3rd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge- Day 3: Open Topic Linky

flatschallenge2013buttonDay 3 means we are almost halfway through our 7 day challenge to use flats and handwash for 7 days.  This week there are over 60 bloggers participating who have been linking their posts and today instead of there being a prompt for writing they are picking their own topic.

For me I wanted to expand on a tip I shared a few days ago about using this time in flats as a way to start practicing Elimination Communication!  *Post contains affiliate links.

Before disposable diapers were the norm all babies wore cloth diapers and almost all of them potty trained far earlier than babies do today.  It isn’t unheard of for children to still be in diapers when they start school!

Each year when I do this Challenge I find myself more inclined to give my baby “diaper free” time or to let him wear a flat with no cover on.  The best motivation for potty training early when you are washing diapers by hand?!  Not having to handwash diapers anymore!  You can see why our grandmothers made sure to give their babies lots of potty chair time and lots of naked bum time.  One pee on the potty (or on the grass!) means one less diaper to wash.  When you are the washer you think a lot more of how many diapers you are going through.

I’ve shared my youngest child’s issues here on the blog before about his trouble with pooping and withholding.  He has been much better about going without me having to help but it has always been in a diaper.  In the earliest days of his problems I would try to encourage him to do his business on a potty seat but that made him associate it with pain.  Even after his troubles resolved the mere mention of the “potty” word caused him to protest, often cry, and the subject was dropped.

I’ve given him diaper free time here and there but the potty never entered the equation again until yesterday.  Everett did have a hard time passing a very large poop and I “doula’d” it out with him.  He had smaller movements 3 more times.  I knew that at this rate I would have to wash diapers for the second time that day and I was hoping to wait until the morning so I removed the diaper, cleaned him up, and set him free!


I put the little Bjorn potty in his room and he played while I went about my crazy productive streak and sorted all of the toys in the house, matching pieces as I went.  He began showing signs of needing to pee so I asked if he would like to go potty.  Surprisingly he said yes!  I rushed him to his seat and he was happily sitting and playing but nothing came of it.  About 30 minutes later his father was home and noticed the same signs, he ushered him to the potty and after a few minutes of sitting and playing he did it!

Of course I did a ridiculous song and dance and the long promised reward of M&M’s for pottying was finally realized!  That kid loves chocolate and was happy to get his treat.  Later that night before his bath I had him sit again and, after a few minutes and having read a short book, he declared that he did it again!  And he had!  More dancing, singing, and a reward.

It is my hope that today is the start of our road to underwear and our goodbye to cloth diapers.  I won’t be pressuring him but I know an opportunity when I see it and it is waving at me.  We are still participating in the Challenge and I’m sure he will have more wet diapers, even if he is miraculously trained during the day we may have nap and overnight dirty diapers.

I realize that when mothers and fathers work full-time your care provider isn’t going to give your baby diaper free time.  However, there is no rule saying EC is an all or nothing thing, just like cloth diapers.  Every family can benefit from introducing the potty and “cues” for pottying at any age.  I started ECing my other son when he was 6 months old and we have many days where he didn’t have a wet diaper at all!  Schedule changes would interrupt our best days but I know that our EC time made him potty train easily and without resistance at a pretty early age compared to the American average.

If you are participating in the Challenge (or not) try leaving the diaper off for a bit.  You might have a pee on the floor, or you might catch a pee on the potty.  For anyone interested in learning more about EC “The Diaper-Free Baby” book by Christine Gross-Loh is excellent and gave me a lot of insight into ways to make EC work for us.

Now I can’t wait to see what topics our bloggers will choose today!  Follow their links below!

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  • Dalia Sierra

    I gotta say that I really like flats 🙂 I have a few made out of some cotton tees that we don’t use anymore and was very surprised to see how well they work. Not only that but the way they fit is awesome. If I would have known I could do this I wouldn’t have included the t-shirts in the yard sale I had few months ago.

  • Our oldest also had a terrible time with constipation: the second she started solids at 8 months she just clogged up. We were new parents, so we thought crying and a little constipation was normal. Finally daycare brought it up with us, we talked to our doctor about it, and she started taking a small amount of Miralax daily. It made a world of difference for her. She potty trained at 24 months and that basically ended the problem: she just didn’t like going in her diaper.

    We are using EC with our youngest now, and I’m really hoping to get him potty trained even sooner. He doesn’t seem like he will have the issues our oldest did: he is EBF and still poops 3-4 times a day at 2.5 months, so his digestive system isn’t as efficient.

  • I have been wondering about EC and whether we could do it. Hubby sometimes think I’m a hippie weirdo… Knowing it isn’t an all or nothing commitment makes me more confident that at least I could give it a shot then with positive results Hubby might hop on board. Like he did with CD!! He totally didn’t think I would follow through with CD and we are CD our 2nd time (baby #3) Thanks for the info!

  • Apparently my great-grandmother put a lot of pressure on my grandma for not having my dad potty trained at 18 months. Great-Grandma had to wash diapers by hand; Grandma had a washing machine and a clothesline. To my grandma, it wasn’t worth it to potty train a little boy who wasn’t ready yet. It was easier to toss the diapers in the laundry than to deal with accidents or near-accidents at a ball game. (She also had two more children by the time my dad was potty trained.) She said that in retrospect she wished she hadn’t let my great-grandmother’s pressure to potty train bother her so much. Even then, lifestyles were busier and potty-training was happening later.

  • Just linked up…. I did a Day In the Life for today… wanted to VLOG, but it was too darn busy. But we were still able to use FLATS ALL DAY! Yeah us!
    -Cinella @ The Mami Blog