Transitioning from Diaper Service to Potty Training

At Bundle families ask us often about how to transition to potty training, when your diaper usage goes down quite a bit.  This makes using a diaper service less economical, so families are often looking for an alternative.  Here are a few thoughts:
In my experience both personally and working with lots of families at Bundle is that potty training often takes quite a bit longer than you might think.  It is a great idea to start the potty learning before age 2, but usually kids will not be able to be diaper free until after 2.  So it will often reduce stress for the family if you take successful potty using by your under-2-year-old as great practice, and a chance to reinforce that behavior as a positive action.  But it is probably not a sign that your child will be out of diapers right away.  Sometimes parents feel discouraged when early potty using success does not turn into potty training.
But, what to do when you are not using enough diapers to make using a diaper service worth the money, but still are not ready to go diaper free?  The risk with switching to disposable diapers is that cloth diapers are a great feedback to encourage young children to be aware of peeing, since they can feel the wetness.  In disposable diapers they do not get this feedback.
If you want to stick with cloth, there are a few options:  one is to stick with the diaper service until your little one is ready to make the complete switch to undies, or just needs diapers for nighttime.
The other option is to invest in some prefolds and plan to wash your own diapers until potty training begins in earnest.  Since you already have your diaper covers, this is very economical.  This is an especially easy option if you can help your little one poo on the potty.  (If you stay tuned into your child’s behavior and patterns this can be easy to teach).  I would suggest buying just 25 prefolds.
Pull ups can be messy and expensive if your child is not ready to fully potty train, and is in the early potty learning stages.  I would suggest these for when your child is ready to be out of diapers, and just needs a bit of backup either overnight or during busy times (like a playdate).  But having 1-2 pairs on hand can be fun motivation for a child.
Little potties around the house, and even in the car if you are on the go, is a great way to keep using the potty an easy choice.  Our potties have a tiny footprint.

 

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Diaper Count-down

I officially am down to just one kid in diapers.  This is huge, people!  Not so many months ago I needed diaper covers in three sizes.  Three!

The only one in diapers now is a small 5 months old, so no problems there.  Although, if you are interested in elimination communication (which means getting your baby out of diapers) stay tuned…Bundle will be exploring this increasingly popular approach to potty-learning later this summer.

In other news, here are my notes:

what did not help:

– incentives of any kind.  I tried all sorts of carrots: ice cream for breakfast, sleepovers with friends, candy, you name it!

– punishments of any kind.  Any sort of grouchiness or disappointment from me seemed to have the opposite of it’s intended effect.  It is really a frustrating blow to your ego to have your little charges be nothing but amused when you’re spitting-mad at them.  But also a good lesson to grow up and not get bent out of shape about the little things!

Potty learning happened quickly and easily when

– I let it be their project, and did not get mad or happy about it – sticking to recognitions like ‘you did it.’

– I was consistent about helping them to the bathroom.  Not suggesting that they go, or asking if they want to go, but simply taking them to the potty at regular intervals.

Cloth Diaper Through the Night

How to cloth diaper through the night?  Many families opt out of cloth diapers overnight.  The main motivation is a HUGE one – sleep!  Something most of us are not getting enough of.

Some people are night-changers, I definitely am not.  I am not a huge fan of changing diapers during the day, so changing them at 2am is pretty much never going to happen.  SO, barring that solution – the question is how to make sure a cold diaper doesn’t wake him-and therefore you- up at 4am.

Here are the tricks we employ:

1) Newborns:  they pee ALL THE TIME. While we use Bundle’s diaper service for daytime diapering, for our littlest one we have a few microfleece pocket diapers that we use for overnight.  The fleece wicks the moisture away from baby’s butt so that you get the same feel-dry effect that you get from disposable diapers.  We stuff the diaper with 2 inserts – hemp inserts are extra absorbent.  We also add a silk liner which helps to prevent diaper rash and also pulls the moisture away from his skin.  In the morning we just toss these diapers and liners into a separate pail from our diaper service diapers and wash them ourselves.

