Month 11: Diaper Free at the Beach

EC works at the beach!   We took a weekend trip to Gloucester for our anniversary on August 13 – 15.

I can’t abide by all the waste that pull-ups and little swimmers produce.   The little swimmers are really silly.  All they are for is to keep a poop (not pee) from running out into the water, cloth works better and is reusable.      I got some nice cloth swim pants by MonkeyDoodlez.  The little bugger has had two huge growth spurts and is barely going to make it through the summer fitting in them!   She’s built up some crazy muscles in her thighs in preparation for walking–must be all those squats and monkey climbing she does.

Anyway, we brought the baby bjorn potty with us because she just does not like to be held over the toilet and doesn’t care for public rest rooms (who can blame her?)     It wasn’t hard at all!   Our sun shelter afforded some privacy.     She doesn’t “go” a lot when we are out…she prefers to hold it longer and plus when its warm babies pee less.     She would have her typical morning poop and be fine until her evening poop.   Pees are much less frequent during the day anyway because for some reason she’s a morning fountain!  She STILL goes several times in the first two hours upon waking — not a big deal just imagine how many diapers I would go through.

It was interesting to note that whenever she went potty at the beach it was about the time I had to go to the bathroom myself.   So when she was done, I just took the potty with me to the bathroom and emptied it (for courtesy’s sake I covered the potty with a grocery bag when in transit) and cleaned it out with some TP before I went myself.   No extra trips required.   No stinky diapers in the trash or near our beach camp.   A travel potty for the restroom would have been even more convenient but I didn’t have one.  Live and learn.    I didn’t bring any cloth diapers at all for backup–they were already vacuum sealed and put away anway!   I did bring a diaper cover that I can put over training pants to help contain a miss in certain circumstances–but she had no accidents when we were there.

Several people noticed she’s out of diapers.   One couple even knew that it was elimination communication but were surprised it worked!

The carseat is an interesting dilemma.    If her bladder is empty and we go on a short trip she’s fine.   If its a longer road trip it is more difficult for her.  The carseat puts her into a permanent potty-like positon!  I figured out that if her bladder is full or semi-full she stiffens and gets angry when I try to put her in it (sometimes she just doesn’t want to be in the seat, but the fussing is very different when its because she needs to pee).  I imagine tat it must be as uncomfortable as being pregnant with a baby’s head pressing on your bladder while you are sitting.   I’ve gotten into the habit of pottying her before we go out which helps.

I still play an active role in the potty process just like I’m still active in the breastfeeding process, but there are more frequent times where she will shock me by coming up and saying “pee pee” — she’s only just practicing verbals and is still a whole body  communicator  so when it happens verbally or with a baby sign its a surprise!  Oh yes, those motions Daddy noticed were actually baby sign mimicry.

We still miss some evening poops but the frequency of misses has gone way down.   We go several days without mishap now. There are two reasons for this:   We all still tend to get distracted in the evenings and her poo signal is very subtle.   One poo miss is not a big deal when you look at the big picture especially since we haven’t had even a rare nighttime accident in ages!   In addition, if we miss the cue but notice in time she will stop and wait for the potty.

I decided to order more training pants so I’ll have a dozen.    Six works fine, but it will be nice to have some breathing room.   Of course, we have so few accidents now I really could have done without — but they are so hard to find in small sizes and she’ll be wearing them for quite a long time since she needs to grow into them some!

She gets peed at night once or twice, but sometimes she makes it to morning without needing to wee.  That only happens occasionally and I don’t rely on it and do nothing to encourage or discourage doing so. I follow her cues and trust her to know her own bladder.

Mornings are typical frequent pee fountains and she’s taken to having a morning poo by 10 or 11am.   She still does not like to pee in a public restroom because she doesn’t want to be held in arms in a squat and will hold it.     She’s getting heavier so I understand why.  I shouldn’t have put off getting a travel potty.  I bought a primo travel potty cover for toilets and will see if that helps when it arrives.   Toddlers like to squat low (its actually better to squat) and standing toilets are huge proportionally.   I wish the USA had either a squat toilet option or a child sized toilet in public restrooms.

It’s been so easy when I look back at this process.   Sure there have been moments of frustration or doubt,   I’ve had no prior experience or exposure so it’s a all new to me.   It’s all in your attitude and perception.    Where some might see a set-back, I saw an experience to analyze and opportunity to learn from.   I no longer have to deal with a screaming baby who hates diaper changes, I have less laundry than both dispoable and cloth users combined, ZERO diaper rash (no diaper = no diaper rash), and I am more aware of how breastmilk and table food affect output frequency and volume.   Several people also commented at how straight her legs and stance are, and I contribute that to being diaper free — no bulk pushing the legs apart.

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Exactly when did she start using baby signs, I can’t say for sure.  I may have to go through my candid videos and see if I spot an early capture.    The baby sign usage made a huge difference in our ability to let her take over a lot of her pottying responsibility as far as tell us when.   Not having any diapers as safety nets really forces you to keep up and make it part of your daily routine.  It’s not that you are watching the baby like a hawk, it is more refined than that.  It is ever present in the back of your mind that the baby needs you to help with that need.  You’ll be doing task and suddenly you think, “Has the baby been potty recently?”   or sometimes it is more of a, “Baby!  Pee!  Now!”  It is not unlike knowing when a baby is hungry or getting tired. You don’t actively search for those signs, you just know.


Posted on August 21, 2010, in Babies, Parenting, Potty Training and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I know you posted the beginning of your journey years ago, but I just wanted to say thank you!! My son is 6months and we’ve been ECing since about 3months. I wish I had started from day one! Had I known about your blog beforehand I may have. It’s so wonderful to read your experience, month by month, and to gather strength through all your tips. We use cloth diapers almost constantly and rip them off when he cues us, but you are giving me the courage to go diaper free! Thank you, thank you so much for sharing all of this!

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