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Archive for the ‘Cloth Diapering’ Category

I started this two part series last month with a post about different types and brands of diapers. I asked for y’all to opinionate about the subject, and wow did I ever get schooled! In retrospect, I realize that I am completely unqualified to instruct on the matter. I have been a very haphazard cloth diaperer, as you are about to see. Fortunately I have y’all to back me up and I invite a repeat here: please leave your seasoned advice in the comments.

So, prospective cloth diaperer, here you are. You researched and deliberated and considered and then spent a small fortune on diapers (or you got lucky and were given hand me downs, like me). Your new babe has emerged, the midwives have gone home and you are wondering how this whole thing works.

Someone left a comment on the other post saying that you should allow yourself disposables for the first month. Give yourself time to adjust to everything. I think this is good advice. For one thing, it’s hard to get a cloth diaper not to rub on that stub of cord, plus a newborn’s narrow little butt just doesn’t fill out a diaper very well. My only reservation with this advice would be that routine sets in fast, and if you are at all worried about your staying power with cloth, it might be better to just start out right– like learning to drive on a stick shift.

But no, not like learning to drive a stick, because learning to drive a stick is hard! Cloth diapering is easy. I want to start out by telling you how I started out. Because I was gifted all my diapers, no one ever told me how to clean them. Consequently (and combined with my generally lassez faire washing style) I just threw those suckers in on whatever temperature the washer happened to be set at, with a regular quantity of detergent. Including the poopies for the first few baby-milk months. Yes, that’s right, poop and all, straight into the washer. They came out fine.

Over the course of 4 1/2 years of cloth diapering, my methods have changed very little. I got a sprayer (more on that in a minute) and started using less detergent. Otherwise, I am still extremely… err, shall we say, loose in my methods. I am telling you this because if washing cloth diapers seems intimidating, I want you to know that it can be done with very little effort, knowledge or terminology.

Having said that, I am about to pontificate on the subject something heavy. But before I get into it I want to tell you a funny story.

Coincidentally since writing that first post, our extremely generous neighbors who gave us our last best diapers gave us another enormous bag of new model Bum Genius. They used these diapers for two years and they look fucking brand new. I mean literally, the only evidence of use was that the velcro was wearing a bit. Otherwise pristinely white. I’m convinced this is partly due to their perfect kid, one of those infuriating babies who never cries, sleeps 12 hours a night without waking plus a two hour nap, and would sit on the potty during her (predictably early and effective) potty training months for up to one solid hour. Just sit there looking at books! While her mom was in the other room! We are talking about a barely 2yo! Unbelievable, almost freakish. And apparently her poop does not stain diapers at all, ever.

However, I do have to grudgingly admit that the pristine quality of those diapers might also be due to the fact that her parents followed the cleaning instructions faithfully. One wash on cold with a bare smidge of detergent, followed by a wash on hot, plus occasional mild bleaching. And they always sprayed the poopies immediately and very thoroughly, because their house is not a chaotic shambles with feral children swirling at their feet, wherein one might not get the opportunity to use such a fun looking device to spray poop into the toilet at any given moment.

Ahem. I am getting ahead of myself. I am rambling. About diapering! This is the true sign of my fall, friends.

Let’s start over.

Setting Up Your Diaper Area

When I was a new mama and so horrified by the idea of being Taken Over, I resisted the diaper changing table like it was Beelzebub. My wise mother-in-law kept trying to convince me and I was certain she was trying to crush my spirit. We changed on the floor for ages. And really, it worked fine when I was young and perky and my back still felt invincible.

Here’s the real deal with your changing area. It doesn’t need to be a changing table, it doesn’t even need to be a table, the floor is fine if your back is still good. What it does need is to be set up.

A good set up is not complicated at all. You just need dedicated space for everything– your clean diapers, wipes at very easy access, a bucket with a lid for dirties, and a very small trash bin (it’s really worth it to get the kind that you can open with your foot). The gear is simple, but having a good dose of organization in this area will keep the poop emergencies at bay. Believe me, there will be some times when you would give your right foot to have what you need, when you need it.

One of my best tricks is to sprinkle my diaper bucket liberally with baking soda to help keep the odor down. After emptying the load of dirties into the washer I rinse the last batch of soda out (it helps wash the bucket too) and sprinkle on fresh stuff pretty thickly. It’s no miracle, but it does help.

Now, the question on every new mamas mind:

What about the shit?

