Somewhere over the past several months I realized that Ada is no longer wearing diapers. She was communicating her needs to go to the potty with me, and typically went when I took her, so I started putting her in underwear around 10 months old, maybe. And I’d just take her to pee at the store or wherever we were, like you would if you were traditionally potty learning an older toddler.
But it was kind of gradual and natural, and so it just had to dawn on me one day that she really had turned in to a diaper-free baby. The transitions for your kids that come easily and naturally really are worth celebrating, because there will be so many things in their life that aren’t as easy.
So when the trip to Charlotte was being planned, it didn’t even occur to me until the last minute if I should take diapers!
I typically call her a diaper free baby, since that gets the point across to people who are surprised when I’m taking a young toddler to the bathroom, but many people also call it Elimination Communication, because it’s not really about potty “training”, it’s about letting your kid communicate a need to you.
Just like you watch your baby to see when they are hungry or sleepy, you watch them to see when they need to use the bathroom (Ada will squirm and kick her legs), rather than letting them get their waste all next to their skin in diapers. And I really, really don’t mean that to sound judgemental. Azita used diapers, and Ada uses them at night.
For the car trip, I put a cloth diaper down under her, but didn’t fasten it around her, to catch anything if we had a miss. But she didn’t have one. She held her bladder for 3 or 4 hours. Which she does normally, but in a car drive situation, I really recognized it.
I think that is one misconception people may have of babies. They think they are little loaded weapons ready to spray pee every 30 minutes. It’s just not like that. She’s been holding her bladder since she was 3 weeks old. A lot of people that realize my 15 month old is not wearing diapers think that I offer her go like every 15 minutes and that is why we don’t have pee misses. Or they make comments like “oh she has just trained you rather than you training her.” I don’t really know what they are trying to say, to be honest with you.
Even with all the good diaper-freeness, I didn’t want any messes in a hotel room bed, and I didn’t want to get up in the middle of the night if she needed to go. At night at home, I pee her at night when she starts tossing and turning or use a cloth diaper if I know I’m more tired that night.
The awesomest thing happened, seriously. Totally cool. I had told Payman I would ask another La Leche League Leader at the Conference if I could have two diapers for the weekend, but I was secretly dreading putting a chemical-laden, dioxin-producing, plastic, moisture-sealing-in disposable on Ada, even for two nights. She’s got so many sensitivities as it is, and was already rashy from an unfortunate exposure to orange.
The awesome thing was that I was at a parenting conference in which Earth Fare had donated chlorine-free Earth’s Best Diapers for us mommas to use! Score!!