Author Topic: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"  (Read 2862 times)

MrsWhipple

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Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« on: June 15, 2018, 11:23:00 PM »
Okay, so Mustachians tend to not always do things the normal way, and this was definitely not the normal way. But we started putting our baby on the potty at about 4 months old, before she could even sit up without assistance. I had read some stuff about "elimination communication" and as crunchy as that sounds, the real, biggest issue for me was: poop.

I hate poop.

When baby Whipple was born, we had to call the nurse in to help with her first diaper change because it was a black tar poopsplosion that covered her entire lower half. There's no return policy for poop babies, though - apparently I was supposed to expect this level of grossness. And I couldn't even express my disgust, because then I would cause my baby irreparable mental harm from shaming her completely natural bodily functions. But her completely natural bodily functions were gross as fuck.

So I had read about this thing where you put your baby on the potty early on (like from birth, but I think it took me four months to remember any of the baby books I had read about during the happy glowing days of pregnancy) and then they get used to it instead of getting used to going in the diaper. Sometimes you can learn to "read" your baby's cues so you know if they're about to pee or poop and then you put them on the potty and it's this magical communion bond between parents and baby. The main thing for me was that it was going to help me not change poopy diapers. I mean, it was a crazy fucking thing to even try, right? But what if... what if it worked?

The crazy fucking thing worked. We'd put her on the potty after naps and when she woke up, and she started pooping more and more in the potty. I call it "potty training" because it was really just putting her on the potty at approximately the right time for pooping, there was no actual training involved. At 8 months or so we had the terrific idea that we should just put her on one of those toilet adaptor things on the regular toilet, and that was AMAZING because then we didn't even have to clean the poop out of the baby potty anymore - should have done that from the get go. Then we taught her the sign for potty and she actually uses it when she needs to poop!

She's almost 2 now and it's been months since we had an accident and had to change a poopy diaper. No poop! It's fucking awesome! She's completely used to the toilet and doesn't have any fear issues around it, since she's been going on it since she can remember. Also, MMM-related: much cheaper, since diapers don't need changing nearly as often if it's just pee.

Which, we haven't figured out any cues for how to tell she's going to pee yet. I think the diapers work too well to wick away moisture or something. We're going to do the naked thing this summer and see if it works. But then the problem is building a step ladder so she can actually get up to the big person toilet to go on her own, since we don't do the little potty thing. And another new problem is that she has figured out that if I'm busy with something when she wants to read a book, she can just pretend to need to potty and I'll drop whatever I'm doing and read her a book on the potty. Clever girl. Any help with these problems would be welcome!

But hey, no poop. It's amazing. So I thought I would share for new parents who hate poop as much as I do, or who want to do cloth diapers, since that is a lot less gross when you don't have to deal with washing poopy stuff. TL;DR: Early potty training: cuts down on diaper bills, cuts down on grossness. A++ would early potty train again.

misshathaway

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2018, 09:19:29 AM »
Not a parent, but I just love clever outside-the-box workarounds for common daily problems. You made a little time investment and it turned into a big win.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2018, 11:24:20 AM »
I'm really glad to read this, and I hope you can answer a few questions I have. My baby is seven weeks old and I've been meaning to read the elimination communication book for, like, ever - but still will soon, honest! I'm actually OK with the alien substance that is breastfeed poo but I dread solids poo.

1. How often did your daughter poo? At the moment my baby does two poos a few hours apart every second day. So how often did she actually poo in the potty? I just don't know if I'd ever catch anything!
2. I have also thought about one of those toilet seat adaptors. Would you do that from the beginning? Even if they're really little? (I have always wondered why create the work of cleaning a potty instead of changing a nappy...)
3. What did you do if you sat your daughter down and nothing happened?
3.

brycedoula

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 03:01:32 PM »
I think I first read about EC on a previous MMM forum post. I can confirm that is does actually work!

I borrowed a few books on the subject from the library, and then gave it a shot when our daughter was born. The Diaper-Free Baby & Infant Potty Training were two of the titles, I believe.

When she was a tiny baby I would hold her over the toilet at certain times - after nursing, after waking, after removing her from her infant seat or carrier. Id make the cueing sound - Pssss, psssss, pssssss - and more often than not shed pee or poop! And I did it very part-time. If we were out & about Id put her in a diaper; she always wore diapers overnight.

