Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Nolan Plays!We have been struggling to find a diaper that will keep Nolan dry at naptimes.  Basically, he’s been wearing three different outfits each day!  The FuzziBunz just weren’t absorbent enough anymore.  I didn’t want to switch to hemp or bamboo unless I had to (I try to save those for overnights).

I upgraded my FuzziBunz one size diapers to the large inserts.  I tried a Rumparooz, with the doubled portion in the front (Nolan is a tummy sleeper).  The Rumparooz were working fairly well, but not 100% of the time.

Yesterday when Nolan woke uMy Two Babiesp his clothes and sheet were dry.  I was so excited that I had a big “whoops” moment!  Yes – I left him uncovered.  Silly me!  As I was changing the diaper, I gave him a few seconds of air time while I put the dirty diaper in the pail.  Nolan chose that moment to demonstrate why he was dry.

Did you already guess what happened?  Yup – he shot off and started soaking the crib across the way, the floor, and more.  I quickly covered him and stopped the stream.  But then he started again, with more gusto!  He must have had a gallon of pee in that little body!

So when it was all said and done, I discovered that he had rolled in the mess on the changing table, and his shirt was now soaked.  Well, so much for salvaging that outfit!

I had a good laugh and my mishap, and so did my hubby when I shared it with him.  How about you?  Any amazing, funny, or tragic “whoops” moments in your cloth journey?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nolan’s 6 Month Pictures

2012-1-19 Nolan 6 month window pics jpgBermuda Rumparooz One Size Diaper

2012-1-19 The Nolanator 6 months jpg
Choco Truffle FuzziBunz One Size Diaper

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Delaminated Diapers

What exactly is a delaminated diaper?  You may have had a diaper delaminate, and not realized what was going on.  Most modern cloth diapers are made of a cotton or polyester fabric which has a plastic coating applied to one side, making the fabric waterproof. 

The outer portion of your diaper is the woven fabric, and the plastic coating layer is on the inside of your diaper.  This plastic coating forms a waterproof barrier which keeps your baby’s urine inside the diaper.  Delamination is when the plastic backing on the PUL or TPU pulls away from the fabric.  This means that your diaper is no longer waterproof.

Delaminated Diapers

This diaper is delaminated, but not ripped.  You can see that the plastic “film” has pulled away from the outer fabric.  The lining is no longer smooth and intact, but the layers have separated. It can still be used, but it will not be the most reliable diaper as the lining can rip easily at any time.

Delaminated Diapers

As long as there are no holes or tears in the plastic lining, you can continue to use your diaper even though it is delaminated.  However, once the plastic coating (which is very thin) rips, your baby’s urine will be able to escape between the plastic and the outer fabric.  The urine can then seep through the weave in the fabric, and you will have leaks.

Delaminated Diapers

This diaper has delaminated and torn around the leg casings.  Urine can easily flow between the layers and seep out of the outer fabric, causing leaks.

Delaminated Diapers

If your diaper is delaminated, you should contact the manufacturer.  Depending on the age of your diaper, and the manufacturer’s warranty, they may replace the diaper for you.

Sometimes there is a bad batch of fabric which did not bond properly, and the manufacturer may be aware of it.  Sometimes diapers are just old and worn out, causing delamination.  If you have not been following the recommended care/wash instructions for your diapers, then you may have caused pre-mature wear and delamination.  This is one reason why it is so important to follow the manufacturer’s care guidelines!

I don’t throw away my delaminated diapers.  I save them to use as swim diapers.  While you could spend money to purchase a specially made swim diaper, these old pockets/covers will work fine. 

A swim diaper should have no absorbency that will hold the pool water and weigh down your baby. But you need the diaper to catch solid waste.  Using a delaminated pocket diaper works perfectly, because you don’t need it to keep the liquid in the diaper.  You will probably need to size it down one size to fit your baby properly, since there will be no insert in the pocket.

Disposable Diaper Kills Family Pet

This is a copy (used by permission) of the Facebook status of a fellow retailer, Beth M.  She writes on the dangers of disposable diapers, from a sad and personal experience.

diaperscrop“It has been a rough day here at our house. I have had Grace in disposable diapers the last two days while I did a thorough strip on my cloth. We had a disposable diaper sitting on our night stand in our room and yesterday while we were at work our dog tore it up and digested some of it.