Baby’s first few months of pooping are surprisingly inoffensive. Like I said, I would just throw the whole thing in the washing machine and walk away. Those were some of my gladdest moments in life regarding machines. Sadly, once the baby-milk phase wears off and little tiger starts to beg real food off of your plate (or, as a good friend says, “they’re old enough to eat solid food when they’re old enough to crawl around under the table and forage for it for themselves”) you will find your babe’s poop starts to get much less…. umm… innocuous. And much more… umm… chunky. You’ll know for sure the ‘drop it in the washer and walk away’ method has come to an end when you start pulling out ‘clean’ diapers with rehydrated raisins clinging to them.

When that happened to me, I set up a seperate bucket for poopy diapers and then on wash day I would soak them for an hour or so to loosen the poop, swish them around to get the chunks off, then pull them out dripping and throw them into the washer with the others. Then I’d dump the shit water down the toilet. After several months of just steeling my stomach against the job, I finally realized that no one was going to dock my hard-core points if I used a goddamned pair of rubber gloves. Things went a bit easier after that.

But still, as a bi-weekly chore, it was a drag. I guess some folks have toddlers who shit nice little logs that just “shake off” into the toilet. But my kids vascilated between loose chunks and sticky tar, neither of which “shakes off.”

By baby number two, I’d made a wonderful discovery. Toilet sprayers. It’s a simple little device that hooks right into your toilet’s intake hose. I blogged about it when I first got it, waaaay back in the early days of Apron Stringz. It cost me $50 and was very easy to install, if you have the extra money, I would highly recommend one.

It takes a little while to get used to using the sprayer, and chances are high you might take a hit in the face while you’re still learning. But it gets drastically easier over time, and now I find it very easy to spray each diaper down, right there in the toilet bowl where city poop is supposed to go, before dumping the diaper into the dirties bucket.

I do wish our changing area was at least adjacent to the bathroom though, because transport is a catching point. I usually squeeze the diapers out good over the toilet and then pretend that they don’t ever drip on the way to the changing room.

One last plug for the toilet sprayer: This is a multi-purpose tool. If your bathroom is set up right, you can use it to spray out the tub! It is awesome! Even better, if you like me, never knew what to do with the toilet brush after scrubbing the toilet (shouldn’t it be rinsed? Where? In the bathtub? That seems disgusting. In the fresh water that refills into the toilet bowl? That seems inadequate.) you can just spray the shit out of that sucker right over the toilet bowl with your high pressure sprayer. It feels good.

And when potty training comes along, the sprayer makes quick work of cleaning the little kid potty. I don’t even know how people do it without.

Wipes

All the cool people use cloth wipes. I tried it too, in the beginning. I cut up all those extra receiving blankets, and sewed the edges like a good girl. I used them for a few weeks and then gave it up, I just couldn’t get the logistics. I’ve read some people keep a spray bottle next to the wipes bin, others take a few wipes to the sink to wet them first. The first I found ineffective, unless the wipe was completely wet, it didn’t wipe to my standards. The second was just awkward, our bathroom being on the other side of the house from the changing area. Even when perfectly wetted, the cloth wipes just never did the job near so good as the disposables. Probably, like everything else, it has to do with the kind of poop your baby makes. Did you read the part about the tar?

I do think you should give cloth wipes a try if you can. They might work for you, many people love them. For a ‘free trial,’ just rip up a receiving blanket, don’t worry about sewing the edges until you know you like it.

Washing Diapers

Get ready. You are going to be doing a lot of it. Even if you had enough diapers, you can’t just let them sit around dirty for more than 3 days, 4 tops if the weather is very cool. That means diaper loads at least 2x/week.

I wash diapers solo, I don’t put anything else in, even though there’s plenty of room. Despite everything you’ve just read about my slovenly habits, combining diapers with clothes seems gross. And even though a 3 day batch of diapers is really a ‘small’ load, I run it on ‘medium’ anyway, I figure the extra water helps get the vortex going and flush out the nasties. I use a small amount of detergent, though I have used regular quantities in the past. It’s very hard to hold back on the soap when you’ve just dumped all that stink in there. But apparently detergent is part of what wears diapers out over time, as well leaving a residue that gums up the soaking ability of the fabric. So, go light. Very, very light I am told. When the reek of ammonia just about knocks you flat, and your hand quivers to fill the measuring cup all the way to the top, have faith! It will all work out in the wash, even with a 1/8th quantity of soap. (As an eye opener, I urge you to try washing a load with no soap at all, just once. I did, and I was shocked at how almost completely clean they were.)

