Oh how I’ll miss those fluffy butts. I’m sure many of you are like, “Geez, aren’t those kids nearly 4!?” Well, the end is near. And yes, it will be nice to not wash diapers anymore but that load of laundry has slowly been growing with our increase of using cloth napkins, washcloths (for cleaning up the kids randomly, Gerber prefold diapers instead of tissue, etc. So I will still be doing this load of laundry at least weekly. That’s totally fine with me because it means that we aren’t throwing away much paper product at all. It also means that we aren’t buying much paper product – wohoo! I’m happy about every paper towel I spare and every bit of plastic wrapping (that most all paper products come packaged in) I don’t have to recycle.
Back to the end. DS was very excited to start sleeping in his big boy underwear (and all of us were very happy for him as well). So, his motivation got him to get out of bed to keep his sheets dry. I got two rugs for the kids rooms. Each rug has their little potty on it. DS has only had one incident of potty misconduct (to my knowledge) which was kind of my fault because I heard DS bouncing off the walls and I continued to take deep breaths and take my mommy time out. Anyway, DS happily gets up to go on his little potty when he wakes in the morning. He used to get up at least once in the night to go potty as well but he has learned that he can successfully hold it until the morning now.
DD has been reluctant to give up her night time diaper. I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe she’s just lazy like her momma? I’d love to lay in bed all morning with the luxury of an in bed urine receptacle, completely ignoring my bladder’s call for the toilet. Ok, maybe not really. But it’s a nice idea. I have a feeling she is just a girl (after my own heart) that likes to snuggle in her bed and doesn’t really want to get up to use her little potty. That’s fine. We have finally decided that she needs a bit of motivation.
The last few nights I have gone into her room before I go to bed to tell her its time to go potty in a whisper. I pick her up and she slumpidly (yes I made up that word – it totally fits) stands in front of her potty while I pull her cloth trainer down so she can do her biznez. Then, in the morning, we get up before she tends to wake, and bring her to her potty again. Since she hardly goes in the late night, I’ll be skipping this step tonight, in hopes that we can get her down to one potty trip in the morning. We will continue to get her up with our help for at least 2 weeks (probably 3) and will then make the switch to underwear and let her know she’s in charge of getting up on her own.
Once DD is consistently staying dry at night and DS stops dropping his “surprise bombs” in places other than the toilet, they will finally get their potty learning/training reward of a fish tank. We have been talking about this fish tank reward For-EV-AH. But, alas, I will miss the fluffy cloth booties. At least I get to talk cloth here and at my classes and group meetings and with the Real Diaper Association….. Maybe you all could post a random pic of your little one in cloth on my Facebook wall so that I can get my fluffy butt fix.
P.S. Incase you were wondering what “normal” is for nighttime wetting, “22% of all children are still wetting the bed at night at age 3, and 10% are still wetting the bed by age 7.” according to WebMD.
This is a guest post by:
Shawna Poole has worked in Child Development for over 15 years and holds a degree in Early Childhood as well as a Site Supervisor Credential. As a teacher she has helped potty learn over 200 children. Shawna has a 14-year-old son and an almost 2-year-old daughter. She teaches parenting classes locally in Ventura and Ojai. Shawna aspired to be a lawyer until she laid her eyes on her first child, Joe. She wanted to be with him all the time and be able to be happy about it. She then changed her college focus from Law to Early Childhood Education! Joe has gone to some of the best preschools in the county with Shawna as a teacher and they have both loved every minute of it! You can contact Shawna at email@example.com for more information about her Ventura County classes.
Potty learning is an extremely stressful time for parents and children alike. This information will, hopefully, help lessen the stress associated with the potty learning process and help you know when to start potty training. One thing to remember….Its NOT a race! Every adult you know can pee and poop in the potty and each child needs to get there in their own time, without pressure. Sure, what parent wouldn’t want to be done with diapers! But we have to be careful not to start before our children are ready. So….Let’s get started!