Last night we noticed her bleeding from her mouth and thought she bit her tongue. Cleaned her up and it seemed to have stopped. We woke up this morning to find her covered in blood and that she made a mess during the night all over our room. Took he to the vet to find out she did not have any cuts in her mouth.

After lab work and an x-ray we discovered that the diaper she had gotten into the day before was expanding in her stomach and intestine and caused a blockage that was causing internal bleeding into he...r liver and kidneys and she had lost a lot of blood and was very weak. After discussing her slim chances to being strong enough to have surgery and the slimmer chances of making in through the surgery we had to decide to have her put down this morning.

It was a very hard day and not something we thought we would have to do to our dog who was very healthy just yesterday morning!!!! And remember this was not a dirty diaper that was left out. A clean diaper on the nightstand. How many of us keep diapers there for during the night. Or in a diaper bag or diaper stacker etc where our pets could easily get to them!

I always knew the chemicals in disposable diapers and chose cloth for this reason but never imagined the chemicals in one would kill my dog! Ugh time to head to bed. It has been a long stressful day.”

Disposable diapers are common, household items in the majority of homes with babies.  Do people really know what those chemicals could do…to their pets, or worse – their babies, if ingested? 

Let’s all learn from this sad story.  Beth, thanks for sharing and we’re sorry for your family’s loss. 

Just one more reason to choose cloth… 

Folding diapers

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Potty Training Resources

Potty trainingHere are some resources that you may find helpful as you begin or continue your potty training journey.  Some I used, some I never got around to using.  I found many of the books at my local library. 

There is a myriad of items out there, but these are only a select few that I personally came across in my potty training research.  If you have a favorite that is not listed, please take a moment to leave a comment so that others can benefit from your experience.  I know that other moms would appreciate hearing what items worked for you!

Books On Potty Training

Books for your Toddler



  • Step Stool – we have this BABYBJÖRN Safe Step.  It comes in several colors
  • Built in Potty Seat to adapt your toilet seat – I wish I had known about this sooner, as it would cut down on items that I have to store in my little apartment.  I’m sure there are various brands available.
  • Potty Seat – we have this one, but I would choose something with a soft cushion if I had to do it again.  I would recommend a potty seat if you don’t have a lot of room for a potty chair to sit in the bathroom (and for storage).  However, Elaine learned better starting out on the potty chair and then moving to the potty seat.  The potty seat is nice and portable for trips/vacations, etc.
  • Potty Chair – we have this one

Potty trainingElaine started potty training on November 16, 2011.  She is now completely day trained, and we haven’t had an accident in several weeks.  She wakes up dry from her naps, and doesn’t wear the wool cover at naptime anymore.  She wakes up dry most mornings, or just barely damp.  We will soon be eliminating the cover and extra absorbency at nighttime, too.

Thanks for coming along with me as I shared my potty training experience.  As I mentioned at the beginning, I am the farthest thing from an expert, but we have been successful in teaching Elaine to use the potty.  I hope that you have gleaned some helpful information or tips from this series!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Posting…

Today I’m guest posting over at So Easy Being Green!  Lindsey just had a new baby girl, and to celebrate she is co-hosting an event called “New Year.  New Babies.  New Mommies of 2!”.


My post is all about cloth diapering two littles at the same time.  Head on over to So Easy Being Green to read my tips and lessons learned the hard way!  While you’re there, be sure to enter some (or all!) of Lindsey’s fabulous giveaways!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Potty Training Tip: Overnight Suggestions

Once your child is ready to give up night time diapers and sleep in underwear/trainers, you may find some of these suggestions helpful.  If you have a super-soaker, you may need to employ some of these suggestions at naps too.

ecoposh_TP_4_bambooI already shared that I like the Eco-Posh trainer for added absorbency and the hidden TPU layer for waterproof-like protection.  I also suggested using a wool cover to boost your absorbency.

If you need even more absorbency, try using the newborn portion of a Rumparooz 6R soaker.  It is contoured to fit between the legs and will lay inside your Eco-Posh trainer just perfectly, adding 3 thirsty layers to protect your toddler.  Be sure to use bamboo (preferred, for softness) or hemp.  DO NOT use a microfiber insert laid in the trainers, as it will dry out your toddler’s skin.

