Path to Potty Independence

Love the cute pink chonies!

Potty training, elimination communication, potty learning….whatever you want to call it, and whatever stage of your childs life you begin, we all have to teach them where IT goes. Our family’s journey can be categorized as late elimination communication AND/OR early potty training. My approach as a parent was that I figured that AT SOME TIME you have to deal with messes, plain and simple. It’s just a matter of when during your child’s life you do it.

Darwin started protesting diaper changes around 9 months, and I just felt that we needed to do something to get him potty independent. I didn’t have lofty dreams that it would only take a week, or a month, or even a year. My goal (and I use that term very loosely) is to have him out of diapers by the age of two. This is our path:

  • When he was 9 months we started talking to him about going potty.
  • We did two days of diaper free days so that I could understand his daily rhythm of comings and goings.
  • After (the naked time) I started putting him on a potty after he woke, in the morning and after naps.
  • We would change his cloth diaper every time I noticed he had peed (or pooped), so he would be broken of the feeling of sitting in his own waste (KEY!!).
  • And at some point of EVERYday we would let him experience pee running down his leg–  either naked outside or wearing chonies (what we call underwear, so much more hip than UNDERWEAR!).

That is it.

And he started to get it!

How cute is this?!???

There were weeks that I felt that this was a ridiculous exercise, but I kept up with it, even when we traveled and camped for a month.

Darwin is now 16 months old and has been wearing chonies all day long, everyday, for the past month. We leave the house, he’s in chonies. He’s walking around playing at school, he’s in chonies. Do we have messes? Yep. But not any more than the potty trained kiddos in their two’s who come to our school. We ‘catch’ 95% of his pees. His poops, not so high of a percentage but they are coming along. He signs to us when he when he needs to go. And when we put him on the potty he pees: pushes and gets it out. LOVE IT!!

Look at that cute bum bum!

The unexpected side-effect of this effort, besides the fact that we have WAY fewer diapers to wash, is that he has the cutest little behind! Cloth diapers are nice for the environment and all, but a fashion statement they are not.


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