Posts Tagged ‘toilet training’

When Your Toddler has Outgrown Cloth Diapers but isn’t Ready to Pottytrain

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

potty training cloth diapersI have two boys. Both of them were very large from birth, both were cloth diapered, but one of them was ready to toilet train fairly early, and the other’s arm had to be twisted to start using the toilet at a later date.

My reluctant potty user had grown out of most of his cloth diapers before he could use the toilet. I wasn’t very keen on purchasing disposables, so I had to do some research. I didn’t want to have to buy a bunch of stuff just for him to toilet train, either. Here were the options I found:

  1. Suck it up and buy disposables. If your kiddo is older or quite large for her age, you may have a hard time even here. Diapers meant for overnight use often have a larger size range, but they also tend to be pretty expensive.
  2. Purchase cloth trainers. Trainers can come in larger sizes and some systems have side extenders, but they aren’t typically designed to hold much volume. If your child is not ready to use the toilet, these won’t be the best option.
  3. Buy sized cloth diapers. My son’s overnight fitted diapers fit until the end because they were sized. Many covers also come in sizes (vs. one size covers), both in PUL and in wool. If you’ve been using cloth for any amount of time, you are probably aware of which brands tend to run smaller or larger by now as well.

What did I end up doing? Well, besides the overnight fitted diapers I mentioned before, we ended up going back to our old premium sized prefolds (these come in toddlers sizes now as well I hear) or sized terry flats underneath either PUL or wool covers. The only thing I needed to buy was the larger PUL covers, so it was a fairly inexpensive outlay. If it’s been a while since your kid has used prefolds, you may be a bit surprised at how much more they are peeing, even during the day. If the prefolds aren’t quite enough anymore, you can add an insert inside the fold (you can use a flat, a specially designed insert, and even the inserts to pocket diapers). If your kid is super sensitive-to-wetness, you can cut up fleece or purchase stay dry liners to put on top up against his skin.

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom to two little boys who have both been using the potty for some time now. These days, the toileting issues seem to deal more with aim than anything else.

Our (modified) use of Elimination Communication

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Abraham at 15 months old

Okay fair warning here: poop (and variations of the word) will be mentioned frequently in this post. Okay now that we got that covered, let’s discuss Elimination Communication (EC).

What is Elimination Communication? It is”toilet training practice in which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address an infant’s need to eliminate waste” (Wikipedia, 2011). I first heard about it while visiting with a friend who’s baby was close in age to my then 5 month old son. She mentioned how much she liked using cloth diapers in conjunction with practicing Elimination Communication. When she explained to me what it was, I admit I thought it sounded kind of strange, but I was also intrigued. Later that day as I was driving home I thought more about it. I realized that for the most part I knew when my son was pooping. Normally I would just wait until he finished and then change his diaper.  I thought to myself, ‘gee why not try holding him over the toilet and just let him poop in there?” I mean, isn’t that were I would prefer for poop to be? The more I thought about it, the stranger my current approached seemed to me. Why did I wait for him to finish his ‘business’ in his diaper, then dunk his dirty diaper in the toilet to clean it off, when in fact it might be possible just to ‘catch’ the poop in the toilet in the first place?

So the next day I decided to try it….and much to my delight, my five month old actually pooped in the toilet! Mmm, this could make diapering much easier! So from five months on, anytime I thought my son was going to poop, I would rush to the bathroom, take off his diaper and hold him over the toilet. Once he was big enough to actually sit on the potty, I would sit him on it instead. In just a few short weeks it seemed he was pooping almost exclusively in the potty.

Okay, trust me…I know how crazy I sound saying my 6 month old was potty trained. Truthfully he wasn’t ‘potty trained’. Not in the traditional sense of the word. Rather I was more attune to his elimination needs/cues and responding immediately by bringing him to the bathroom. What made this a relatively easy process with my second son was that his cues were super easy to read and he tended to poop around the same time most days. Shortly after his first birthday he began telling us when he had to poop by saying ‘poo-poo’.

There are more extensive means of practicing Elimination Communication that include responding to your baby’s urination needs as well. Since those are typically more subtle cues, it takes a greater attentiveness. I will be honest that I personally didn’t have as much incentive to hold my son over the potty to urinate since wet cloth diapers are really no big deal to change or wash. I actually don’t mind wet diapers at all…it was dunking messy diapers that convinced me to give Elimination Communication a try.  And I am glad I did because Elimination Communication and cloth diapers certainly are a dynamic duo!

Did you/do you practice Elimination Communication with your baby? If so, we would love to hear your experience with it!

-Sarah