Maybe you want a little extra wetness protection, but you don’t think you need as much as adding a bamboo insert.  Try using a gauze diaper doubler.  This 4-inch wide strip has several layers of absorbent cotton (just like a prefold diaper), but it is thin and trim.  It is also a very economical choice, costing just $1 each.  It will lay in the crotch of your trainers easily without adding much bulk.  This is what I use for Elaine at bed time right now.  Then we add the wool cover.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Broncos Fans!

Here are my kiddos, dressed up to cheer for Mommy’s Broncos and Tim Tebow as they played New England.  Sadly, it was not meant to be!  Oh well, maybe next year…  (BTW, Nolan was a Broncos fan for bed too – Pumpkin Rumparooz and blue fleece jammies!  Gotta love the cute factor with cloth diapers!)


Friday, January 13, 2012

Potty Training Tip: Ideas for Boys

Well, I’m not potty training a little boy…yet!  But I was given a couple of tips (maybe they are no-brainers, but I was glad for the advice) that may help. 

cheeriosI laughed so hard when a friend shared her potty training tip with me for little boys.  She said to put Cheerios in the toilet so that he can have target practice.  I’m definitely filing this idea away for the future!  (And then I’m going to turn Nolan over to Daddy and let him do the training!)

If you are teaching your little baby-bjorn-potty-chairboy how to sit on the potty, you will likely want to get a potty chair or seat with a good shield on the front.  My husband picked out our potty chair for Elaine, but we chose the Baby Bjorn because it has a great “splash guard” on the front.  It worked well for Elaine, but it will be even more useful when Nolan’s turn comes around.

Do you have any special tips, tricks, or successes in potty training a little boy?  Leave your advice here for the other readers!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Potty Training Tip: Use a Wool Cover

1_ecoposh_wool_bothrollsElaine does not want to wear diapers anymore.  She only wants to wear her panties.  So what do I do at naptimes, bedtime, and outings?  I don’t want to risk a soaking wet accident, but I want to encourage her to be a big girl.

Our solution has been to use an Eco-Posh wool cover over her undies.  It gives me the wetness protection peace of mind while allowing her to wear her undies.  It’s a win-win situation. 

Elaine in Eco Posh Trainers for blog

What do you do to give extra protection during potty training?  Leave us a comment and share your great tips, too!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Win-It Wednesday: Baby Legs

Potty trainingI don’t think it’s any secret that we love Baby Legs around here!  They were a lifesaver when Elaine was in the midst of potty training.  The weather was cold and our landlord hadn’t started the heat yet.  I didn’t want to have to mess with buttons and zippers to get pants down in time when Elaine was just learning to go on the potty.  So we let her run around the house in Baby Legs and her training pants.  It worked great!
Now that Nolan is crawling, we are using our Baby Legs yet again to protect his knees when he’s not wearing long pants.
Nolan & Elaine playing Little People Farm
Want to win some Baby Legs for yourself?  Doable Diapers carries the bumGenius designs of Baby Legs.  One winner will get their choice of in-stock colors!

To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below.  If you cannot view the widget (not visible from our homepage), then please click the “Read more” link to see the widget.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Potty Training Tip: Double Sheet the Bed

Elaine on Potty ChairOne of the best pieces of advice that I gleaned in my potty training information quest was this little tip.  Whoever came up with is brilliant in my book!  I can’t remember where I read it, or I would give them credit because credit is certainly due!


  • Two (2) waterproof mattress covers.  Tip: I purchased one mattress cover that wraps around the corners of my crib mattress.  Then I bought a flat mattress protector at IKEA for $4.  It doesn’t fit over the corners, but it was much cheaper!
  • Two crib/bed fitted sheets.


When potty training at night, double sheet the bed.  Make up the crib/bed with a Sewing Projectswaterproof mattress cover and then a sheet.  On top of it place another waterproof mattress cover and another sheet. 

If there is a nighttime accident, all you have to do is rip off the soiled sheet and mattress cover.  The bed will already be made with the other set of sheet/cover, and it will be much easier to put your little one back to bed.  You won’t have to dig up the clean sheets and try to re-make the bed in your half asleep state!