Now, those fancy pants Bum Geniuses that I just got instruct you to wash once on cold, no soap, then once on hot with a spare smidge of soap, then run an extra rinse cycle, and then once a month, follow by a wash cycle on cold with a weak bleach solution. Jesus H Christ, what do they think we are doing with our lives, sitting on the washing machine all day getting our rocks off?

But, like I said, fucking pristine. So maybe I should take heed.

I can’t. I’ve been running them once, on cold just like I did before. But! I did learn a key thing in the comments on that last post, and I will pass it on to any of you who are similarly ignorant. Several folks mentioned that when their diapers weren’t absorbing properly, they just needed to be “stripped” and then all was right again. On further investigation I found out that when you usually wash on just cold like me, you must occasionally “strip” meaning– wash on very hot to remove those soap residues I mentioned earlier. I’ll be darned. Now doesn’t that make sense?

So, you’ve got a load of clean, wet diapers. Throw them in the dryer? You can, depending on the type though it can take for ever. At least two full cycles for my thick fitteds, which seems patently absurd and wasteful. I use the outdoor line here, almost all the time. It takes about two days, three if the weather is cooler. I’m sure they would dry in a day of sun if we lived anywhere else but a tropical swamp. (Well, I take that back– it took almost four days to dry diapers in the house on a rack back in Cordova’s temperate rainforest. Why did I move from one steam room to another?) Pre-folds dry much faster than the thick fitted kind, and I hear ‘flats’ dry in the blink of an eye.

The beauty of line drying is that the shit stains bleach out shockingly well in the sun. The downside is that that same bleaching effect will wear your diapers out over the long run. Definitely don’t leave them on the line any longer than necessary.

Getting the Smell Out

With both kids, we went through a phase of time when the diapers just would not get completely clean. I couldn’t figure it out. They would seem clean, but then the instant the kid peed in them they reeked like holy hell, like a diaper reeks after it’s been on for 12 hours– except that sometimes it had only been on for 30 minutes. I think something, some kind of beasty/bacteria, was living in there and as soon as the pee activated it, the diaper went straight from “clean” to egregiously offensive. I tried washing on hot, I tried adding vinegar, baking soda, bleach, everything I could think of. It seemed like maybe all those things helped, but nothing knocked it out. I wonder now, as I think about it, if those were times that because of weather or whatever reason, the diapers were not getting 100% dry in between uses. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, and in fact here in New Orleans “dry,” which is generally used to mean the same relative humidity as the air, is simply not dry. So what can you do? Maybe I should have dried them on the line and then put them into the dryer for 30 minutes. Who can know. But for whatever reason, the phase died out and all was well again. A little stinky, as anyone would expect, but manageable.

Night Diapering

I am not remotely hard core about cloth, we use disposables at night as well as for vacations or even long day outings sometimes. We tried cloth at night a few times to great disaster, and like the cloth wipes, out the window it went. Nothing, nothing was going to get between me and my sleep.

By disaster I mean that the cloth was completely inadequate to hold either of our babies’ copious night pee, and we woke in a puddle at 3am. With big red baby butt rashes the next day. This is yet another entirely individual factor. I have realized that both of our babies peed a lot at night, on the high end of normal. Our 4yo is still in night diapers in fact, because she so frequently has accidents, sometimes overflowing even the disposable! I hear that late-age night peeing is hereditary, and so it seems possible that my kids are a bit… different. I have known many mamas who use cloth at night and have a fine time of it, so you should definitely give it a go. I have also heard stories about mamas who had my same problem, but then found the diaper that made it all work. The miracle diaper.

In fact, these new Bum Geniuses might be that miracle. They do rock some serious piss absorption! I just started trying them out on my 2.5yo and they seem pretty good. I had recently noticed a drastic decrease in his night peeing though, so things might be conspiring for the good here.

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Crap. Have I really just rambled on for 2,846 words about diapers? Wow.

And now it’s your turn to get all uppity. Seasoned mamas, tell us your tricks and tips. And please, new mamas, you speak up too! Questions, concerns, revelations? Were these posts helpful?

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There’s no point mincing my words. If you are going to use cloth diapers (or actually have a baby at all) you are going to have to flush any remaining primness and decency down the toilet right now. There will be shit. It will be disgusting. You will have to deal with it.

