Monday, April 16, 2012

A Diaper-Free Baby

I have been meaning to write about this for a long time [every time I sit down to write, I end up writing about something else.] It is exciting, and I am a proud mama.

Miss Yasmina is all done with diapers. Since 15 1/2 months old.

Back in February I wrote about how Mina had transitioned to pooping in the potty. Not too long after that [about a month ago now] she fully potty trained herself.

Really. It was all her.

She started telling me when she had to pee by pulling at her diaper and making whiny sounds. For the first couple of days she told me right after she had already peed in her diaper, and then she learned to tell me before she went. Now when she has to pee, she pulls at her crotch and makes her "eh eh eh I have to pee" noise. Sometimes she doesn't tell me, and I just have to check in with her when I know she hasn't peed in awhile.

Now, just because she is diaper-free [and she still wears one at night] does not mean we are accident-free. In fact, accidents happen on a regular basis. I just consider them to be part of the learning process. I'd much rather her have an accident a day than wear diapers all day. And besides, as long as my trusty spray bottle of white vinegar and water is nearby, accidents are really no big deal.

Now my baby has a cute little undie butt instead of a big diaper butt [which was also cute but in a different way]. And she can wear all those sweet pairs of jeans that never fit over a cloth diaper. Yes, I'm into diaper-free. Accidents or no accidents.
Look at that cute diaper-free butt
If you are a mama of a baby or are thinking of becoming a mama of a baby, I would highly recommend you do some research on "elimination communication," which is what they call it these days. In the meantime, these are my guidelines teaching your baby to use the potty:

  1. Be flexible. Don't worry about catching all your child's pees and poops in the potty. Even one pee a day in the potty will help the baby learn how to use it.
  2. Use cloth diapers. Not only do they eliminate the waste of disposables [and the resources needed to make them], they help children keep the association between going pee and feeling wet. Disposables are so effective at keeping babies dry that they lose their connection to their bodily functions.
  3. Start as young as you are comfortable with. The first time I held Jai and Mina over the toilet, they were five days old. I just held them over the toilet, said "psssss" and watched in amazement as the pee came flying out. [I held them over the big toilet until about 3 months old, then I switched to a baby potty.]
  4. Keep a potty in the bathroom, and let your child see you go to the bathroom. They are natural copy cats. [Jai maintains that Mina learned to use the potty from him.]
  5. When it's warm and nice outside, let your child run around diaper-free. Peeing down their leg a few times will help them learn to pay attention to the "I-have-to-pee" feeling.
  6. If your baby is wearing a diaper and you see that they are pooping or about to poop, grab them, run to the bathroom, and put them on the potty. They will learn where poop is supposed to go.
Like I said before, I would urge you to do more reading on the subject. Here is a helpful website and here is a helpful book. And I must also say that although my kids both went diaper free pretty early (Jai at 18 months and Mina at 15 1/2), practicing elimination communication [or EC] does not necessarily mean your child with potty train super early. But it will make it much, much easier when the time comes.

[And did I tell you that I no longer have to do laundry every day?? Yes, yes, yes!!!]



  1. This is such good timing for my thoughts as mama. I will have a newborn soon, and the way you started early seems incredibly smart. Funny how most the time we actually train them to use diapers first, so "potty training" is actually the second training. I love the idea of showing a newborn the way we all do stuff right from the beginning. Why not eliminate the confusion if at all possible. I also like the idea of unspoken communication. So many ways we teach are not sitting down and articulating in words, but just by example. It's important to remember that.

    1. Yes, I support your efforts! it really is worth it. And it is truly amazing to see Mina, who can't talk yet, communicate that she needs to go to the bathroom...