Now why didn’t I think of that?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Eco-Posh Recycled Organic Trainer–review and giveaway

img_2942I really can’t say enough good about this product!  I was really hoping that Elaine would potty train after the holidays so that I could compare the Eco Posh Trainer with the Flip Trainers.  Since that didn’t work out, we ended up using a combination of Gerber training pants, little girl undies, and the Eco Posh Trainer.  I have no complaints and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is potty training their toddler!
The Eco Posh comes in three sizes: small (1T/2T; 25-35 lbs.), medium (2T/3T; 35-45 lbs.), and large (3T/4T; 45+ lbs.). I knew Elaine would need the small because she is a tiny little girl.
At first the trainers had a little gap around the leg openings on Elaine.  When she had an accident she would have some leak out the legs into the floor.  However, I believe it is because the trainers were not fully prepped.  They need to be washed and dried 10 times to be fully absorbent, but the manufacturer states that you can begin using them after 5 washes.  From Kanga Care:
PREPPING TRAINER: Wash 5X in hot water (no detergent) with a cold rinse, tumble dry medium.  This will shrink trainers to appropriate size and "sponge" up fabric for maximum absorbency.  (Trainers will be at their fullest absorbency after 10 washes but may begin use after 5 washes.)
Because these trainers are made from recycled water bottles, there will be a little bit of shrinkage when they are dried in a dryer.  For this reason I would recommend line drying them after they are fully prepped.  Alternatively, you could just place them in the dryer for 10-15 minutes, and then finish air drying.
The trainers are slightly more bulky that Gerber trainers, but not so much that Elaine felt like she was wearing a diaper.  She called them her panties, so I know she thought they were the same as her other undies.
img_2945The Eco Posh trainers are made from bamboo, recycled water bottles, and organic cotton.  The have a soft jersey cotton feel. There are two layers of highly absorbent bamboo and organic cotton.  There is also a hidden layer of TPU to help contain wetness in the case of an accident (but this layer is not fully waterproof).  The Trainers come in 5 soft and earthy colors – Peace, Love, Biscuit, Bamboo, and Ginger.
I like the wide elastic at the waist of the trainers.  Many times products with an elastic waist have a tendency to bunch and twist.  With the wide elastic we didn’t experience these problems.
These trainers are great!  I relied on them a lot in the early days when Elaine was more accident prone.  If there was even a possibility that we wouldn’t have access to a potty, then we used the Eco Posh trainers.  They are not a diaper, so they are not thick and bulky.  Yet they can absorb quite a bit, so when accidents happen you are covered.
When Elaine first began potty training, she wore diapers when we left the house.  When we decided that she was “trained enough” to wear undies out, then she got to wear the Eco Posh trainers.  They pull up and down like panties, but they gave me absorbency peace of mind. 
After Elaine started having a dry diaper for naptime several days in a row, we let her start wearing the trainers to bed for naps.  She hasn’t had an accident!  She is now waking up dry or barely wet in the mornings, so we have started letting her wear the trainers to bed also. 
For added peace of mind, I used an Eco Posh wool cover over the trainers when we left the house, and now for night times.  The wool cover pulls up and down like undies, and provides a little extra wetness protection.
We have four Eco Posh trainers in our stash.  I think that 4-6 would be a good number to have if you are coupling them with other potty training products.  I used the Gerber trainers when we were at home and didn’t need the absorbency protection factor as much. 
We saved the trainers for outings, naps, and nights, and we wash them with our diapers every 3 days.  I let mine air dry.  They can take a bit of time to dry (depending on your climate) because they have several layers sewn together.
The only trick to these is the care.  I don’t consider it to be any more difficult that caring for other cloth diapers.  However, because they contain the recycled materials you do have to be vigilant to be sure you use the proper detergent.  From Kanga Care:
Detergent: Please ONLY use a Kanga Care Recommended Detergent. Use of alternative detergents may cause natural fibers to be eaten away and can disintegrate elastic. Do not use detergents that are "Free & Clear" or contain fabric softeners. Fragrances may cause irritation, discontinue detergent brand if irritation occurs. Do not use bleach. Do not use fabric softeners or drier sheets. Do not soak. Do not soak trainers in detergent or any laundry additives for removing stains, odor or buildup. If staining, odor or buildup occurs, make sure you are using a detergent that contains enzymes. Please visit our care page for more detailed care information and a list of recommended laundry detergents.
Buy It
Want to buy some Eco Posh trainers for your potty training stash?  We gave you this special code on Friday.  Please click here for rules and guidelines in using this code:
EPTRAINER saves you 10% off!
Win It
One blessed Doable Diapers reader will get their choice of color/size Eco Posh Recycled Organic Trainer! (If you cannot view the Rafflecopter widget below, please click where it says, “Read more” to enter using Rafflecopter.  It’s easy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Eco-Posh Organic Trainers Coupon Code

