12 February 2007

Getting pants on a wiggly baby

Josh demonstrates proper kid-wrangling:

I don't know if this qualifies as a hack, as I just thought it was how everyone did it, but my wife saw me doing this the other day and suggested I send it in. When your toddler/infant is thrashing around and you want to put pants on 'em, thread your hands through the legs of the pants and then approach your kid wearing the pants on your wrists like mufflers.  Then grab a leg (kid leg, not pant leg) with each hand.  It takes a little wriggle, but once you get one leg out through the pants, you don't have to struggle to get the other one threaded.

Another get-'em-dressed trick: strap them into the stroller first.

ps. If you find yourself thinking, "This can't qualify as a hack. I'm sure everyone already knows this/it's too simple," send it in. You would be surprised how valuable the minor tweak can be. The "why didn't I think of that?" hacks are almost always the most useful.

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Another hack to get a coat onto a toddler -- teach them the "flip trick"

Taught initially by our toddler school teacher, our 2.5 year old son loves this:
1. We lay out his jacket on the floor in front of him with the head nearest him.
2. He slides his arms down into the holes
3. With a flourish he flips the coat over his head and onto his back - his arms slide down through the hand holes and he is ready to be zipped.

Initially he needed help to do the flip, but now he balks at any help beyond the initial laying down of the coat.

He is so thrilled with himself he doesn't complain about putting on his coat anymore. Now when he is too tired we give him the "flip trick" or "regular" options and he picks.

Be careful of jackets with sharp zippers!

Watched a similar problem unfold this morning as my wife, who had already gotten the pants onto our 9month old, was busy trying to button the legs closed. Yes, button, not snap - who puts buttons on baby clothes like that? Oy.

Anyway, my son's all about the rolling now, and you can't button a rolling baby. So it was my job to simply hold a toy over his head while my wife buttoned up the pants. Kept his attention straight up, stopped the rolling. In this case the toy was a foam ball which I kept dropping onto his chest. He loved it. Everybody happy.

If you teach them a trick to do with their hands, linked to a word, then you can encourage them to do it just before you want to change/dress them.

"Clap" is an obvious one, likewise "patty-cake". My father teaches babies "doke-doke" linked to poking one palm with the other index finger. Tricky; I caught my son practicing it on his own.

We use(d) the trick of grabbing the child's legs through the pants legs on our daughter. Daughter is now three and learning to dress herself. If she doesn't manage to get her leg in the pantleg on the first try, she will reach in through the bottom of the pants and try to grab her own foot to pull it through. One of the funniest things I've ever seen!

We use(d) the [very useful] trick of grabbing the child's legs through the pants legs with our daughter. Daughter is now three and learning to dress herself. If she doesn't manage to get her leg in the pantleg on the first try, she will reach in through the bottom of the pants and try to grab her own foot to pull it through. One of the funniest things I've ever seen!

I put my daughter over my shoulder(belly on shoulder), like I'm carrying a rug then pull the pants up her leg, both legs at a time, like I'm putting a pillow case on. I just need to get them up to her knees then put her down/drop her into her pants. Pants go on in one second and I have never had a fight with this method. changing table recommended.

Definitely a great tip. I do this pretty much every day.

We found that adding sound effects helped convince our son to push his hands and feet through sleeves and pant legs.

Here are our household baby dressing tips:
http://babytoolkit.blogspot.com/2006/12/sound-effects-batman-approach-to.html

We find distracting our son with something on a tabletop he can sort of reach lets us pick up one leg at a time and put his pants on. Keeping him on his back, having one or the other of us hold him never seems to work -- it's like he thinks the pants are eating him or something...don't even get me started on shoes. We allow at least 10 minutes for that.

Baby just learned how to climb off of couches herself backing off. So we take this opportunity when her feet are still off the ground to slip a pair of pants on her and clap when she reaches the ground.

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