I am a pretty stalwart lady. I have gutted and butchered many an animal, trimmed the poop encrusted hairs from around a sheep’s ass, reached up into a hen’s vulva to release a stuck egg, and scraped the maggots from home smoked fish so I could eat it. I have a strong stomach for grossness. But I will admit to you that if I had to wash my toddler’s shitty diapers by hand in a bucket of water, I’d go to Costco and buy Huggies.

Thank god for washing machines! With a machine’s help, I find cloth diapering surprisingly easy. But before you go out and spend a heap of money on cloth diapers I want you to consider that the shit has to be mostly cleaned off before the diaper goes into the machine, and from my personal experience it does not “shake off into the toilet” as they like to say on the label. Fortunately, as parenting often goes, you aren’t handed a toddler with their more or less adult stools, but rather a cute little baby with surprisingly inoffensive breastmilk poop. You get a good 6 months to practice up on your stomach clenching.

Of course, you have to deal with poop no matter what kind of diapers you use. Cloth just ups the anty. And it’s worth it right? Take charge of your baby’s waste stream, etc, etc. In case you need any fact bolstering, here’s a few goodies from the Real Diaper Association:

  • Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste.  In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.
  • No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years.
  • Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.

So, think you’re ready? You want to take the leap and commit to shit?

(I ought to clarify right about now that we have always used disposables at night and if we are going out for a daylong outing or on vacation, etc. In other words, we are far from hard core on the cloth issue.)

When I was 3 months pregnant with my first, still coming around to the idea and freaking out about how much baby crap we were already accumulating from well meaning friends and relatives, a woman I knew called on the phone to ask if I wanted some cloth diapers. I took a big gulp and said yes, knowing I would need them and it would be stupid to turn her down. She came by an hour later with three huge boxes of cloth diapers. As she unloaded one after another from her minivan I had a panic attack. It took everything I had not to tell her to pack that shit back up and leave me alone, my baby would pee into a pile of sphagnum moss thank you very much.

When I look back on that moment, and the general disgust I had for the boxes of hand-me-down clothes and toys that poured into our household almost weekly, I am so embarrassed! Of course I ended up using all of those diapers (babies grow fast, don’t you know) which were in pristine condition and would have cost $12-18 a piece if I had had to buy them. I had been given several hundred of dollars worth of high class goods, and I don’t remember if I even thanked her!

Down here in New Orleans I was given two more small sets of diapers. The only thing I ever had to buy was a few extra covers. I am one lucky lady.

If you are not so lucky, and you are in the market for cloth diapers, I have a few things to tell you. One is that there is a dizzying array of choices! And everybody seems to have very different opinions on which ones are good. Two is that, for whatever strange reason, cloth diapers have become something of a boutique (ie: overpriced) item. Be careful if you go shopping on Etsy– you should not be paying $28 for a fucking diaper, no matter how cute.

Because I was given so many different diapers, I have a decent scope of experience. There are three basic types: the so-called ‘pre-folds’ are the flat rectangular ones that our mothers used, bless their heart. (I can’t for the life of me figure out why they call them pre-folds when they come out of the wash flat.) Then there are ‘fitted’ diapers which need a cover put on over the top. ‘Pocket’ diapers have a built-in cover which you insert a wide pad into. And lastly ‘all-in-ones’ have it all, in one.

***Before you experienced mamas click away from this post, will you just scroll down to the comments and add your own experience? I’ll talk about use and care in the next post, right now we are just looking at types of diapers, and the more voices the better.***

I started out with all-in-one Kushies like these:

They are easy, there’s no doubt about it. But they take forever to dry, because they can only dry from one side. And I can tell you they do not last through two kids. The first thing that gives out is the elastic around the leg, meaning more and more leaking problems. Then the plasticy material that they make the cover out of starts to fray around the seams and you lose the whole diaper.

I was also given some Fuzzi Bunz which are a pocket diaper.

They were already well used and maybe they would have worked if they were new, but as far as I can tell they are crap. I keep using them because that’s what I have right now, but they leak like sieves. They are made from some kind of polyester, and from my experience I would say, why the hell would you make a diaper out of a material who’s best property is not getting wet? I understand the concept of keeping baby’s skin dry, and I can see a single layer of polyester maybe, backed my cotton, but that pee has to go somewhere! Anyone with a different Fuzzi Bunz experience please speak up.