Once she could sit (around 6 months) then I bought a little toilet seat insert from IKEA and sat her on there instead. We also have a little IKEA potty but shes always preferred the toilet, which is a-okay with me!

Shes now almost 29 months and is essentially potty-trained. We still put her in a pull-up for naps & nighttime, but shes been wearing regular underwear during the day for months. Except for a bout of diarrhea I dont think Ive changed a poopy diaper in....a year?

10/10, would recommend to anyone, Mustachian or not. I figure I changed 50% fewer diapers than my friends did, and therefore bought 50% fewer diapers, and most importantly threw away 50% fewer diapers. Am going to do the same with Baby #2, who will likely arrive sometime in late July/early August.

Plugging Along

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 09:42:35 PM »
We did this with both our kids.  They are well out of diapers 9 and 12 lol.   People thought I was nuts at first.   I did it not to save money but I just hated the stinky diapers. 

First one, would always go almost immediately after sitting in the high chair while feeding.   She would stop whatever she was doing and make little faces, so at about 6 months we started putting her on the toilet with a seat or over her potty.   We also made the little cueing sound too.   We would change her first thing in the morning, then put her on the toilet when we say her cues, and we would put her on after meals, and before naps.   Usually, we would hold her there for a couple of minutes.   If there was nothing, then no biggie.   By about 12 months she was exclusive pooping in the toilet.  For peeing it was about 16 months.  Night time and naps are little different because they cannot wake themselves  it has to do with a mature and hormone that needs to develop.

Second child, we started her as she could hold up her head.  She was pretty much out of diapers in the day by 14 months too.

Couple of little tips, if you use a potty, put a coffee fileter in it, very easy to clean for the poops. 
We had a seat adaptore that was always attached to out toilet, it just flipped down, so by the time our kids were toddling around they could almost do it themselves, but we always supervised.

the  only draw back was if the kids got spreally sick, and the doctor wanted a stool sample, it was really hard to get. Hence the coffee filter in the potty worked for that.   It took me a while to figure that out.

W

LiveLean

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 05:02:47 PM »
If you're sick of changing diapers and want to push the issue earlier, fine, but finances should not be the driving factor. Parents-to-be always assume diapers are going to be a HUGE expense. It's why their fellow non-parents come to baby showers with boxes and boxes of diapers.

You don't need as many as you think. Costco sells in bulk. On the list of kids expenses you will incur in the next 18 years, diapers will not crack the top 100.

kimmarg

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 07:17:49 PM »
2. I have also thought about one of those toilet seat adaptors. Would you do that from the beginning? Even if they're really little? (I have always wondered why create the work of cleaning a potty instead of changing a nappy...)


The toilet seat with mini seat and big seat in one is the best $30 I've spent on kid stuff.  It's great. We didn't do the elimination communication thing so I'm now in the opposite place where my 2.5 year old pees on the toilet consistently but only seems to poop in a diaper at naptime.

This is what I have (apparently it's $42 today - still worth it)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EPET9SQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

MrsWhipple

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 11:38:59 PM »
I'm really glad to read this, and I hope you can answer a few questions I have. My baby is seven weeks old and I've been meaning to read the elimination communication book for, like, ever - but still will soon, honest! I'm actually OK with the alien substance that is breastfeed poo but I dread solids poo.
Oh yeah, breastmilk poo isn't that bad. But the solids stuff is quite atrocious!

Quote
1. How often did your daughter poo? At the moment my baby does two poos a few hours apart every second day. So how often did she actually poo in the potty? I just don't know if I'd ever catch anything!
Used to be 2-3 times a day, now just once a day. And really, they do start to get into a rhythm. Not at 7 weeks probably, but eventually. A couple things that helped me get her to go on the potty when she was younger:
  • the "cueing noise" that's been mentioned already, saying "psss" to get her to pee
  • leaning her back slightly by pushing her shoulders back. When she clenched her abs to keep herself upright, it would often help her get a poo out
  • always putting her on after a long nursing session (when she's relaxed) or after naps

Quote
2. I have also thought about one of those toilet seat adaptors. Would you do that from the beginning? Even if they're really little? (I have always wondered why create the work of cleaning a potty instead of changing a nappy...)
Yeah, the adaptors are just as good as a potty for little butts imo.
Quote
3. What did you do if you sat your daughter down and nothing happened?
Wait a few minutes, read a book, make the cuing noise a few times. Then say "More potty? No? All done!" and make the sign for all done and pick her up. Sometimes she would wait until I said All done! to go, which was annoying but I think dogs do that too so there must be something to it. If nothing happened, "Good try!"

