Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Potty Learning in Cloth

If you've braved the world of cloth diapering for about 2 years now and your little one is showing signs of potty readiness, then this post is for you.  My 2 yo and I have been starting the process of transitioning to the potty and I'd love to share with you some tips and tricks I have learned along the way.  We are still new to the process, so these tips apply to early learners.

Being ready to give the potty a try meant needing a way to quickly get pants & diaper off and my preferred diapering style (prefold with fastener & wool soaker) just wasn't working.  I researched all of the various cloth trainer options, but found many to be too expensive and contain PUL (which I would rather not use.)  After scouring sites and reading reviews, I found a method that works really well for us.  I simply use padded underwear when we are at home.  (I linked an Etsy shop, but you can find cheaper versions at most department stores for a very low price.) If we are going out for a short trip (and we're having a good potty day) I add a doubler to the training pants and use a wool soaker/shorties/longies.  This works really well to absorb any accidents and protect against leaks.

Another training pants option is a prefold to trainer conversion.  I love this idea and have started converting a few of my prefolds.  It's a simple process, you just need a little time (and patience) and some fold over elastic (which I can find at my local JoAnns.)  I will post a tutorial on this later in the week.  Again, this trainer preforms beautifully with a wool covering: soaker, shorties, or longies.  Utilizing the wool and diapers you already have is an economical and environmentally friendly way to enter this next phase of parenting.

Reusing diapers and wool isn't the only useful way to work with what you've got.  I have found that BabyLegs make a great potty learning tool when the weather is cooler, as well.  

  After establishing the proper undergarment, potty using success depends on 2 things: getting to the potty and staying on the potty.  The solutions to these issues are quite easy.  First, have lots of access to the potty.  I have 3 potties:  1 stays in the nursery, 1 in the bathroom, and 1 in the hatch of the car.  Our emergency car potty has been a life saver.  Maybe it's not for everyone, but it works really well for us.  To manage the waste after use, I simply bring extra prefolds and doggy waste bags to clean the mess.  I use the diaper to soak up urine and bag to contain and discard of poo. 

Lastly, if your 2 yo is anything like mine, he is busy! And sitting on the potty isn't always the most appealing option.  To keep my son's interest, I have a tote bag filled with books and toys beside the potty.  He is able to explore the contents without standing up and I can even leave the room for clean pants if need be.

Lastly, my biggest potty learning tip is to do whatever works! I have resorted to standing my kiddo in the shower to pee because that's what he asked to do.  Also, my 5yo often takes him to the potty because he prefers it that way and we have more success when big sister helps out. If  you're in the midst of potty learning or have survived to tell the tale, please comment below with any ideas that worked for you.

Remember: Patience and versatility are your biggest weapons in this potty game.  Good luck!

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