aimee says:

    Feeling for you–I got the girls dressed with shoes today only to find them running in only diapers just seconds after I took a potty break…argh so frustrating! So…we haven't figured out diapers yet, but know we are close–will follow your lead on what works!

  32. None says:

    Ditto to the "throw the so-called disposable swim diapers in the washing machine and let drip dry" idea! I've been able to get four or five re-wears out of ONE swim diaper! 🙂

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