Now when she doesn't go, she'll just tell me "all done" and then I remind her to let me know if she needs to potty later.

Oh, and we always wash our hands after wiping so that she picks up that habit now. That might be her favorite part, haha. And she gets to turn off the bathroom light. Make it a nice little ritual and they will look forward to it.

If you're sick of changing diapers and want to push the issue earlier, fine, but finances should not be the driving factor.
Obviously it's not the driving factor for most, but this is a finance/environmental forum so I thought I'd mention it. Mainly for me I felt bad throwing away so many disposables but no fucking way was I going to wash poopy cloth diapers (bravo to those who do though, you are greener than me!)

Now though, it's just nice and convenient that I never have to worry about her going at the gym day care and interrupting my class, or having to wrangle her away from a storytime or playdate or parktime because she's pooped herself. It feels very liberating not having that be a worry, or stressing that I forgot my diaper bag.

MrsWhipple

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 11:43:20 PM »
We didn't do the elimination communication thing so I'm now in the opposite place where my 2.5 year old pees on the toilet consistently but only seems to poop in a diaper at naptime.
Do you have him sit on the potty before naps? I find it's hard to get her to potty when she's too sleepy and cranky but if he's just drowsy enough it might work. It seems like them being relaxed is really important. I've always had better luck after naps, so that's some dang unfortunate timing.

Bravo on the peeing, I am a little nervous to start trying that yet!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2018, 12:53:59 AM »
Thank you!

erutio

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2018, 12:56:29 PM »
+1 from us as another example of this working.

My son was potty trained at 18 months.  I would espouse this strategy more often to my friends with babies, but it's hard to do without coming off as know-it-all and show-offy.  It works though!!

letsdoit

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2018, 03:08:09 PM »
I wish I knew earlier .  thanks !

MrsWhipple

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2018, 06:35:22 PM »
I wish I knew earlier .  thanks !
Next time!

hahahah just kidding, I can barely handle one kid as is XD

CrustyBadger

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2018, 06:41:32 PM »
I did this method with my second child. Can confirm it absolutely works.  In fact now when I am around other people's newborns to about 3 months, I can tell when THEY are about to pee or poo as well.  It is glaringly obvious! 

In fact I now (privately) call the use of diapers "diaper training" because it seems apparent to me that babies are primed to let us know they have to poo -- and we firmly teach them "the place to do that is in your diaper!!"


tao_of_finance

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2018, 07:27:00 PM »
This may confirm some of your thinking: http://www.nacd.org/potty-training-infants-an-ancient-chinese-secret/


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Johnez

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2018, 07:39:21 PM »
Kinda wish I started this up sooner. My boy's 19 months and hates being held down or otherwise restricted from moving. If I started sooner, might've been more amenable to this, I hope this isn't a battle. :-/

elliha

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2018, 02:00:02 AM »
I did poo on the potty for my daughter until she was 10 months. Then she flat out refused to go on the potty and just screamed like a maniac. I didn't get her to use the toilet until she was 3 and then it was only because I lied that there were no more diapers her size. I still don't know what went wrong with her about this at 10 months. She never did EC for pee as an infant though and I didn't push it but I know several who did only poo with no problems at all but my daughter has always been a bit "special" about things.

With my son I had no energy to even try this so he is in diapers and he is soon to be 2. He wants to sit on the potty but has only peed in it twice. I plan to do no pants when we go to our cabin and see if it leads to an aha moment otherwise I will probably wait until he is 3 as well.

MayDay

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2018, 06:23:02 AM »
We did it, and it saved some diapers. However I found it convenient to do at certain times (at home, in the summer) and impossible other times (stopped entirely in winter because the warm clothes made it too difficult).

Overall it was a fun experience and saved some diapers. And DD potty trained easily at ~26 months,so that was the real win!

Trying to do it 100% would be stressful for me, just because tiny ones can't hold it long. Even at age 2-3 if they have to pee when you are in the back corner of Target it suuuuuucks.

ender

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2018, 06:34:31 AM »
I wish I could convince my wife to try this. We're expecting later this year and I've mentioned this a few times but she's just not really interested.

I'm not really sure how to pull it off as someone who will be working fulltime during the week though... it seems much of the burden is going to be on her if she's with our baby during the day.