2) One 1/2 – Two Year Olds:  They are starting to get the hang of peeing at certain times, so the diaper doesn’t get as crazy-saturated as the newborn set.  We use 1 size bigger of cotton prefold (normally we use large, overnight we use toddler size) and we fold in a small size diaper for extra absorbency.  Works perfectly, the diaper is wet in the morning, but not so saturated that we feel bad about it 🙂

3) The over Three Year Olds:  At this age, while lots of kids still use a diaper at night, they are out of a diaper during the day.  So they have control of their bladder and will just have little accidents while they are learning to ‘hold it’ overnight.  So we just use a single large diaper, which offers enough absorbency for this stage.

New Potty Training Tidbits

Potty Training is something that we get a lot of questions about. Each child has their own timeline and sometimes their own issues.

We have started to carry a few extra items to make the potty learning adventure a bit easier.

First, some hybrid wool undies. These are 100% organic merino wool hersey, so they fit super soft. Wear these for EC or the final stages of potty learning – they will absorb some dampness while your little one learns how to get to the potty in time.

We also have organic cotton Babylegs, which are a must have for potty training or EC. These make it so easy for your little one to sit on the potty without fussing with a buckle on their pants.

And, to pull it all together we have added a few potty learning books.

Check out ‘stress-free potty training‘ to start with, and let us know how it’s going!

First Day of School…In Diapers?

Interesting article in The Telegraph about how and why kids are staying in diapers later and later…sometimes until 5 years old.

This trend has been blamed on many things, from the major brands adapting their marketing to keep kids in diapers for longer. This article touches on the idea that maybe more working moms sending their kids to daycare means less time for the hands-on effects of potty training. I personally have noticed anecdotally that daycares do a great job of potty training for my friends’ kids!

From the article: “Margaret Morrissey, of the family lobby group Parents Outloud, said: “The fact is that we are changing our society and the nature of child rearing is changing because of it. If we insist that mothers go out to work when their children are still young – out of the house by 7.30am, dropping off a baby at nursery, then the two kids at school, working a full day and getting back at 6pm – things are going to give.

“If you want mums to devote every waking day to their children and their development, we have to make it possible for them to survive financially while staying at home.”

One nursery manager, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the job of potty training had been made harder for parents by “hi-tech”, modern nappies which reduce children’s discomfort.
“My theory is that children now feel too comfortable in disposable nappies and the message from the bladder that they are wet or uncomfortable doesn’t reach the brain,” she said. “Years ago, in the days of terry towelling nappies, the children felt uncomfortable and the brain/bladder connection developed earlier,” she said.”

Potty Sale

Now through September First
Potty Training Season is officially ending, and just in case you need one more reason to get your little one out of diapers, we are putting all of our potty training gear on sale until September 1st.

Getting out of diapers can be a chicken-and-egg problem: you can’t really potty train while wearing a diaper, but you don’t want a kid who is not potty trained running around your house without a diaper on. That’s why summertime is such a perfect time to make the transition – you can spend plenty of time in the backyard having some diaper-free play-time. Potty training is a learning process, so remember to start early (before two) letting your toddler practice using a potty with no pressure.

We have training pants for wherever you are in your potty learning: ‘overnight pants’ that are basically pull-up cloth diapers, ‘training pants’ that are like underwear on steroids, biodegradable disposable pull-ups and more. We are also on hand to commiserate or strategize if you are having a hard time…

If your Little One is not so little anymore, but still resistant to the idea of using the potty, switching from disposable to cloth diapers can be a GREAT motivator. Kids in cloth diapers tend to potty train earlier because they actually feel wet when they wet their diaper, instead of having the moisture wicked away from their skin. This develops a cause and effect relationship for them, and also provides a bit more motivation to use a potty. Many families will start with a few months of cloth diaper service to help their child become more ready and willing to use the potty, and then switch over to potty training using cotton training pants.

elimination communication

We hear a lot about ‘elimination communication’ or EC from the folks that come through Bundle. The basic idea is to help your baby to achieve an early potty learning, so that he can go in the toilet instead of the diaper. This involves being a tuned in caregiver, and also being flexible and open to not ‘catching’ every pee. Many parents find that they are more connected to their child’s needs when they practice EC.

Most families that practice elimination communication use cloth diapers for naps, overnight, or the times when they are not available to be focusing on their baby. Because you do not go through many diapers, most families will just buy a small stash of pocket or AIO diapers and wash them at home.

You can find more information about EC and connect to other families that are practicing EC here

Like anything with parenting, it is important to keep your sense of humor and perspective when approaching potty learning. If there is one thing your baby does not need, it is an early dose of anxiety!