With any luck, for you and for me, this is the last blog post I will ever write about my child’s potty habits! There are some things I’ll miss about the first three years of G’s life, but changing and washing diapers, and washing the poop out of his little potties, is not one of them!
Just to recap, G has been waking-time diaper free for well over a year now (since right around 22 months). For a few weeks last August, I thought we might be nearing the nighttime dry point, but it was not to be.
I finally figured out that most of our problems with nighttime cloth diapering were due to diapers that were too small. I hemmed and hawed over buying bigger cloth diapers or cloth nighttime training pants while I ate through my reserve of disposable diapers (that were supposed to be for travel or GI issues only), wondering if I would invest in something only to have him start staying dry at night.
[At other times, I wondered if he’d still be wearing diapers to bed when he was seven.]
At the end of May, I finally bit the bullet, and ordered two types of overnight training pants, the Flip [One-size] Training Pant and the Best Bottoms Potty Training Kit.
When Matthew and Gabriel returned from Florida, Matthew reported that G had woken with a dry diaper on about half of the nights. Two days later, these arrived.
At that point, I started making a concerted effort on the liquid intake and output fronts in the hour-ish leading up to bedtime. Instead of just offering the potty right before bed, we started encouraging him to try 30-45 minutes before bedtime, and then again one last time. I focus on keeping him well hydrated up to and through dinner (about 80 minutes before bedtime), but then really limiting drinks after dinner — usually just a small sip of [unsweetened soy] milk and a small sip of water right before bed.
All-in-all, it’s gone quite well. In almost two months, we’ve had just three or four nighttime bed wettings (of course, last night was one of them — hopefully I haven’t jinxed things before even hitting “publish”) and a similar number of wakings in the middle of the night to use the potty, but, mostly, he’s sleeping all night long and waking up dry! Knock on wood, but I think we’re there! (And I still have some disposable diapers! All I needed to do was drop fifty bucks on the cloth training pants.)
Unfortunately, those training pants I bought don’t do the trick for larger amounts of liquid output. The Best Bottoms don’t fit tightly enough at the legs to prevent leaks (though the XL size fits him well otherwise). The Flip fits pretty snugly, but the included inserts just aren’t particularly absorbent (note: I’m lazy and have yet to follow their “maximum absorbency” washing instructions), though it does work for little leaks.
Since he’s staying dry over 90% of the time, we gamble on using the Flip training pants most nights. If our schedule has been slightly funky, or there’s some other reason I think he’s less likely to stay dry on a given night, I’ll go ahead and use a disposable, because changing sheets in the middle of the night is no fun. We’ve used the same disposable diaper on five or six different nights now — even though it’s stayed 100% dry, it’s showing signs of wear and might be retired soon.
G has been consistently pooping in his little potty since last fall. He will pee on the big potty, but has been very resistant to pooping there. I think this is one part comfort and one part, “If I use my little potty, I can locate it wherever I want to play.”
In general, it’s great that he’s pooping in a potty, and pooping regularly, but a bowel movement that I have to rinse and wipe out of a training potty is a lot messier than one I can just flush, so a couple of months ago we started encouraging him to try to poop on the big potty, going to far as to offer him a treat.* Many times he refused to try. Other times, he would try on the big potty with no success and move back to the little potty.