MrsCoolCat

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2018, 10:56:41 PM »
Need to follow. Baby #1 is 17 months and pees into her potty once a day. We're not rushing, but with #2 on the way I want to start EC early. I'm not gonna be hell bent on success but would like to know more!

Kitsunegari

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2018, 06:08:18 AM »
Didn't try with the first one, she's now 19 months and started showing interest about me going on the toilet, I hope it's a start... but I put her on the potty once and she panicked, so not sure what to do now...

MDfive21

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2018, 08:54:40 AM »
:D   black tar poopsplosion.  this is the term you're looking for..  Meconium https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meconium

i was not ready for that explosion either.  we had just strapped her into the baby carrier and we hear this awful farty noise.. thankfully it happened in the hospital and the nurse took care of it for us. 

cats

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2018, 10:09:44 AM »
If you're sick of changing diapers and want to push the issue earlier, fine, but finances should not be the driving factor. Parents-to-be always assume diapers are going to be a HUGE expense. It's why their fellow non-parents come to baby showers with boxes and boxes of diapers.

You don't need as many as you think. Costco sells in bulk. On the list of kids expenses you will incur in the next 18 years, diapers will not crack the top 100.

This is true.  I think EC is great if you have the time/temperament for it and your kid is interested.  We tried it for a while with our son and it was actually working quite nicely...we put him on the potty every morning and out came a poop.  He gave pretty obvious cues when he was pooping and also seemed to HATE poopy diapers, so we thought yeah, he is going to potty train early and it's going to be a breeze.  However, at 6 months we put him in a FT daycare, which was much better overall for him and us...but definitely meant EC went out the window. From a financial perspective, the cost of diapers is pretty minimal.  There is still an environmental impact and of course just the hassle of having to make sure we always have spare diapers/wipes whenever we leave the house, but the money part of things is a non-issue compared to things like the cost of childcare. Also, I thought poop would bother me a lot more than it does in reality...when my son has poop on his butt I just get on with cleaning it up (okay, sometimes with an exclamation of "OH GROSS" if it is really bad) and then we move on.

There's also now a school of thought that potty training too early can increase bladder infections and constipation: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-hodges-md/potty-training_b_1424826.html

Anyway, I'm not putting this out there to say don't try EC, but just to say...don't feel like you "have" to do it.  There are a lot of parenting actions/decisions you can make that are far more frugal.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2018, 12:32:42 PM »
Just wanted to come back and say THANK YOU for posting this all that time ago! I finally got round to reading The Diaper Free Baby. I kind of hated the tone but it gave me the kick start to buy a toilet seat adapter for our just-gone-six-months-old baby when he could sit up unsupported. He often peed during nappy changes and I saw several poops "in action", so I started saying "pssss!" when I saw him peeing for a few weeks. Then we started putting him on the toilet sometimes when we were changing him anyway. It took a week or so for him to feel comfortable on it. But we've suddenly had two poos and many pees in the toilet over the last few days. I am delighted! We're certainly not aiming to be nappy free, but I'm amazed at how he's picked up that when we open up his nappy if he needs to go then he just has to hold it for thirty seconds then pee in the loo when we make the noise.

singpolyma

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2018, 01:22:37 PM »
Honestly, I no longer consider it "early". EC seems really compatible with what babies want and how they operate. Diapers are great as a back-up, but full-time diapers (especially really late, like after walking or talking) is for the parents' convenience only.

MrsWhipple

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2018, 04:35:53 PM »
Just wanted to come back and say THANK YOU for posting this all that time ago! I finally got round to reading The Diaper Free Baby. I kind of hated the tone but it gave me the kick start to buy a toilet seat adapter for our just-gone-six-months-old baby when he could sit up unsupported. He often peed during nappy changes and I saw several poops "in action", so I started saying "pssss!" when I saw him peeing for a few weeks. Then we started putting him on the toilet sometimes when we were changing him anyway. It took a week or so for him to feel comfortable on it. But we've suddenly had two poos and many pees in the toilet over the last few days. I am delighted! We're certainly not aiming to be nappy free, but I'm amazed at how he's picked up that when we open up his nappy if he needs to go then he just has to hold it for thirty seconds then pee in the loo when we make the noise.
Awesome, so glad this helped you! Honestly, just the fact that we never had to deal with poop "accidents" during potty training made this so worth it.  And yeah, the tone is pretty self-congratulatory and woo-woo but hey, whatever.

