Parents across the globe are made to believe that potty training is some terrible right of passage that we must all push through with the two goals being no more diapers and still having some bit of sanity left. Amen, right? What if it doesn’t have to be?
When Natalia started fighting her diaper changes I knew our days of fluffy bums were coming to a close. Although, baby is only 8 months so I can still feed my -slight- addiction through her. I found a bunch of blog articles and armed myself with tips and techniques like sticker charts and potty toys/treats.We started with a potty chair. It was this cute little green and pink frog and was given to us a while before the potty training adventure began. Having never really acknowledged it before, once potty training “began” she immediately peed in it (yay!) and proceeded to have a huge freak out moment of crying and screaming and tears. Oh, the tears that girl can cry. It was like her heart was broken because she had gone potty on her frog friend. Needless to say, she had zero interest in using it as a potty chair after that. We took a break too.
A few months, a new baby sister, and a move later and Natalia started showing interest again. I’m guessing that moving down the street from her slightly older, potty trained cousin had some influence since their hangout time increased. I read somewhere that kids learn best from kids slightly older who have mastered the skill you’re hoping to develop, but don’t quote me on that.
My niece potty trained using a combination of a potty treat reward system and fleece pull up style trainers that I showed my sister-in-law how to make. It worked really well for them so I thought I would give it a try since I already have fleece covers that are in my cloth diaper stash. My grandma had also sent a couple packages of some really cute panties to help act as an incentive. I also got my hand on two trainers, yes, only two–Super Undies and Smart Bottoms.
Curious how it worked out?
My plan failed, and I’m really kinda happy (& lucky) that it did. The first thing Natalia mastered was dry nights. I was led to believe by many veteran parents that this is usually the hardest obstacle in the potty training process, so I have to say I was pretty shocked at how easy it came to her. When I say she mastered it, I mean she has had dry nights since the first night we put her to bed naked about three months ago. Daytime has been a different story.
First, we tried Super Undies. I have to say, before I even tried the trainer on her I think I fell in love with the company a little. I just really adore their humorous, superhero approach to potty training.
“Make [your child] into the super hero they always wanted to be, able to defeat the villainous butt-mop union (disposable diapers) one soggy bottom at a time!”
I opted to get the snap version that Super Undies offers because I wanted a little less mess and extra convenience in case Natalia happened to poop in the trainer, which she did. One thing that unique to this trainer is that the snaps actually end up on the back side of baby rather than the front. It’s definitely not what I’m used to since I don’t use side snapping cloth diapers and I’ll admit I put it on backwards a couple times. Obviously, that’s an oversight on my end and speaks nothing about the trainer itself.
The main body of the trainer is waterproof and the tabs are nice and stretchy so you can get a snug fit on your kiddo. Inside, there’s a pass through pocket inside (meaning both ends are open) for inserts to easily be inserted into during the earlier stages of potty training. If you plan to start out using a couple of inserts to make a more gradual transition from cloth diapers to underwear, I would suggest getting one size larger as the inserts can make it a little difficult for a child to pull the trainer up or down. If you’re just ‘tinkle training’ you can use the trainer as-is because it also has a built in layer of microfiber for smaller leaks.
The Super Undies Snap On Day Trainer is available in 5 sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL) ranging from 2t-12 years. Come sin 5 different colors. Starting at $19.95
The other trainer I tried was from Smart Bottoms. It’s a more traditional pull-up style. The outside is a cute knit, there’s a hidden layer of PUL in the wet zone and the inside is lined with a soft organic cotton. There are additional inserts that add 4 layers of organic cotton and snap in so they stay put. This trainer is not 100% waterproof and is meant for a single accident. However, if your child is having only minor accidents or leaks, it’s possible that you might be able to change out the insert and reuse the outer pant part–much like a cloth diaper.
This one seemed easier for Natalia to use and pull up or down herself.
The Smart Bottoms Lil’ Trainer comes in 2 different sizes (S 20-30lbs L 30lbs+). Choose from Dino or Jungle Jane print. $18.00
Unfortunately, after wearing each trainer once or twice, Natalia decided she had had enough. By letting her stay naked at home during the day she inevitably potty trained herself. Any time she wears a pair of underwear or a trainer or anything down there she immediately associates it with being a diaper and doesn’t even try to go on the potty. Thankfully, since we own our own business from home, we’re able to let her learn this way and it has completely removed the potty training headache from our lives…until baby gets older. As of now, we are working in underwear and yesterday she had an entire day of being dry -in panties- and she was so proud of herself.
I’m sure there’s at least one or two of you out there thinking I’m just being a lazy parent, but that look of absolute joy when she goes on the toilet on her own and the clapping that accompanies it, is totally priceless…and *so* much easier on my sanity than a screaming, flailing, resisting toddler any day.
Did you have any special potty training tricks?