ecoposh_trainers_stack2 ThumbnailIt didn’t take long for the Eco-Posh Organic Recycled Trainers to become one of my potty training must-haves.  They have a hidden waterproof layer of TPU just in case your toddler has an accident, but they pull up and down like underwear.

When Elaine was first potty training, these trainers were helpful in containing the mess.  If she did go in her panties, there wasn’t a major mess in the floor because the trainer does absorb quite a bit.   Yet they still allowed her to feel wetness, so she could understand the consequences of not making it to the potty chair.

Now that Elaine is day trained, these are my go-to trainers for outings and naps.  And she is even wearing one to bed tonight!  (With a cover, of course!)  I feel safer knowing that if she does go, or if we can’t make it to a potty in time, there won’t be a huge puddle on the ground.

Come back on Monday for a full review of the Eco Posh Trainers.  Until then, we are offering a discount code on these trainers.  This would be a great time to stock up if you have a toddler who will soon be training, or one who is already started potty training! For a full product description, please click here.

Use Code EPTRAINER at checkout to save 10% off Eco-Posh Organic Trainers.


We have limited stock available, but we will be placing another order this week and can obtain more trainers within 3-4 days.  You can go ahead and order the items, even if they do not say in-stock.

*Details: Code is ONLY valid on Eco Posh Trainers.  Other items should be purchased in a separate transaction.  Eco Posh items may not be shipped outside of the United States.  Code Valid from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, January 6, 2012 through 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, January 13, 2012. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Potty Training 101: Go!

{This is part 4 in a series.  Part 1 :: Part 2 :: Part 3}

When it is time to actually go! and start the potty training process, here are some things to keep in mind.

PraisePotty training
Elaine would get (and still does) so excited when she knew she had “gone” in the potty.  She would clap for herself and want Mommy to clap too.  She was thrilled to stick a sticker on her page (I just created a simple grid in Excel, and then laminated it).  And she never forgot that she was allowed 3 M&M’s for every success.  The praise was key to helping her understand why accidents were bad.

Try, Try Again
Sometimes Elaine would sit and not be able to produce anything.  Or I would ask her to “go” but she wasn’t ready yet.  So I would set my little ladybug kitchen timer and tell her, “When the ladybug dings you have to sit and try again.”  We usually added 15 minutes to the timer.  If she still couldn’t go, we would give her another 15 minutes.  Then she had to sit until she went. 

You are the Parent…You Decide
Sometimes I knew that “it” Potty traininghad to be coming soon.  But Elaine would say she didn’t have to go.  I didn’t want to risk having an accident in the floor.  (We had several accidents when Elaine would start playing, get distracted, and not want to stop and use the potty.) 

So if we had tried a couple of times with no pee-pee, or if I knew she had to be almost ready, then I would make Elaine sit until she could go.  During these times I would sit with her and we would read books to distract from the fact that she had to sit on the potty chair.

Let Them Help
For Elaine, getting to help dump the potty and flush the big toilet was almost as good as the clapping for her success.  She wanted to carry the “pot” into the bathroom and dump it.  So I let her.  Keep your kiddo involved and excited about the whole thing.

Let me insert here that I have found yet another use for my diaper sprayer: cleaning the potty chair.  Just dump, spray out the paper and rinse the pee, and flush.  Good to go.  I used Lysol or Clorox wipes to sanitize the pot, too.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Potty Training 101: Get Set!