Our kiddo turned 2 a couple months ago, and we started doing full potty training a bit before then. We used the "Oh Crap" potty training technique and it... sort of worked? She's definitely not doing a great job with self-initiating with pees, we still have to prompt her or else she just wants to keep playing until it's too late to go to the bathroom. I'm thinking winter will help with that, since wearing pee pants is way more yucky and cold in the winter. But she already knows how to use the toilet and is a pro at going in bathrooms when we're out and about (I just hold her on the seat instead of using an adaptor).  It's so nice to not have to deal with diapers at all anymore. I thought it would be inconvenient to have to take her to the bathroom when we're out and about but it's really not bad. 

I think the biggest takeaway for me was: START EARLY! I think 2 was too long to wait, she was starting to do the toddler resistance thing where she pushes back on what we want. If we had started even a couple months earlier, I think it would have gone more smoothly.

I wanted to share another victory, too: we took a 5-hour plane ride and she didn't have a single accident. She got quite a few comments about it, too, since she looks younger than she is and so people were amazed that she wasn't in diapers. I think that made her proud to be a "big girl" and that was great! Okay, I'll stop bragging now ;)

shelivesthedream

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2018, 06:34:45 PM »
Honestly, I no longer consider it "early". EC seems really compatible with what babies want and how they operate. Diapers are great as a back-up, but full-time diapers (especially really late, like after walking or talking) is for the parents' convenience only.

Let's be honest, though, they are really fucking convenient. I am in NO rush to get rid of them.

Just wanted to come back and say THANK YOU for posting this all that time ago! I finally got round to reading The Diaper Free Baby. I kind of hated the tone but it gave me the kick start to buy a toilet seat adapter for our just-gone-six-months-old baby when he could sit up unsupported. He often peed during nappy changes and I saw several poops "in action", so I started saying "pssss!" when I saw him peeing for a few weeks. Then we started putting him on the toilet sometimes when we were changing him anyway. It took a week or so for him to feel comfortable on it. But we've suddenly had two poos and many pees in the toilet over the last few days. I am delighted! We're certainly not aiming to be nappy free, but I'm amazed at how he's picked up that when we open up his nappy if he needs to go then he just has to hold it for thirty seconds then pee in the loo when we make the noise.
Awesome, so glad this helped you! Honestly, just the fact that we never had to deal with poop "accidents" during potty training made this so worth it.  And yeah, the tone is pretty self-congratulatory and woo-woo but hey, whatever.

Our kiddo turned 2 a couple months ago, and we started doing full potty training a bit before then. We used the "Oh Crap" potty training technique and it... sort of worked? She's definitely not doing a great job with self-initiating with pees, we still have to prompt her or else she just wants to keep playing until it's too late to go to the bathroom. I'm thinking winter will help with that, since wearing pee pants is way more yucky and cold in the winter. But she already knows how to use the toilet and is a pro at going in bathrooms when we're out and about (I just hold her on the seat instead of using an adaptor).  It's so nice to not have to deal with diapers at all anymore. I thought it would be inconvenient to have to take her to the bathroom when we're out and about but it's really not bad. 

I think the biggest takeaway for me was: START EARLY! I think 2 was too long to wait, she was starting to do the toddler resistance thing where she pushes back on what we want. If we had started even a couple months earlier, I think it would have gone more smoothly.

I wanted to share another victory, too: we took a 5-hour plane ride and she didn't have a single accident. She got quite a few comments about it, too, since she looks younger than she is and so people were amazed that she wasn't in diapers. I think that made her proud to be a "big girl" and that was great! Okay, I'll stop bragging now ;)

Aw, congratulations! You must have been so proud. What parenting does to us, eh? :)

moof

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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2018, 03:30:26 PM »
We did not push things very hard.  We showed the mechanics, but once the novelty wore off he was not interested.  Just before age 3 he got interested again, and within a couple days he was diaper free with maybe 3-4 accidents total.  Basically we kept the whole process as kid driven as we could stand, and while it took longer to get there than desired it ended up as a drama free part of his childhood.

Sunshinewhenitrains

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Saving money on diapers by early "potty training"
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2018, 07:56:35 PM »
I don't have any advice, but I just wanted to say your a magician! Talk about creating your dream reality!  A gift to me your story is. A reminder to question all my assumptions!