Cleaning Up

Life with kids is messy. I thought I had a handle on that until my life included potty-training twins! I’ve had to take a deep breath, chill out, and often find new ways of doing things to save time and sanity. Here are some tips and products that have helped us clean up.

Contents: 

How To Sweeten Up Your Babe Between Baths

How To Change A Diaper Standing Up

How To Change A Bed Like A Nurse

How To Make A Mess

How To Sweeten Up Your Babe Between Baths

By: Abby Plambeck

We all love a sweet-smelling babe, but that’s not always possible with kids’ natural attraction to dirt. This backpacking mommy has used No-Rinse Shampoo in the woods, and realized it could freshen up our kids in between baths too. Amazon has it: http://tinyurl.com/3n532cn, along with No-Rinse Body Bath: (http://tinyurl.com/3r6uu9u). We used the No-Rinse Shampoo when Mr. Twin had to wear a DOC Band to round out his flattened skull. He wore his “helmet” 23 hours a day for almost three months, and had to have his hair washed every day. It was a perfect alternative to a daily bath then, and I still often use the shampoo on all three of my kids. It’s a liquid, which I’ve found to work better than the dry powder shampoos. I just rub some into my kids’ hair, towel dry, and done!

How To Change A Diaper Standing Up

By: Abby Plambeck

You know in job interviews, when you’re asked to speculate about what you’ll be doing in 10 years? This is a skill I never knew I’d want, need, or be so grateful for. The first time I changed a diaper standing up, Big Sister was 1 year old and we made a pit stop at a boondock gas station while on a road trip. There was no drop-down changing table and I wasn’t about to sit on the floor to change her on my lap. So we took our chances standing up and both became diehard fans of the process. When the twins came along, the skill was reinforced and mastered. Ever try to keep one wiggly worm on its back, much less two? By the time they were charging around like wild buffalo, I could snatch ’em up, rip off the old and slap on the new before they knew they were caught.

Here are the tricks that work for us. Depending on your hand dominance and preferences, you might find another way that works better for you. The real key is practice, and your kid will be happy to oblige at least 10 times each day. I have the kid stand facing away from me. Unfasten the tape on the old diaper and pull it out the back. (If you’re super brave or super desperate, this can be done with any product in the diaper. Just have lots of wipes handy!) Wipe down as needed, insert the new diaper through the legs, and use your nondominant hand to hold the front of the diaper and your body (abdomen, hip, knee, elbow–just pretend you’re playing Twister) to hold the back of the diaper roughly in place. Fasten the tape on your dominant side. Pull the diaper tight toward your nondominant side and fasten that tape. Take a quick look at the outcome and readjust as needed. Done! Soon, you’ll be able to beat the fastest pit crew in sending your little speedracer zooming away.

Just be warned, that if your kid becomes accustomed to this process, he or she might not take any future diaper changes lying down!

How To Change A Bed Like A Nurse

By: Abby Plambeck

A long time ago, I was a nurse who took care of critically ill patients in the intensive care unit. My current life as a full-time mommy seems like the opposite end of the career spectrum, but I’ve noticed several similarities. I work 16-hour shifts in comfy clothes, I can’t predict anything beyond the next minute, I have to set priorities and sometimes can only think about survival, and I deal in a lot of pee and poo. A LOT of pee and poo. For the past year (and I’m guessing for about another year more), Mr. Twin has required a diaper change just before Daddy and I go to bed. It seems all the liquids from his day aren’t released until sometime between when he’s tucked in and 3 hours later at our bedtime. Hospital beds have a neat little trick for managing that without having to change the whole bed. It was called a drawsheet in my old ICU, but I found the same idea for kids’ beds at home from One Step Ahead : http://tinyurl.com/cq95nn. It’s a sheet that fits over the crucial area of a crib, twin, or full-size bed, with long ends that tuck under the mattress so it stays in place. It can be lifted off easily, leaving the dry sheets underneath in place.

Now, when Mr. Twin reveals too many sippy cups from the day, I need only sigh, change his jammies, and whip off the drawsheet without waking him or straining my back. Sometimes, when I do my late-night rounds for three children, I feel a lot like that old nurse again!

How To Make A Mess

By: Abby Plambeck

Our favorite baby gear item is also the simplest: A plain old plastic floor mat. It protected our floor under twin high chairs, then graduated to protecting the table during art projects. It also still doubles as a floor mat when we play outside. The kids strip when they come in the door, and the mat catches the sand, mud, snow, or freshly mown grass. It’s then rolled up into a bundle and taken to the laundry room, where (here’s the best part), it goes right in the washing machine with all the other dirty stuff! We have the Jeep Protective Floor Mat, purchased 0n Amazon(http://tinyurl.com/4y46ljw). It’s been washed dozens of times, with no sign of wearing out yet. Since clean up is so easy, I’m often the one who tells my kiddos to go make a mess!

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