Thursday, June 6, 2013

Little Keeper Sleeper - Review

What the Pinkalicious room is supposed to look like
when trundle is pulled out and 3 girls sleep there.
Notice the lack of "brown art" - it's by design.
I'll never forget the first time it happened. I don't even know what to call it. Diaper exploration at naptime? Brown art? Creative painting? (Actually I've since learned the official word that doctors, therapists, behaviorists, teachers, and others use is smearing).

The problem

Last summer while all 3 of the triplets were off school, I DESPERATELY needed them to take afternoon naps or at least play nicely in their bedroom without my intervention. Maybe even play long enough until they eventually fell asleep for an hour or more. I got used to the idea that "napping" really sounded a whole lot more like jumping on the beds. It didn't matter, I needed the time. What I ended up with was not "naptime,"  however, it was more like playtime at the zoo and left a decidedly barn-like smell and sight. The once pretty pink room, complete with sun bonnet quilts, pink drapes, and all manner of stuffed animals and books, had been streaked indiscriminately with brown - EVERYWHERE.
Angel triplet shows off her flute
to Tripped Up Daddy while wearing
 her cozy Little Keeper Sleeper.

I wish I could say that it only happened once or that it only happened with one triplet. Unfortunately, we had different variations of it with both Angel and Princess triplet. Princess tended to smear if she could get to her diaper area, while Angel just wanted to be naked and wasn't getting the idea that a potty chair should be used instead of bed, floor, chair, rug, etc. All attempts to outsmart them were failing, and we still had three weeks before school would start back up again. I thought I would lose my mind. I sought advice from everyone and learned it's not an unusual occurrence for even neurotypical toddlers, but can happen more often and for longer with kiddos who have autism or sensory integration issues.

The solution

Princess: We used a lightweight, footless sleeper put on backwards so the snaps were in back where she couldn't reach.  We were able to find a cute one at The Children's Place. Since she only needed at nap time, we could get away with just one sleeper. (However, after a mishap last night, Princess triplet will most likely be getting at least one Little Keeper Sleeper of her own.)

Angel: The Children's Place sleeper failed with her because she could stretch it out and shimmy out of it. In fact, she never unfastened the tabs on her diaper either, she simply shimmied that down as if it were a pull-up (no matter how tightly they were fastened). We finally broke down and bought two specialized sleepers for her, after a week, we purchased two more.

Back full-length zipper, 3 snaps,
and non-stretch neck

Little Keeper Sleeper

At $25 a pop for a simple sleeper, you might think we're a little free with our cash here in the Tripped Up Castle, but honestly I'd do it all over again - and I have, more than once. The Little Keeper Sleeper is not just a simple sleeper, it's a major stress reliever because of its patented design. The soft jersey knit cotton makes your kiddo comfy and the backside zipper is secure. Topping off the zipper are 3 ingenious snaps, guaranteed to keep even the most masterful child from unfastening it. For me, the best part is its non-stretch neck. With a mechanical genius like Angel triplet, she's learned to shimmy out of almost any clothes at all by simply stretching out the neck. (This is the same child who only recently was still able to squeeze her body through a kitty door and get into an area of the basement that's not child-proofed.)
Cute embroidered bear on left front

The Little Keeper Sleeper is perfect for special needs kiddos like mine who haven't mastered the judgment calls of potty training yet, but have the skills to make a mess. It's offered all the way up to a size 10 and in two different striped colors. They also offer three different styles - long-sleeve, footed; long-sleeve, footless; and short-sleeve, footless.

The feet wore out WAY TOO SOON!
Before you think this review will be nothing but glowing, I do, indeed, have some issues with the Little Keeper Sleeper. First, don't bother purchasing the footed style. We purchased two of that style and within 3 wearings the non-slip grip on the bottom had snagged and with a little more laundering the feet were an absolute mess. I never complained to the company about it because everything else was working great, and I knew how to easily put ankle ribbing on to make them footless sleepers. The other issue I have is while it is a lightweight cotton sleeper, it's still not the greatest option for 80 degree weather, and unfortunately, summertime does not mean an end to the behavior. Even if they offered a shortie version with tight shorts that ended just above the knee it would be helpful for the hot nights. Lastly, although the striped sleepers are cute (and certainly better than the original plain light gray color - can you say convict?), it would be nice to have other color/style choices as well.
White cuffs at ankle
work just fine,
after feet wore out.

For those of you who are saying, "why don't you just potty train your kids, then?" Well, it's not exactly that simple. This is part of a long process. We will be potty training soon, but the process will not be easy or work the same way as with neurotypical children (which, by the way, wasn't at all easy with Sunshine triplet anyway). We're going to need the support of our ABA therapists, OT therapists, speech therapists, and teachers as we work on these daily living activity goals like toilet training. In the meantime, we have to avoid poor judgment situations for our own sanity.

Overall the Little Keeper Sleeper gets a thumbs up from me and if you have a similar struggle I definitely recommend purchasing one or more (just not the footed style). Are there other homemade options out there? Sure, duct-tape the diaper, put diaper on backwards, cut feet off other footed sleepers and put them on backwards, put diaper on backwards then duct tape it, then put a swimsuit bottom over top of it all - there are plenty of ideas. I like this one because it's a streamlined solution made for the problem. And, we NEVER have an issue if Angel triplet is wearing her Little Keeper Sleeper - that's definitely worth it to me.

*Disclosure: Little Keeper Sleeper has not provided me with any money or product for this review. This review is simply my perspective after using a product that's helped make the Tripped Up Castle a little more happy and a lot less stressful.


  1. Wow! I wish they had made those back when my now 14 yo was 2-3. We had to clean up his room sooooooooo many times it wasn't funny. The idiots who owned our house before us had put white carpeting in the bedrooms. Seriously? Who puts white carpeting ANYWHERE??? He did outgrow it and I successfully potty trained him too. I can't imagine doing 3 simultaneously, though! Yikes. Good luck!!

    1. They are a lifesaver in many ways. There have been tears over some of the things that were forever wrecked before we got the sleepers. White carpeting? Hah, so not ever happening here!

      When did you succeed with the potty training? What age I mean.

  2. Glad they worked for you. 8 hq e them as well for my sensitive skin. Have any pictures of the footies on? There are really cute. take care!