Now that my husband’s break between school and the start of his internship has ended, I figured I should get back to blogging!
I’ve got a lot of messages, texts and questions about how the Diaper Free process is going, so I figured an update was in order! You can read about the intro to going diaper free here. Let’s recap:
- Why are we doing this? There are a few reasons, but amongst them is a desire to not have to change diapers during the day, the diapers are sometimes irritating to my son’s bottom, it’s cheaper all around to not have to wash diapers or spend the time folding them, and now that we’ve got a second kid on the way (yay!) I’d like to only have one kid in diapers at a time!
- Why do we think this can happen? Because most of the world is trained in some kind of elimination communication from infancy, and it’s totally possible.
- What are the obvious hardships? Kids are born with an innate sense of when they need to go potty, but by giving them a portable potty in their pants they lose that sense. The “cutoff” age for still having that sense is usually around 1 year old, and our son was almost 13 months when we started.
So how has it been going? Well, we’ve caught a handful of pees in the potty and one poop. We knew the process would be hard, but we didn’t understand how the steps were going to work. We thought Step 1 would be associating the sound “pee-pee” with peeing and “poo-poo” with pooping. What we didn’t expect is that our son Jude wouldn’t want to go potty other than in his diaper, and simply getting him to go when not wearing a diaper would be difficult. We would spend all the waking hours without a diaper, and he would go hours without peeing, and then finally he would piddle around the house, getting stressed out as he did it, even though we tried to be happy and smile about it. Then when we would put a diaper on him for his nap, he would just wet through everything. We were getting concerned about him holding it in, but after a little while he got used to the idea.
Just as I was able to get three pees in the toilet in one day, the weather got colder. Yes, we live in Berkeley where it’s “warm all the time,” but that also means the houses have no insulation (I can literally see the ground through a break in the floorboards in our closet), and it’s still California, so it drops down to the 50s at night. It’s normally noon before it gets warm enough to take a diaper off Jude, and if I want to run errands or leave the house, we have to put the diaper back on him. Not to mention if we’re on vacation somewhere with carpet, we have to keep the diaper on for days straight. So the number of hours we can actually keep him diaper free are limited.
We also discovered that Jude has his own sound for going potty, and it’s “tsss.” He frequently says it when he doesn’t go, but almost always says it when he does pee. He points at his penis, and has begun associating it with his potty. He will point at his penis and say “tsss,” and then at his potty and say “tsss.” I call that progress! When he pees, we make his sound “tsss,” then happily set him on his potty and make the sound again. Unfortunately, I think he’s starting to think that sitting on the potty is something that he does AFTER he pees! Today he tinkled a little bit, said “tsss,” and then pointed at his potty. I thought he might empty the rest of his bladder, but he just sat there happily as I read him his book.
Another phenomenon is that he’s now giving us cues, then we sit him on his potty, and he gets frantic. So we let him off and he pees or poops right next to the potty *sigh* (see picture to the right. I figured the real poop wasn’t appropriate internet material! So it says “Oops!” instead). He also likes going poop in private. He’ll run away behind a door or corner and go, and then cry because it’s not in his diaper. Like check out the next photo…this was in the early days and we didn’t understand that fussy = has to go potty, but as soon as he got around the corner from the kitchen he went right next to his diaper bag. He narrowly missed the only non-washable rug we have in the house, thank goodness!
The last thing we want to do is stress him out, so we’re trying to figure our way through this as gently as we can. We don’t need anything to happen immediately, just hopefully before the second baby comes in December. If he seems stressed out, we’ll keep a diaper on him. Or if mommy is too tired to keep on cleaning up piddles he will keep his diaper on too!
What are your thoughts on going diaper free? It’s been getting some attention in the press with CBS and The Washington Post. Would you consider going through the mess if it meant you didn’t have to change any daytime diapers?