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Taking Off Diaper in Crib

My two- year-old daughter takes her clothes and diaper off every time she is in her crib. I am having to wash her bedding at least twice a day. Is there anything I can do to have her stop?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: This is a tough challenge, actually, because your daughter is too young for you to be able to reason with her successfully. Many two-year-olds are fascinated with the process of taking off all of their clothes, and it is a phase that may have to run its course until she outgrows this pattern on her own. A two year old’s mind just wants to open things, close things, take them apart, and throw them around. This is just the way they are.

Perhaps you can try to find some sort of bottom garment that she cannot open by herself, and see if she can fall asleep without spending the entire nap time trying to take it off. But if you cannot locate such a thing, your best bet may be to simplify the bedding items as much as possible so that there are fewer things to wash.

It can’t hurt to try to explain in a friendly tone of voice, “No, no! We keep our clothes ON all day!” when you see her reach for the button to undo it and encourage her with distractions to keep her garments on.  But trying to “correct” your daughter two minutes after she has already succeeded in removing her clothing, by telling her that she shouldn’t have done so–this is over her head. A two-year-old thinks in the moment.

Elizabeth Berger, MD, a mom of two, child psychiatrist, and author of Raising Kids with Character.

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.