Diaper free baby, is that possible? About elimination communication and how to intruduce a potty in your babys life!

in #baby2 years ago (edited)

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Hi lovely friends! Today I have no recipe for you, no food pictures, but a post about a very important topic: how to get your baby diaper free without force and fighting.

By the way, if you are not a parent and dont want to read about pee and poop, this artcile is not for you;) But you are welcome to share and upvote anyway!

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I have a toddler who soon is 2 years old (13th of june).
And some days ago I wrote in my post that he now is completely diaper free, also during the night and when we go out. I got some comments about that and questions. So this post I will tell you how we made it, and what worked for us. It doesnt mean that is works for all parents, but I hope this will inspire you to listen to your child, and try out new ways of communication.

Babies express their needs constantly and letting us know they are hungry, cold, crave comfort or need to pee or poop. This happens already from the time of birth, and we all can understand the signs and help our babies with their needs, if we want to.

So for me, I was very suprised how much my baby did pee and poop at the beginning, and it was not very easy to keep everything on place as we used cotton diapers from the very beginning, so I was changing diapers every 30 minute or every hour almost 24/7.

Imagine yourself with diapers on, and you are not able to controll it, you to sit in your own pee and poop until someone else take care about that. At the beginning you would feel very much in discomfort, but with time, your would probably get used to it, especially if you have diapers that sucks all the liquid.

The difference with cotton diapers is, that your baby will feel when he pees and poop. not only when it happens, but also the minutes after that, until the diaper is changed.

I could imagine how terrible that wet diaper must have been, and couldnt do anything but change it every time our baby did his needs in the diaper. After a while I started to notice when he needed to pee or poop, and as I started to read his body language, I knew exectly when he needed to do it. At the beginning he always pooped when I was breastfeeding (I know, sound uuughh, and it was indeed an unpleasend moment, because it was that much!) Some weeks later I knew he always needed to pee after sleeping, and after breastfeeding.

Our baby showed us very clearly when he had a wet diaper, and we always changed it immediately.

When he was about 2 months old, we started to leave him a lot without diaper when we were at home, as much we could, when we noticed that he needed to pee, we quickly went to the bathroom and holded him in squat over the sink or over the potty placed on the sink.
We also made a Ssssshh sound at the same time he peed. We talked about what happened at that moment and made a sign with our index finger and thumb that symbolized the pee. After some months it got easier and when he needed to pee or poop, he started to make that sign with his fingers, or showed with his hand in the direction of his genital.

We had the potty always somewhere near and within reach to make him feel comfortable with it, and he even could play with it when he wanted to. We never sat him on the potty if he disliked it. After a while, he tried to sit on in by him self, and even played while sitting. I cant remember the first time he actually peed in it by him self, but I think it was, when he was about 12 months, the same month he started to walk.

From that time I also started to let him sleep without diapers at night, because I was used to wake up at least 4 or 5 times at night to breastfeed and to change his diapers (he always needed to pee a lot during the night, because he was drinking an enourmous amount of my milk). So I figured out that is was easier for me to ask him if he needed to pee and then help him with it, instead of waiting until he had drank and than peed in his diaper. I got more sleep this way, because he would never sleep with a wet diaper, he also used to keep the pee until it was very uncomtforable for him, and that made his very uneasy until it was done.

So when our boy was 18 months, he didnt need any diapers more when we were at home, only when we went out. During the winter it would be to much effort to try to keep him diaper free when we were going out (because of all the clothing), but when possible, we tried to fulfill his needs for a dry diaper also outside our home.

Since a few weeks, we are so relieved that he can communicate well with us and tell us very clear that he needs to pee. Even when he is playing with other children, he shows when he has his needs.

Of course this hasnt been a very easy journey for us, many times especially at the beginning when he was without diapers at home, he peed in his pants or on the floor, and than told us he had done it. But he always knew what was happening and used the signs for pee and poop very early.

This topic is sensitive for many educators as they have learned, that children cant controll their needs up to the age of 3. I was told the same when I did my education to a preschool teacher, and I believed it without question it at all. When I heard about diaper free babies for the first time, I had only bad thoughts about the parents, because I thought they made the children very dependend on them, but I didnt realise that children will pee and poop anyway, but if they know that they dont need to make it in the diaper of pants, they can wait a second or minute, and than make it over the sink or potty.

It is easier for children with cotton diapers to start using the potty instead, than for children with a diaper that sucks all liquid and that feels dry no matter how many hours pass.

Our little boy havent pooped in diapers from that he was 2 months old. I am very glad about that, because poop in a diaper is really not a nice view and it can be quite difficult to wash all the poop away. It is also easier to read the signs for when your baby needs to poop, than when he or she just needs to pee. The poop doesnt come that easy, and you will see a very concentrated expression when its time for the big needs. When your baby is about 2 or 3 months old, the poop is not fruid anymore, and therefore easier to clean and to take care of.