My favorite diapers so far are an old version of Bum Genius, that it looks like they don’t make anymore. They’re fitted terry-cloth type material with velcro tabs, so pretty easy. They have lasted well. They do need a cover, but I feel like the extra step is well worth it. (The only Bum Genius I can find online now are all-in-ones, anyone familiar with these?They look good.). This Mother-ease Sandy’s diaper looks vaguely similar:

I did have a bad experience with some Thirsty covers that used velcro closures. The velcro was just a straight-up strip (no backing) and over time it started to curl back on itself, exposing the scratchy stuff to my little pudgy boy’s fat thighs. I had to trash them eventually, he was getting welts. I would in general recommend snap closures because of this problem, plus the velcro gets gunked up and has to be cleaned out periodically and just generally wears out faster than snaps. (Although those first all-in-ones I got had velcro, sewed onto a thicker strap, and they have lasted just fine, I still use some of those.) Here’s what my current covers look like, these are Best Bottoms:

Many people have rave reviews of wool diaper covers, called ‘soakers.’ I never had the opportunity to try them, but the idea is that they allow baby’s little butt to breathe and keep the skin healthier. Makes good sense. Wool can be surprisingly water-proof, and supposedly soakers are very soft and not at all abrasive. Ask me about my experience with $24 lambs’ wool nursing pads sometime though. Grrr…

I tried pre-folds for awhile with both babies, and I just didn’t have any luck with them. They never fit right and so leaked or bunched up and were uncomfortable. I have talked to many other mamas who loved pre-folds though, so I would definitely recommend trying them, if you can. They are a fraction of the cost of all these fancy diapers, and last much longer because they have no elastic, snaps, velcro, bells or whistles to wear out. Also they dry way faster, which is not to be underestimated. (If you are going with pre-folds, or some of the fitted diapers that come without fasteners, you will probably want some Snappies. These are a brilliant replacement for safety pins, danger-free.)

I think the reason that everyone has such different diaper opinions is that every baby is different. Mine both had unbelievably fat thighs and needed big ole’ leg holes. If your baby has skinny thighs you will specifically need small leg holes or you’ll have leaks. Then there are differences in quantities of pee, types of poop, etc. Both mine peed a LOT. And a lot at one time, too, which I think is partly why the Fuzzi Bunz didn’t work. Maybe they can hold a cup of pee if it comes in a few tablespoons at a time, but when yer kid dumps the whole load at once, they can’t absorb fast enough. The frustrating thing about buying diapers before you have your baby is how do you know?

If you have a cloth diaper store in your town, check to see if they have any kind of trial program. We have a great shop here that gives a one month free trial with all the brands she sells, so that you can figure out which ones you like. Online, Diaper Junction has a test drive program, but you do have to buy the diapers and then you can return the ones you don’t like. Better than nothing…

There’s one more important decision to make. You can either buy one-size-fits-all, which are supposed to be adjustable for newborn-toddler, or you can buy ‘perfect fit’ diapers for each size. I hate to tell you this, but I haven’t seen the one-size diapers work for newborns. I think they might work fine for age 1-potty training, because their butts don’t actually grow much after 1yo, but on a newborn or even 6 month old, those one-size diapers look pretty ridiculously enormous.

Having said that though I ought to mention that the actual ‘newborn’ size is almost worthlessly small for most babies I’ve known. Mine fit that size for all of two weeks. Then the breastcream started to kick in and the thighs started to bulk up.

Lastly, how many will you need? This would depend on your baby and your wash cycle. You will go through at least 5/day in the beginning. If you do laundry every 3rd day, and they take 2 days to dry on the line, you need 5 days worth of diapers, 5 x 5 = 25, though you will want a few extra as a buffer. If you are going to use the dryer or commit to washing every other day you can get away with fewer diapers. Bear in mind that if you use fitted diapers with separate covers, you will only need 4 or 5 covers. They can be used for several rounds, until the get a shit smear. They also dry super fast.

So, if you are doing some quick math with the prices I have quoted, you are just about freaking out right now. True, even buying two sizes of brand new diapers plus covers will cost you less, in the end, than disposables. But man, that would be an intimidating entry price tag if you had to set yourself up completely.

I would recommend not jumping into that right off. Do a trial of size smalls to see which kind you like and how your baby shapes up. Keep a vigilant ear open when you’re out in the world– once you start looking, you might be surprised to find more cloth diapering mamas than you thought. And they might have a stack of old diapers to share or sell.

