My sister and I were recently discussing toddler antics. I laughed at the memory of how my youngest became a little “Houdini” shortly after one year – managing to escape her attire at naptime and bedtime. Trying to keep her clothed (and minimize the loads of laundry needed in a week), we came up with 3 pajama tricks to get us through this phase.
T-Shirt over Zippered Pajamas
At one point I naively thought zipper pjs with the little snap flap at the top would be secure. Then I would hear our daughter crying during naptime because she managed to wiggle an arm out and couldn’t get back in.
Or worse, I’d discover her without any clothing on in the middle of the night, cold and in a wet bed. Our first approach – putting a t-shirt on over her zippered pajamas. Somehow this simple idea was enough to block her from wiggling out of the pajamas or figuring out how to unzip them.
Finally, we were back to getting solid sleep again. Success. At least until the weather started warming and two layers was too much.
As the name implies, turn the pjs backwards. I saw suggestions online to cut the feet from footed pjs, but got lucky and found 1 pair of footless zip up pajamas at our local Carter’s store in her size. Luck because when I asked for assistance, the store employees told me it was an online only option. I checked a rack of sales items near the front door and surprisingly found a pair which they said must have been a return. Tags were on, the size was right – I immediately scooped them up.
Now we had a cooler option that managed to outsmart our clever toddler at bedtime through spring days and nights.
Bodysuit plus Playground Shorts
As summer approached, we needed an option with shorter sleeves so we switched to a bodysuit. This seemed like a win since she could not unhook the snaps at the bottom. However, she quickly mastered removal of the diaper while keeping the bodysuit on. This led to our final plan of attack – we put playground shorts on first (i.e., “bike” shorts) and then snapped the bodysuit over.
This combination successfully worked until she outgrew this phase. And, it was just that, thankfully – a phase.
Have you dealt with a toddler Houdini? What pajama tricks have worked for you?