By popular demand, here it goes: the story of how Chloe went nappy free at 15 months!
I’ve been meaning to share this for a while now, but first I didn’t want to jinx it, then I was too busy, and eventually it became the new normal so I haven’t thought much about it! But it’s still worth sharing as so many people want to know.
It all started around 8 months when we introduced the potty and the grunts. She soon got the hang of it and would wee in the potty when offered. I also became an expert at predicting poop so I only ever had to change one more pooey nappy! That in itself was a huge success 😀
I also introduced standing nappy changes as soon as she could support herself. This makes them more aware of what’s going on and it’s more similar to wiping yourself after using the loo. It’s recommended that you move nappy changes and potty to the bathroom but we had a nice setup in her room so I never did.
By the time she was one, she had been walking for a month so she was able to take herself to the potty. We did a few trial runs in the garden, which resulted in her making it to the potty 50% of the time, and me realizing that a) she needed a wee every 20 minutes and b) she didn’t know with more than a few seconds notice. All this made it obviously impractical to even try outside the house!
We kept at it at home though, with her wearing legwarmers and a top most days: her bladder capacity started to increase and also her communication skills (she would bring the potty over for example). Around 14 months we wouldn’t have any accidents if it was just the two of us at home.
I had a go at (cloth) training pants but they didn’t work for her: if she was wearing one she would think it was a nappy and go in it!
So I bought a portable potty (with disposable bags) that always came with us, and I spent a couple of weeks reminding her before getting in the car, or if she was busy with other kids, and still very few accidents.
She was still wearing nappies for naps, but since she always woke up dry I stopped using those as well.
She had them at the creche too, and at this point it really felt disrespectful to keep using them. If she is aware of her needs and can let me know, why would I force her to wet herself? (If you struggle understanding this, imagine it’s a grown up we’re talking about). So we went nappy free there too, although she kept having accidents because of all the distractions I presume.
Then we went to Spain for a few days and that was the final test. She had nappies for the trip but refused to use them, asking for the toilet instead. Then I could leave her with my mum and she would tell her too. So at the tender age of 15 months she was nappy free!
Most interesting part of all this, apart from all the well meaning comments, was finding underwear! Turns out the smallest size available is 2-3 years, and Chloe has always been on the small side 🙂
Issue b) above was still around, so we carried the portable potty everywhere we went, but by now she needed a wee an hour (roughly like me!) so it was much more manageable. Around 17 months she was able to tell me a bit in advance so we have time to find a toilet, and now I don’t carry anything. Possibly a change of clothes just in case!
Most nights she wakes up dry, or will wake up during the night asking to use the loo, but others she does wee so we haven’t removed those yet. Still, my washing loads have decreased dramatically!
Something I bumped into when reading about “early” potty learning was that some people believe that until the child can dress and undress themselves they shouldn’t be using the potty. To me it sounds ridiculous, because what determines this is the type of clothes you put on them, so if they can use the potty naked that’s really not a reason!
As to the big question: did cloth nappies make a difference? I’m not sure if they did to her, since she never ever cared about sitting on a dirty nappy. But they probably did to me, as I was more aware of waste etc, and the earliest we stopped using them, the better for the environment – and for my laundry routine!