Categorized | Adventures in EC

No More Cloth Diapers for Fletcher!

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At 2 years, 3 months, and 1 day old Fletcher learned to use the potty!  It took 9 days from start to finish.  And now I don’t know what to think!

Last Monday he started stripping his clothes and diaper, so I just never put them back on.  I had already been thinking of beginning the “3 Day Potty Training” method that I had looked into, but just didn’t have the motivation.  Let’s face it, a toddler in a diaper is easier to manage than one who is nude and potentially pooping on your floor.

My main motivation to teach him to use the potty was having to wash diapers less frequently, not gonna lie.  I have been buried in laundry for months.  Every other day I have to wash their clothes, and diapers.  Plus our clothing, bedding, towels, and unpaper towels.  I couldn’t get my head above water for one day!

So when he took his clothes off, they stayed off for 9 days.  No diaper, no underwear (for the most part) and rarely a shirt.  I turned the fireplace on in the mornings to make sure the house wasn’t too cold.

I explained that he was going to learn to use the potty like a big boy, and there were no more diapers.  I prepared a sticker chart and promised a chocolate (usually a pretzel M&M) for each number 1 or number 2.  Each time he pottied I did a ridiculous dance and song “Fletcher pee peed on the potty” to the tune of “La Cucaracha”  and we made a huge deal of things.

Fletcher practicing being diaper free, 6 months You may be able to see the pee in the potty.

This was different than ECing, something we have done part time at our leisure since he was 6 months old.  I did congratulate him for using the potty but not in such a grandious way, and there were no rewards.  My main goal for ECing him was to make sure he never feared the potty, and when we were ready, he would know what to do.  If it saved a few diapers and kept him comfortable in the process that was just a bonus.

Even though I was ready for him to learn the potty, I wasn’t sure if he was.  He has used it a million times but only when I put him on.  He has only cued me by saying “poop” or “potty” twice before.  Frankly, my son is a man of few words.  He would rather sign certain things, and he only uses brief commands, never sentences.

Using an all naked training method proved to be the most effective for us.  I do have all hardwood flooring though, so this made life easier.  In the beginning he would just start peeing wherever he was.  I started carrying a little potty around and catching it when he did, then making a big deal out of him peeing “on” the potty.  When he just peed on the floor I didn’t admonish him, but I did tell him that wasn’t what he was supposed to do, and I would send him to play in his room while I cleaned the mess.  I used my EC knowledge to put him on the potty when I knew he would need to potty (after naps, after waking in the morning, 10-30 minutes after a big drink, or when I heard flatulence signaling he needed to evacuate his bowels) and this helped tremendously.

Once we got a “catch” it was party time!  He thoroughly enjoyed the stickers, which he liked to pick out himself and affix.  The chocolate was a hit too, of course.

We had good days and bad over the 9 days.  Sometimes it felt like he only peed on the potty once, and the rest was getting caught mid stream or wiped off of the floor.   It was mentally draining for me as well.  Not to sound gross, but staring at my son’s penis in anticipation of a pee, and constantly listening for him to pass gas was not my idea of fun.  Housework, blog work, all were on hold while I catered to his needs.  My poor baby was woken more than once while sleeping in my arms or nursing as I JUMPED to catch a pee or run the boy to the potty.

We really started making more progress when my husband would potty in front if him and when we started having him stand up to pee.  (I purchased a Flippee from Amazon to install on our toilet to make this less messy) I also started the “let’s pee on a cheerio” game which worked to get him excited to pee, rather than want to avoid it.  He liked the sound of peeing in water and liked to see the bubbles being made.  Peeing standing is so much more fun than sitting, plus he can really see what is going on!

On Day 8 we had 3 floor accidents, but we also finally started to have un prompted potty visits.  He just started going!  He didn’t tell me, but I would follow him and he would stand and pee or put the seat on the toilet himself, and go.

On Day 9 he went unprompted every visit except one.  We even went out in trainers and he returned dry, and he went potty a few minutes after we got home, unprompted as well.  Apparently he did have one accident when Daddy got home but I am still calling him potty trained!

Now that the day he is 98% done with diapers (we are still unsure of his ability to go while out in public since he doesn’t ask to go, he just goes at home.  Not possible at Target) and wakes up dry most days from naps and night time, I am is disbelief.  On one hand I an thrilled, utterly thrilled, that it worked.  I am actually very proud of myself for sticking to my plan despite the hardship of it.  I wanted to give up many times.  It would have been easier to just put him back in a diaper and get my life back.  Instead we locked ourselves inside and did it.

I am also tremendously proud of Fletcher.  Once it clicked, it stayed.  And he has been going potty ever since.

27 months is a little early for boys to potty train, though I certainly know of boys who have done so sooner.  I am still very happy to be done with the diaper phase for Fletcher.  I am only sad that he is growing up so fast.  He eats with real utensils, on real plates, drinks from real cups, and uses the potty.  He is a little person!

At least he still needs his mommy for lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles…for now!