Some helpful tips:

  • use cotton diapers for your baby (this way your byby will feel when the diapers are wet)
  • let your baby stay without a diaper many times during the day, if your baby likes to lay down, then put a waterproof mat under him or her
  • carry your baby, your baby will get restless when he or she needs to pee or poop, and this way you will notice the signals much easier, than if he or she lays on a mat or in a stroller.
  • use some simple sounds or signs for pee and poop (fingertips together, or sssh sounds)
  • trust your baby, and trust your own instict, you are the parent of your child, and noone else knows better than you, the language your baby speaks
  • dont put any pressure on yourself or your baby, it should be funny and playful, not strenuous
  • start with baby steps, and increase with time and necessity
  • invest in good organic diapers and some good baby pants that keep the liquid inside and the chothing dry
  • be aware that you will need a washmachine every day or every second day at the beginning if you do it our way, but you will not need to use it for so many months, so keep in mind that it the time will pass
  • learn your baby´s signals, every baby has it own unique expressions
  • with very small babies, you can start with oped diapers, later on you can use a potty or hold your baby over the sink
  • during the nights, have some diapers already prepared to make it easy for you to change them, and later on, have the potty near your bed
  • our baby still sleeps in our bed, so it has always been easy to notice when he needs to pee during night, find a way hat suits you the best.

I hope this helped you with your baby and the poop and pee business!

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This has been very eye opening for me, being a new father of a six year old. My mate and I are probably going to practice making more babies soon, so the diaper knowledge is super key. I truly like the points you made as you put yourself in the diaper to understand your baby. Then you developed a way to communicate so you could help him out of the discomfort. This is wonderful and I'm thinking that kind of mind follows through all ages because what you have just let me experience through your writing was your purest form of empathy. I think my biggest challenge is when we wish to educate her, she's always begging for validation and being correct all the time. When she doesn't know, she freezes up and brain goes to mush. I'm trying to find a way to approach this with empathy, but as the anecdote goes, you should only get in the hole with someone if you can get out yourself. But often it feels like she would rather sit in the hole until mommy gets her out.

Thanks so much for this feedback and reaching out to me. I appriciate this comment by you a lot! So what you can try with your little girl is that when she asks for validation and when she dont know how to do something, let her know your own point of view. Start every sentence with: I like this because I feel this way... or: you just made me smile when you did that, and I feel so happy inside of me right now. Refer to your own thoughts, emotions or view when it is about her. This will help her understand that you have your own thoughts, and they dont need to be the same as hers. And what she thinks, is just alright as it is, she dont need your approval.
Try it out some days, and see if it can help her a little in the right direction.
Much love,
Niina

Yes! We really try to express out our feelings frequently. She has a tendency to feel neglected when Mom and I get close and we had a recent tantrum because she was afraid mom was going to love me more. I'd like to explain that love is unmeasurable and we can only practice making love stronger with people we care about, but my philosophy seems too much for me to explain like I'm 5. But perhaps that time essence is key. Will drive the love train once a week or so and make sure she feels loved and can talk about it :)

I am sure you both do the best you possible can, I am can understand that from your words. I wish you the best and sending you and your family a lot of love. ;)

I can't tell you how much I love this post. I am happy for your child that he has you as a mother. I wish I could do it all over again with my daughter as you have done.

Oh thanks love! I am sure you have done your best, your child needs you just the way you are darling!!

Thank you that's so nice.

Enjoy your weekend sweetie!❤

this is such great advice Niina, thanks so much for putting it up here, allowing your baby to not wear a nappy is really good and they are so much happier for it. Great post xx

Oh thanks sweetheart! This is not the topic I use to write about here, but very dear to my heart as you know. I want our children to feel respected and supported, and not being seen as small persons without rights and knowledge. So this is a good start;)
Hope you had a great weekend my dear!;)

Thanks for sharing! I think kids know their needs, and if people are willing and able to pay attention to them, this sort of thing is totally possible. I don't have kids, but this made me smile, because I'm happy for you and your son. ❤️

Aww thanks dear for stopping by and leaving such sweet words. I am happy you feel the same about this topic!

Really good tips. It took us about six months to be completely diaper free and potty trained.

Oh wow! So when did you start with intruducing the potty instead for the diaper to your baby?

I started around 2.5 yo. I used diapers only during the night. Other kids started earlier but each child is different.

Yes thats true. Every child has its own way to go;)

@vegan.niinja my baby is 2 weeks old and I am just beginning to get a hang on parenting. I will definitely try out your suggestions.