Baby needs a change of shirt, but baby is also sucking on a bottle (see this stock photo for a visual). If the bottle leaves baby's mouth, baby will start crying. Also, baby loves holding the bottle himself, so he needs to be holding the bottle at all times. Is it possible to get the old shirt off without the baby crying?

This puzzle was inspired by real life.

  • 30
    $\begingroup$ Is Chloroform a valid option? $\endgroup$
    – Sentinel
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 21:50
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ As a new father (7-month-old boy), I recommend duct tape. $\endgroup$
    – Xenocacia
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 1:17
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    $\begingroup$ Let him cry... life is hard, and he has to understand that he will not be able to obtain everything... (if it was a diaper instead of a shirt, I'd also say "to get out of s**t you have to sacrifice something) $\endgroup$
    – frarugi87
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 9:00
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    $\begingroup$ Did you mean to post on Puzzling or Parenting? $\endgroup$
    – jpmc26
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ come on.... this is so easy. Anyone who has children knows the trick :p $\endgroup$
    – Patrice
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 19:55

6 Answers 6


Step 1:

Take the baby's left arm out the shirt (he is holding the bottle in his right hand).

Step 2:

Pull the shirt over the baby's head, and continue to pull the neck opening over the bottle. Now the shirt is entirely on his right arm; his arm goes through the arm hole and the neck hole.

Step 3:

Move the bottle from the baby's right hand to his left, being careful to keep him holding the bottle with at least one hand at all times.

Step 4:

Pull the shirt off his right arm.

Answer from an experienced and sympathetic father of 3.


After re-reading the question carefully, I see no reason not to

Simply use scissors to cut the shirt off. (He/She will outgrow that shirt in mere days anyways.)

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    $\begingroup$ I like this answer. Very efficient, saves time. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 22:34
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    $\begingroup$ However, you may want to keep that shirt for the next one... $\endgroup$
    – Alex Jones
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 11:45
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexanderJ93 it'll still have uses, baby clothes make great clothes for things like laptop screens where you want something absorbant and soft but not fluffy. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ this must be the answer. it has a score of 42 (as of 2018-03-09T15:25:10-0700) $\endgroup$
    – NH.
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 22:25
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    $\begingroup$ @NH. It is no longer the answer... score is 43. Thanks for all the fish. $\endgroup$
    – Floris
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 12:47

Follow Steps 1 and 2 of Pugmonky's solution. Then

Step 3

Pull the shirt further down so it is around the neck of the bottle.

Step 4

Push the shirt down past the nipple of the bottle into baby's mouth (hopefully the shirt is manufactured from thin material and/or baby has a very large mouth). The nipple is fairly malleable so with a little care the nipple will stay in baby's mouth at all times.

Step 5

Remove shirt from the corner of baby's mouth (once again without removing nipple from mouth) or, alternately, via baby's nose.

Please don't try this at home...

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    $\begingroup$ Excellent use of a topological loophole. $\endgroup$
    – Jonathan
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 0:31
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    $\begingroup$ Thus we see that topologists should not be allowed to have kids. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 0:50

Yes, it is possible. Take in the arm, pull the shirt over the head and pull the shirt onto the bottle. Now swap arm holding the bottle and take the folded shirt off the other arm.


You're all overthinking this. Even Chowzen. The simplest answer is

Baby shirts have a neck opening large enough to fit over a baby's head. A baby's head is as large around as, or larger around than, their body. This means the shirt can be slipped down over their body.

Also from real life.

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    $\begingroup$ Hrrrm, I think you're underthinking this... What you've described ends up at the end of step #2 of Pugmonkey's answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand the +1s here. Ok, so you pull the shirt down, until it hits the babies elbow, then what? Your answer suggests you just keep pulling. Have you read the actual puzzle or perhaps you don't see how this action will cause the baby to cry? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 3:53
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    $\begingroup$ This is a correct answer, but needs a few more steps to satisfy people: 1. Guide baby's left hand through the neck hole and move the bottle to left hand. 2. Guide baby's right hand through the neck hole. 3. Pull down the shirt. $\endgroup$
    – jpa
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 11:40
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    $\begingroup$ How do you get the arms out of the sleeves? $\endgroup$
    – jpmc26
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ How to adhere to the constraint of the baby holding the bottle at all times is the most critical component of the puzzle. Not explaining how this works in relation to that just makes for a poor answer, regardless of what I might or might not imagine you intended. Saying, "the baby will cooperate," does not explain how holding of the bottle is maintained while removing the baby's arms from the sleeves. Perhaps if you're not able to easily explain it in a clear, succinct way, it's not as trivial as you're suggesting. $\endgroup$
    – jpmc26
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 18:19

An answer based on real life as well.

Background: I've seen babies holding the bottle with both feet to have the hands free to play while drinking. OTOH I've had the lessons learned that removing one hand is already no more considered "holding the bottle" and therefore doesn't qualify. My assumption would now be that at least two limbs have to be attached to the bottle at any time, but feet count as limbs. Due to that the following steps should be good.

1. get the baby to grip the bottle with the feet as well
2. no more grip the bottle with the hands
3. pull arms into the shirt
4. move the shirt over the head onto the feet
5. get the hands back on the bottle
6. no more hold the bottle with the feet
7. remove the shirt from the feet

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling. Wait, doesn't holding the bottle with feet make the baby a toroid o.O $\endgroup$
    – ABcDexter
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 7:17

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