Potty Learning: How the Game Changes

How has potty learning changed our day-to-day, our diaper drawer stash shots, and our on-the-go bag? Read on!

We are crossing into the promised land, guys. The land of the potty is in sight, and it is bittersweet in all of its subtle “not such a baby anymore”-ness, and it is messy, and it is not boring. Here’s a little bit about what it’s like.

First, I want to preface here that potty learning can be handled all sorts of hands on and hands off ways - there is probably a whole aisle at Barnes and Noble dedicated to parenting books on the subject. Do you, girl! (Or guy!) What works for one kid won’t necessarily work for another, and we’re all on this parenting cruise together just doing our best.

We are really passive about getting our kids to use the potty. While I would not scoff at a break in diaper laundry for a few months before our sweet third baby is born this winter, I also do not have to desire to put too much energy into it. We have a little potty chair, and a soft potty seat that sits atop the regular toilet, and when our kids start to show an interest, we start to occasionally ask “do you want to try the potty?” And sometimes they do want to try! Sometimes they even use it! And then, sometimes they don’t want to try, and so fine. We carry on that way for a while until it clicks within them that the potty is maybe not such a bad idea. With our first, he was one month shy of his third birthday when he made the choice one day that he was done with diapers, and he never wore a diaper again. It was amazing.

Here we are, second time around, and it’s a bit sooner (2 years and 5 months old when it really took off) and a bit less of an overnight development. This time around was interesting, because the proclamation of being ready came while he was at the babysitter’s house. He very boldly declared his desire to wear underpants instead of a diaper, and away we went!

This time, however, it has not been such a swift movement to not needing any diapers or trainers. Daytime around the house, underwear has been just fine. When we are leaving the house, we prefer to utilize a cloth trainer. That way we’ve got a little protection in case accidents happen. GroVia My Choice Trainers have been a great go-between, since they are thin but provide some absorption and waterproofness if we can’t get to the potty on time. This is also another time that I am thankful that we are firmly on the wool wagon, since wool treated with lanolin can be absorbent but hold moisture back from passing through onto, say, a car seat. These two layers, a trainer with wool over it, are quite the team for potty learning.

We are still firmly in diapers for sleep times. For naps, we are mostly using a GroVia Hybrid shell with an organic cotton soaker and a booster. Overnights look the same as before too; usually a Sloomb OBF or a Thirsties One Size Fitted with a wool cover over it all. The cool thing is that the drawer that was once stuffed to the brim with diapers is now much more pared down. Now, his wool pants, underwear, trainers, and overnight diapers can all be together. In a smaller drawer, just a small rotation of diapers for naps. That’s it!

Our on-the-go bag looks a little different now, too, although I’ve found some of our stash making the transition with us. Still heavily in rotation for on-the-go accident control: cloth wipes and wet bags. Wet bags are basically the gift that keeps on giving. I wonder if my kids will ever stop needing somewhere clean and waterproof to put their messy junk while we are out. For now, the answer seems to be NO WAY, SISTER! In our travel wet bag now, we store a full change of clothes for the waist down: clean pants, underpants, and socks. Also included are a handful of dry cloth wipes, for soaking up or wiping down messes, and a small pack of disposable wipes (in case stuff gets really weird).

I am happy (and knocking on all the wooden things) to report that this emergency bag has not been needed while out. In theory, if I did need to break it open, I hope that it is everything that we need, and that we can simply empty the contents, do damage control, and put the things that need laundered straight into the now-empty bag. But I’m hoping that my wood-knocking holds water, and that I’ll never ever have to report to you on how my system holds up in real life.

That’s it on our potty learning journey for now! Stay tuned for more adventures in parenting an energetic toddler and an inquisitive grade schooler while pregnant - it’s sure to stay unboring!

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