Common Signs of Readiness
*There is no set age to determine when a child is ready to potty learn. For some it is 18 months and others it is 3. Really knowing your child and their developmental level is important. On AVERAGE, girls potty learn around 2 ¼- 2 ½ and boys are closer to their third birthday.
1. Interest in the potty. It’s never too early to introduce your child to a toilet chair or seat (whatever you choose). Let them see it, become familiar with it and basically have it in their environment. When you go to the bathroom ask them if they would like to go. Even if they sit on their potty in their clothes, it’s a step in the right direction.
2. Interest in the bathroom. If your child wants to go to the bathroom with you, let them. They may be becoming curious about the process and procedures of what you do in the bathroom. If they have an older sibling and the child is ok with it, let them watch them too. There is no better example than an older brother or sister.
3. Dry diapers. Having a dry diaper for several hours is a sign that they can hold their urine. Most children need to have a diaper change about every 3-4 hours and they should be wet. If you are noticing dry diapers after longer periods throughout the day, be happy, you’re on your way!
4. Dressing on their own. A child interested in dressing themselves with the ability to pull pants/shorts/underwear up and down is key for potty learning. Many children do not want help getting dressed.
5. Hiding. If your child goes and hides BEFORE they have to poop or pee (more common with poop as some children will want privacy). This is a sign that they can recognize the signs in their bowels that something is coming!
6. Telling you they have to go! This one doesn’t happen very often, but some of you will be the lucky parent to one of these kids. They will just wake up one day and start using the potty! I have always wished for one, but my score is 0-2.
If your child is showing signs of readiness its time to begin! Here’s how to start potty training….
When you make this transition you really want to try not to flip flop between diapers and underpants. It is very confusing to have a lack of consistency during this process. So, you must choose. If your child is having a very hard time after 2 weeks of potty learning, just stop and try again in a few weeks (not days).
The most important factor in toilet training is YOU! You have to be ready to invest the time, patience and consistency (as well as several loads of laundry) to this process. It is very important not to get frustrated by the process either. It’s a very important stage for your child and you want them to feel proud of themselves and know you are proud of them as well.
As a reminder for both you and your child, set an egg timer to use the potty every half hour. Instead of asking your child, “Do you want to use the potty?”, which gives them the opportunity to say no, tell them “The timer went off, that means it is time to sit on the potty now.”
When your child naps I recommend using a diaper under their underpants. Putting a diaper under their underpants still gives them the responsibility of being dry. You can explain to them that their body is asleep and may not be able to wake up to go to the bathroom. If they have been dry during naptimes or at night for several weeks you can stop using the diapers.
If you have a boy it is very important that they see their dad going to the bathroom (provided they live in the same house). The man is the role model for how men do things and it is important for young boys to see this. I always tell parents that if your husband pees standing up your son should too. It will not do any damage if you don’t want to do this, however, it does aid the process because most boys want to be just like their daddy! You can also put Cheerio’s in the toilet to practice that aim and let them have “target practice”.
Please be aware that the seats that can go on top of regular toilet seats can get stuck on children’s heads. They can get them on but not off. Just be aware and keep an eye on it if you have one.
I wish you luck! Enjoy the process. They are only young once!
This week we got a wonderful last minute lunch visit from my brother. We all met up at our local Sharky’s and had a nice lunch. I took the kids to the bathroom (both are now in underwear full time with the exception of nap and nighttime) only to find that DS had a little leak. I was happy he hadn’t flooded the booth with pee but he is very particular and wasn’t going to put his slightly wet shorts and underwear back on – even though it would only be for about 10 minutes until we got home.
Here’s where the benefit to having twins comes in….
DD was wearing a long shirt dress with jeggings underneath it. DS was currently naked from the waste down. Now I’m sure that most of the moms in the restaurant would have understood me whisking away my bare bottomed little boy but I don’t think it would have been appreciated. Instead of streaking, I informed DD that DS would need to borrow her pants for a bit. She was none to happy about this and voiced her protest with an all too serious “I need my pants MOM!”. I informed her that emergent situations call for sacrifice and sometimes we had to do things that we didn’t want to do.