{This is part 3 in a series.  Part 1 :: Part 2 :: Part 4}

I grew up in a family where we didn’t say “pee” and we didn’t say “butt” because those are crass.  We called “it” podee.  When it came time to teach Elaine about using the toilet, all of a sudden I realized that my terminology was confusing to her.  How do you tell a two-year-old to go podee in the potty?

Consistent Terminology
Potty trainingOne of the best tips I read in one of those many potty training books was to establish the terminology and then be consistent.  Be sure your spouse is on board and using the same words as you are so that your kiddo is not confused.

I tried.  I really did try.  I even “stooped” to calling it pee-pee.  But somewhere along the lines, Elaine got mixed up.  It’s kind of humorous now.  It happened like this…

One time when Elaine was trying to pee in the potty she actually passed gas.  She laughed about it, so I played along and asked, “Did you just toot?” in a sing-song voice.  Ever since then, Elaine has called #1 a toot.  Yes, folks, she gets very excited and tells everyone, “I toot!  I toot!”

So much for not confusing the terminology.  But since she was being consistent in called it by one name, we joined in with her.  The question in our house is not “Elaine, do you need to go potty?”  Rather we ask, “Elaine, do you need to toot?”  You can imagine that we get many strange looks in public. 

Switch to PrefoldsElaine 10 months in prefold diaper coverless
Another tip I gathered came from another potty-training mom.  She switched her daughter to all prefolds with no stay-dry liner prior to the commencement of potty training.  This allowed her daughter to feel wetness.  It also made it easier for her tot to recognize the cause and effect of “going” and then feeling wet.

The beauty of the modern pocket diaper is that the stay dry lining wicks moisture away and keeps your baby dry and happy.  This also aids in preventing diaper rash.  But when it is time to potty train, feeling and recognizing wetness is key.  Maybe you should consider putting those wonderful pockets away for a little while and use only prefolds and covers.

I never got to do this step, though I had intended to.  Elaine decided to be ready before I could switch her to prefolds.  She did have quite a few accidents at the beginning, when she was learning to tell us before she went.  She would pee in her trainers (which absorb a little, but not much), and then come crying to us, “I wet.  I wet.”  Feeling wetness is important!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Potty Training 101: Get Ready!

{This is part 2 in a series.  Part 1 :: Part 3 :: Part 4}

Here are some things I did to help prepare for potty training.  Not expert advice, just my experience. 

Read A Book…but be careful!
I did find it helpful to peruse several books on potty training.  When you do this, please remember to “spit out the bones.”  What works for one parent may not work for you.  There is the one day method, the potty party method, the slow and steady method, and the list goes on.  I gleaned some helpful tips, such as the checklist for potty training readiness.  I also learned to establish the terminology and be consistent so that the child doesn’t get confused.   But the more I read, the more scared I became.  I had to return the books and trust my instincts.300

Gather Supplies
Have your potty training supplies ready.  These are the things we found essential:

  • Potty Chair
  • Potty Seat for the toilet
  • Training Pants – we used a combination of Eco Posh trainers, Gerber trainers, and “real” undies.
  • Stickers and chart.  I just printed a grid in Excel and laminated it.
  • Candy (or another reward if you steer away from sweets).
  • Timer
  • Step stool for getting to the toilet and for washing hands.
  • Baby Legs.  We used these to keep her legs warm so she didn’t have to wear pants and pull them down before using the potty.
  • Hand sanitizer.  Since we did most of our training in the living room, I chose to use hand sanitizer for cleaning our hands.  It was easier than trekking into the bathroom for soap and water.

Learn Your Child
During one of the first potty training failures I discovered that Elaine doesn’t “go” very often.  Only 3-4 a day actually.  She must have an iron bladder, and she certainly didn’t get that from me!  Knowing this helped me prepare for potty training.  I knew that if I asked her to go every 30 minutes or 1 hour, she would get frustrated.  She doesn’t go that often.

Let your child wear prefolds with no cover, or fitteds for a few days.  Learn their routine.  When do they typically wet?  When do they have a bowel movement?  If you know this you can march into potty training armed and ready!

I did read in one of my books that toddlers typically “go” about 20 minutes after a meal.  I tried to limit Elaine’s drinks to meals and snack times instead of giving her a sippy cup to carry with her all day long.  Then we focused after meals.  Instead of cleaning the dishes right away, we had potty time until she went.

