Toddlers are very busy people…they are everywhere and they are everywhere all of the time. Well, let me rewind a bit here…
My littlest was born with kidney issues and spent time in the NicU (a whole new world I never knew existed full of amazing doctors and nurses!!) and came home with a nephrostomy tube. In case you are not sure what that is, it is basically a tube that comes out of your back that comes directly from the kidney and to drain urine into a bag because there is blockage and the urine cannot drain as it should. When a nephrostomy tube is in a newborn it can be very challenging because they cannot “help” hold themselves so you are basically trying to hold and change them all while NOT pulling out a tube! The benefit of having this as a newborn is that the baby does not roll over, pull up, cruise, climb, or walk!!! I would suggest using the Halo Sleep Sacks if you have a newborn who needs a nephrostomy tube – those were a huge help just keeping it altogher so you can hold your baby without worrying!
Our urologist called after a recent scan and told me that our 14 month old needed a nephrostomy tube and it needed to stay in for 5 weeks until his next surgery! My heart dropped and my thought was “how in the world is this going to work?”! Then, my mind went to work and I credit God with giving me the wisdom on what I needed to do!
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who
gives generously to all…” James 1:5
I needed to make accommodations to his clothing where he could not see, touch, or feel that tube, spin lock, or drainage bag and where it would basically be against his leg. So I got to work!
I wanted to share with you the best design that I came up with and I feel that this could be used up to any age where the little person will be wearing any sort of one piece outfit. Usually a waistband of any sort will hit right where the tube is coming out of the kidney so that is out. I used zip up pajamas and it worked out so well. To know the end of the story, we THRIVED (not JUST survived) during the five weeks of toddler nephrostomy tube and made it to the surgery!
We have an abundance of clothing for our little guy but if you don’t, just purchase several zip up jammies or romper (shop at Goodwill, consignment shop, facebook marketplace, etc to save money). I made 6 outfits and that worked out really well. Here are the steps that I used to make our nephrostomy tube friendly clothing!
- Cut a slit in the pajama/romper about 4 inches long about 10 inches from the bottom of the leg.
- Cut out a rectangle shape from another jammie in coordinating fabric – mixing and matching is really fun. You want to cut it to where the zipper is down the middle. At this point you can turn under the raw edges and stitch or use a serger/overlock stitch.
- Place that recangle over the slit and stitch down all sides. Repeat if you have bilateral nephews tubes placed (we had that in the NicU)
- Dress your child as usual but place the bag and tube through the slit and zip closed and you are all set ! No worrying about them pulling it out, catching on anything, etc. It was a LIFE-SAVER.
- **If you do not have extra clothes, but have extra fabric and zippers, you can make it that way as well. I did that at first but then had the other idea that I just shared and I thought it looked great!
Creative Frugality…yes that TOTALLY sums of this project I made. Don’t let a challenge stand in your way of what must be done. Get creative, use your resources wisely (time, money and energy) and you will feel great about the outcome! When we were in the hospital and doctor appointments all of the nurses were thrilled about these outfits – I hope this is of help to you. If you have any questions, please contact me! I will post a video to my YouTube Channel soon on actually making these. I will also post the link here. If you don’t know how to sew and you need some of these outfits for your little one, let me know.