With no protest from DS other than “I need UNDERWEAR mom!”, which I could do nothing about considering all my supplies were in the diaper bag in the CAR, he was soon dressed in DD’s jeggings. They looked quite feminine on him so in an attempt to salvage that little bit of masculinity he has grown, I rolled up the capri part of the jeggings so that they looked like snug jean shorts.
Would you believe that my brother didn’t even notice the change when we came out of the bathroom? I brought it to his attention because I couldn’t help but share the story…
Has the twin factor ever saved your bum? The thread of comments could be amazing….
Let me start by saying that it’s not that little girls don’t need help going on a public potty, it’s just that it’s not as big of a deal. You can put the toilet seat cover on the seat and support them under their arms and they are pretty good to go. After my son had a few incidents of peeing on his shorts/pants because I was trying to get him to sit on the potty and point his “business” downward, he just gave up and said I’m not gonna go on a public potty AT ALL. Yay! Talk about complicating potty training….
Most of us have heard the great advice to keep post it notes in your purse/diaper bag to stick on the flush sensor in order to keep it from flushing and scaring the public peeing ability out of your toddler. That is another awesome tip to remember!
After we took the twins camping and got DS to pee standing up (YAY!) out in the woods, he was willing to try standing up to pee on the “big potty” when we got home. This was a huge step in getting him to use a public potty because previously he would only go on his little training potty that had a guard for urine splatter on the front. Next I ran into a new issue. I don’t have a stool with me at all times when I’m out and about and most public potties are too tall for DS to pee into the water. I improvised. I stood him on top of my feet and he was able to reach at many toilets. Then I ran into a really tall toilet and was semi stumped. He still won’t sit to pee so I picked him up and had him kneel on the very front of the toilet seat. I held on to him for his comfort (except when snapping the photo below) and he peed without making a mess! P.S. This toilet was a handicapped toilet and DS held onto the bar on the wall behind the toilet. Check out the images below and please share!
What do you do when you only have one night time diaper a day to wash? Do you wait a week and wash 7 at once? That would mean you would need 7 night time diapers. That may also make for some pretty stinky diapers…. When faced with this dilema, some moms have decided to throw in the cloth towel and use disposables. Don’t fret! There are at least a couple solutions to this problem and non of them require you spend more money or expose your toddler to the disposable diapers you had previously been avoiding.
I don’t quite have one diaper a night (since I have twins that still sleep in diapers) but I have found a couple ways to continue washing night time diapers. The dilema boils down to, how do you get a full load of laundry out of one diaper? It is recommended that you wash cloth diapers at least every 2-3 days to avoid growth of any kind. You have several options on how to wash them.
First you can collect all your whites, socks, underwear, towels etc and wash them with your two night time diapers every other day. My favorite option as been to increase our home cloth use! Cloth diapering has helped us to be even more “green” than we were before our kiddos were born. My suggestion is to get even “greener”! I like to wash our few diapers with our cloth napkins, unpaper towels, momma cloth, and washcloths that we use to clean up the kids after meals and at bath time. (Did I mention adding the underwear and/or trainers that are soiled during this trying potty learning time?) I alternate washing these items with either the sheets and mattress protectors from the kid’s beds or with two white towels. (Yes, I wash them with napkins. Diapers get washed more thoroughly than anything else in our home and are the cleanest load of laundry!)
Another option for washing very few diapers a week is to wash one diaper a day by hand. This may seem intimidating but can be much easier and cost effective than running an entire washing machine load if you don’t have anything else to wash the diaper with. For hand washing made easy, we often use two flat diapers (one birdseye flat and one receiving blanket turned flat diaper folded your favorite way), a washcloth as a doubler, topped with a layer of fleece which helps keep the kiddos from waking by keeping them feeling dry. Wrap this up with your favorite cover and you are all set! Flat diapers are easier to hand wash due to having only one layer of material. They also line dry fairly quickly! (Dry time will vary depending on your climate.)
So, if you have been a fan of cloth, don’t give up while potty learning! Get even “greener”!