It was so helpful to me when I was finally able to “catch” the first pee-pee in the potty.  This is where I preferred the potty chair over the potty seat.  If they are peeing in the toilet they can’t see what they have just done.  The first time Elaine went in the potty, we looked at it and declared it “pee-pee.”  Now she knew what we were trying to do, and what it is called.  She was also fascinated with watching me do it, but some people are far more private than I am and may not want an audience as they take care of their business.

They also don’t know how to wipe, so you have to show them exactly what they are supposed to wipe.  It’s not just wad up the toilet paper and throw it in the potty.  Yeah, Elaine did that.  Maybe they would get cleaner if you did it for them, but they have to learn sometime!

Readiness Checklist
I can’t remember everything on the myriad of checklists that I read, but there are certain things that your toddler should be able to do in order to be ready for potty training.  Elaine can’t do all of them completely by herself yet, but she is close.

  • Speak or communicate so they can tell you when they need to go.  Elaine tells us about 50% of the time, and we remind her to go about 50% of the time.
  • Pull pants and panties up and down.  To be honest, Elaine didn’t really wear bottoms during our big potty training thrust.  She wore her panties/trainers, and Baby Legs.  Definitely choose clothing with no buttons, zippers, and buckles.  You need to be able to get it off in a hurry!  We had practice sessions to teach Elaine how to get her panties up and down.  It’s a coordination thing!
  • Easy access to the potty.  We kept the potty chair in the living room area where we spend most of our days.  If we moved to the kitchen for an extended period of time we just brought the potty with us.  You may need a stool to access the toilet and the sink for hand-washing.
  • Obedience.  One book said that if the child has any stubbornness you cannot start potty training until it is eradicated.  Um, hello?  She is two.  She is a first born.  She will be strong willed until she dies.  But Elaine knows the guidelines and the consequences.  By laying these down firmly, she was able to perform better.  If I said that when the timer dings she has to try to go potty, then when the timer went off, she knew she had to sit and try to go.  Set your boundaries/guidelines and enforce them.

Monday, January 2, 2012

When They are Ready, They are Ready: Potty Training 101

I must first declare to you that I am the farthest thing from an expert when it comes to potty training.  I tried twice with Elaine and we had epic failures.  I read books.  I asked advice.  I couldn’t decide which method would be best for us.  So I shrank in fear and avoided the whole thing.  My attitude was, “let’s stick with cloth diapers…I’m an expert on those!”

When Elaine decided she was ready to use the big girl potty one week before my entire family descended on my small apartment for the Thanksgiving holidays, I was less than enthusiastic. Yet everyone seemed to be telling me, “when they’re ready, they are ready.” So I reluctantly jumped into potty training with both feet.  What you are about to read is our journey in transitioning from cloth diapers to “big girl panties” – otherwise known as potty training.

I always thought that while the child may just “be ready” at a certain point, there must surely be a way to help them “be ready” when I was ready.  I thought that as a parent I needed to make the decision, and not just leave it up to chance.  And I surely wasn’t going to have a 3 year old still wearing diapers!

Well…when I thought I was ready, Elaine definitely wasn’t.  And when I was scared out of my shoes about failing again, Elaine decided to be ready.  It was the easiest thing in the world.  She practically taught herself with a little gentle guidance from Mommy and Daddy.  So it is true – when they are ready, they are ready.  Introduce the potty chair.  Demonstrate the concept.  Try – it’s okay if you fail.  Just wait a while and try again.  Don’t force it - wait for them to be ready.  And then it will be easy.

I shared briefly some of my potty training necessities back in November.  We were only just beginning down the potty training trail, so I didn’t want to share too much “advice” in case this turned into another epic failure.  Now that we are mostly potty trained, I feel a little more confident to share with you some things I have learned along the way.

And I will try, but with this topic its rather hard to be polite and “kosher” about everything.  So just understand that I am not trying to be crass.  And enjoy a laugh here and there.  We certainly have!

So come back tomorrow and the rest of the week as we delve into an amateur’s version of Potty Training 101!

To read on this series, please use the links below:
Part 2 :: Part 3 :: Part 4

For more potty training tips and product reviews, please read here:  Potty Training.

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