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Kim Rosas began Dirty Diaper Laundry in 2009 out of a desire to help more parents understand modern cloth diapers. She lives in Florida with her husband of 5 years and her two boys. Even though none of her boys wear diapers anymore she is still just as committed to promoting them. In her spare time Kim enjoys video editing, photography, and coffee.
  • Tiebears

    Hi Kim, Thanks for sharing, don’t know if you got my tweet sometime this past week, but I asked you to share your potty learning experience, and here it is! So thanks first :)
    I’ve been thinking about potty training my 20-month old son. A few months ago, he started waking up dry, and I stopped putting extra inserts in his diaper. He even let me put him on the toilet to poop. But one day something happened, don’t know what, but he wouldn’t sit on the toilet ever again and started pooping on the toilet. So we stopped for a while.
    And now were back to trying again, this time on the potty. So far we’ve only been fortunate with peeing in the tub in the mornings, and nothing in the potty. He wants to play ‘sit’ on the potty, but not using it as potty. He also says poop when he’s pooping but runs away when he knows I’m taking him to the potty.
    So what should I do? Is he ready?
    And does potty training have to be pee and poop at once or one by one? And when you had naked baby time, did you have to clean up poop off the floor? You must have been following his every move… Coz I know boys pee anytime. When it’s a bit windy, a bit cold, see water, whatever.

    Thank you for all your help.
    Astie tiebears@twitter

  • Tiebears

    Hi Kim, Thanks for sharing, don’t know if you got my tweet sometime this past week, but I asked you to share your potty learning experience, and here it is! So thanks first :)
    I’ve been thinking about potty training my 20-month old son. A few months ago, he started waking up dry, and I stopped putting extra inserts in his diaper. He even let me put him on the toilet to poop. But one day something happened, don’t know what, but he wouldn’t sit on the toilet ever again and started pooping on the toilet. So we stopped for a while.
    And now were back to trying again, this time on the potty. So far we’ve only been fortunate with peeing in the tub in the mornings, and nothing in the potty. He wants to play ‘sit’ on the potty, but not using it as potty. He also says poop when he’s pooping but runs away when he knows I’m taking him to the potty.
    So what should I do? Is he ready?
    And does potty training have to be pee and poop at once or one by one? And when you had naked baby time, did you have to clean up poop off the floor? You must have been following his every move… Coz I know boys pee anytime. When it’s a bit windy, a bit cold, see water, whatever.

    Thank you for all your help.
    Astie tiebears@twitter

  • Tiebears

    Hi Kim, Thanks for sharing, don’t know if you got my tweet sometime this past week, but I asked you to share your potty learning experience, and here it is! So thanks first :)
    I’ve been thinking about potty training my 20-month old son. A few months ago, he started waking up dry, and I stopped putting extra inserts in his diaper. He even let me put him on the toilet to poop. But one day something happened, don’t know what, but he wouldn’t sit on the toilet ever again and started pooping on the toilet. So we stopped for a while.
    And now were back to trying again, this time on the potty. So far we’ve only been fortunate with peeing in the tub in the mornings, and nothing in the potty. He wants to play ‘sit’ on the potty, but not using it as potty. He also says poop when he’s pooping but runs away when he knows I’m taking him to the potty.
    So what should I do? Is he ready?
    And does potty training have to be pee and poop at once or one by one? And when you had naked baby time, did you have to clean up poop off the floor? You must have been following his every move… Coz I know boys pee anytime. When it’s a bit windy, a bit cold, see water, whatever.

    Thank you for all your help.
    Astie tiebears@twitter

  • Katherine

    Tiebears…I am in the exact same situation with my 20 month old son (also named Fletcher)! He used to sit on the potty and “try” sometimes we’d get something, sometimes we wouldn’t. Now he REFUSES to sit on it! I don’t know what happened! He will however sit on it to “play” fully clothed. As soon as I try and pull his pants down to sit “exposed” he squirms away…he just will not sit on it bare bottomed! I am taking this as a sign that he is not ready. We will continue talking about the potty and let him play on it but I am not going to push the potty learning fully. I think it will only make me and him frustrated with nothing to show for it. I don’t think it would hurt anything to keep trying but I truly believe that you can potty train for 6 months or 9 days like Kim. When your child is ready it will click like it did with her little Fletcher. I’m going for the less frustrating route :)

    • Anonymous

      I think potty training stories are similar to childbirth stories. Many are
      scary and folks often feel the need to share then once the topic comes up.
      Once I said I was working on the potty with Fletcher to friends I heard
      many “horror” stories of how hard it was, stressful, and that in come cases
      it took months for their boys to learn. I guess I lucked out.

      Like birth stories, it will be so different for everyone so ignore the bad
      ;)

    • Tiebears

      I’m glad Kim wrote her experience, and also thanks to you for sharing!
      I guess right now is back to ‘familiarizing’ with the potty. I also don’t want to stress him out.
      I guess I’ll take this chance to buy more cute fluff then. While it lasts… :)

      Astie tiebears@twitter

  • Mscarydance

    Congrats Mama…and Congrats to Fletcher the Big Boy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kathyatownsend Kathy Dunning Townsend

    Yay Fletcher! So awesome! You did a great job Kim and you must be so proud of your big boy!

  • Anonymous

    Yay! Way to go Fletcher and Mommy!
    I know you did a training pant roundup a while back, but did you/are you using any cloth training pants??


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