Watch Craigslist like a hawk. I doubt they come up very often, but it can’t hurt. Or check out this independent consignment site. I would be careful not to pay too much for used diapers though, unless the people who are selling didn’t really use them (a very common scenario actually, many folks start out with good intentions and then just get overwhelmed). Diapers definitely wear out and if they’ve been used continuously for one kid, they’re probably at about half-life, which means you shouldn’t pay more than 1/3 of the new price.

I’ll go over use and care in the next post, but so far– any questions?

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I set out today to write that cloth diapering post I promised. But before I knew what was happening I was writing about potty training. Wow, is that ever a subject.

It all started because someone mentioned  Infant Potty Training, also known as Elimination Communication, in a comment and I thought it deserved a plug in the diapering post. The idea behind EC is that by putting babies into diapers we train them to pee and poop in diapers. Can’t really argue with that. Then we try to re-train them to pee in the potty typically around the age of two, a notoriously stubborn and rebellious time. Also, no arguments, it’s a ridiculous method when you stop to think. Furthermore traditional peoples all over the world without access to Fuzzi Bunz or Huggies have managed not to live in a squalor of baby feces– how do they do it?

The answer is really more mama training than infant training. Supposedly when you pay very, very close attention to your baby you start to learn her cues for ‘about to pee.’ The best way to pay such close attention is to up the stakes and leave your baby diaperless, though they say it does not have to be an either/or. You also initiate by holding your babe over the toilet in a squat often (like every 30 minutes) while making a ‘pssss’ sound. If you put the time in for a few months, supposedly they can be mostly potty trained by 8-12 months.

I loved the idea, it makes perfect sense to me, and I really wanted to try it out. Or, more accurately, I wanted to want to. But I found mothering so crazy hard that I couldn’t fathom adding one more thing. On the site I linked to above I noticed a quote at the top on the page, apparently one of 101 Reasons to Practice EC, “”A diaperless baby turns the dullest shopping trip into an adventure in new territory.” I don’t know if they meant that the way it sounds to me, but what else could that mean? I personally don’t need any more adventure at the grocery store, particularly of the ‘wet clean up on aisle 3′ variety. I’m quite certain it would have been less work in the end, and I have talked to a few people who did it and loved it, so I know it works. But I just couldn’t get my head around the initial outlay of energy.

When my first born was 8 months old I did put a kiddie potty in the bathroom, thinking I would set her on that whenever I peed and that way she could learn without any particular extra work, just the way kids learn everything– by modelling. The first day she peed several times and I hastily patted myself on the back thinking I was so brilliant and had got my timing just right and was about ready to pack up the diapers. The next day, and forever afterwards until she was three years old, she could not or did not put anything else into that potty. Literally. As she got older I tried just leaving her diaper off whenever we were home, and she would ask for a diaper when she was ready to pee. I’m afraid that, even though I knew better given her incredibly defiant personality, I turned it into an issue by trying to coerce her to sit on the potty instead.  I never used force or punishment (though my MIL did, unsuccessfully, try bribery) but my girl is one smart cookie and I’m sure she gathered that I was very actively trying to get her to do something.

Here’s some advice– you cannot win a war with a defiant two year old about peeing. What you can and will do instead is drive home to her the point that yes, in fact, no matter what you do, she is in control.

As she grew past that 2yo defiance for the sake of defiance, she apparently lost track of that control though. She would sit on the potty diligently and say with dismay, “It’s not working.” When it finally did work she was jubilant, but I have to warn you new mamas who might think as I did that kids ‘potty train at 2′ (like it’s a 6 week event) that this process can be unbelievably long. My girl, at 4.5, still has accidents. Now her thing is that she doesn’t want to stop playing to go use the potty. She will sit there jiggling and dancing for literally an hour and then streak to the bathroom, pee dribbling out everywhere as she goes.

Our interactions go like this, daily:

Me: Hey, sweetie, it looks to me like you’re doing your I-need-to-pee dance. Why don’t you just go sit on the potty and see if anything comes out?

Her: No, mama. That’s not my I-need-to-pee dance, this is my I-need-to-pee dance. See? Back and forth instead of side to side.

At any rate, I guess my point is– try that infant pottying gig if you think you can! Maybe you can avoid all this nonsense. But for the rest of us, I am off to work up the cloth diapering post right now. I swear! No more tangents!

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