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August 14, 2010 / Kate

All Things Potty

Back when I was pregnant, I posted about my diaper wipes project. I sewed some diaper wipes out of flannel so that they fit in a diaper wipes warmer.  I thought I would give a little update.

The wipes have worked out beautifully. They are one of the easiest steps to take in making the baby diapering process more eco-friendly. I ended up ditching the fancy wipes solution after a while, and just squirt some Dr. Bronner’s soap in a jar of hot water, pouring it over the wipes in the container. I toss the used wipes in the washer with my used diapers, and I don’t dry them (what’s the point if I’m just going to get them wet again?)

The flannel has held up beautifully, and it is thick enough that I only have to use one.

Speaking of diapering, I would like to throw in my two cents about cloth diaper styles. When I was pregnant, pocket diapers seemed to be the easiest way to go. So I ordered a few brands including Bum Genius (with velcro) and Bum Joy (with snaps). Pocket diapers were attractive, and I liked the idea of stuffing them all in advance and then grabbing them for diaper changes all ready to go. I would not buy pocket diapers again. The Bum Genius velcro didn’t hold up well at all. The snaps on the Bum Joy diapers work fine, but I find the microfiber inserts in both to be a an unpleasant texture. You can buy other types of inserts for these diapers, and I didn’t go that far. I still use the diapers, but I would not recommend them.

I also use regular old fashioned cloth diapers with separate plastic covers. These work fine, but they are bulky and didn’t fit Linnea well until she was about 3 months old. Baby clothes these days are designed for disposable diapers, so a lot of pants don’t fit her when she has a bulky cloth diaper on.

My friend gave me an all in one diaper to try, and I love the convenience of it. It is a bit wasteful to wash the cover every time the diaper is soiled (you must do this with pocket diapers too), but when you practice Elimination Communication, you don’t have too many soiled diapers anyway.

Elimination Communication

We started EC when Linnea was 3 months old. I read The Diaper Free Baby and got inspired to try it with Linnea. I spent 2 full days with her out of a diaper, and watched her behavior before and during elimination. When she eliminated, I made a “pshh” sound. She immediately began associating that sound with elimination. By the end of Day Two, I could hold her over the bathroom sink, make the noise, and she would pee. When she was able to sit up I bought the Baby Bjorn Little Potty and later a toilet reducer to get her used to going on the toilet. I began to notice patterns in the timing of her elimination (after waking and about 45 minutes after nursing), and I could offer her the potty when I thought she would need to go. It seemed to make her happy, and it certainly made me happy to reduce my diaper wash loads. I rarely wash poopy diapers (maybe a couple times per month), she poops usually once per day or once every other day and she usually does that in the potty. S he spends most of the day in the same dry diaper. Of course, she wets diapers more often when we are traveling in the car, or if someone else is caring for her (although my mother in law and Keith both have luck with helping Linnea pee in the potty).

The book is called Diaper Free Baby, and some people choose to go completely diaper free, but I decided not to ditch the diapers. I would rather clean a wet diaper than mop up pee from the floor.

I have to say that every baby has different signals for letting us know when they need to eliminate. Linnea’s signals are so subtle, I couldn’t tell you what they are. I just get a feeling that she needs to go, and I put her on the potty. I spend so much time with her throughout the day that my body unconsciously picks up on her signals, I guess.

Now that Linnea is mobile, you would think that she would wet diapers more often because she is not as close to me anymore. Her bladder is larger, however, and she doesn’t go as frequently as she used to.

Have any of you tried EC? Will you try it when you have babies? Tell me your story.



Leave a Comment
  1. Charlotte / Aug 15 2010 7:09 pm

    I have the little potty and I put her on it first thing in the morning and whenever I see her poopy face. I have gotten some of the poopies but it’s hard to catch her pees. Sooooo I’m still working on that because we don’t have the mutual communication thing down yet — it’s only been a few weeks. I was using disposable diapers for the first couple months but now I have pocket diapers form ebay “sunbaby” diapers with inserts – they were very inexpensive and are holding up well. They are not velcro but have the buttons so no issues there. I have to hand wash too because I don’t have a washer up here on the mountain so that probably helps with their wear and tear.

  2. Kate / Aug 15 2010 7:20 pm

    Good for you, Charlotte! The communication thing will get better. She’ll start going less frequently too.

  3. Ellie / Aug 29 2010 1:21 pm

    The Diaper Free Baby is a good book, I have it too. It offers a very moderate approach to suit anyone.

    It is great that you get the intuitive feeling. I don’t get it and half of the time I don’t get the signals either, so I have to rely mostly on timing. I wrote about my latest attempts in my blog:

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