Okay, time for some tough love. Some of you will use any excuse under the sun to delay ditching diapers. A big one we hear a lot is the holidays. We get it, there’s a lot going on. But the holidays could also be the PERFECT time to wrap up elimination communication or start potty training. All you need is a little strategy. Here are the 5 steps to ditching diapers during the holidays - or really anytime!
You Will Hear:
- The 5 steps to ditching diapers any time of year
- Important resources to help put your plan in place
- Factors to consider during holiday travels
- Helpful gear for at home or away
Links and other resources mentioned today:
- TinyUps cloth pull-up covers
- Go Diaper Free Book
- Tiny Potty Training Book
- The Bundle - All 7 MiniCourses
- The Premium Course Pack for EC
- Wrapping Up EC MiniCourse
- EC While Out + About MiniCourse
- Potette Plus travel potty seat
- The Ultimate Guide to EC Back-ups - Podcast #53
- Tiny Undies Store
- “Tiny Potty” board book
- “Night Potty” Board Book
- How much play on the potty is too much? - Podcast #221
- Getting EC Back on Track MiniCourse
- Go Diaper Free Store
Download the Transcript
If you can't listen to this episode right now (um, sleeping baby!?)...download and read the transcript here:
EPISODE 262: How to ditch diapers during the holidays
Okay, time for some tough love. Some of you will use any excuse under the sun to delay ditching diapers. A big one we hear a lot is the holidays. We get it, there's a lot going on, but the holidays could also be the perfect time to wrap up elimination communication or potty-train. All you need is a little strategy. Here are the five steps to ditching diapers during the holidays, or really anytime. This is episode 262, How to ditch diapers during the holidays.
Hello and welcome to the Go Diaper Free Podcast. I'm your host, Nicole Cheever, Go Diaper Free certified coach and mama to three kiddos who all went through EC and potty training at different ages and stages.
Hello there, welcome back. Thank you so much for joining me again on the Go Diaper Free Podcast. I'm Nicole Cheever and this is episode 262, How to ditch diapers during the holidays. You can find the show notes over at godiaperfree.com/262. There will be links to everything I mention there, and you can also leave comments and ask questions. If you're listening on your favorite podcast player or you're watching on YouTube, please make sure you hit that subscribe button, and we would love it if you would leave us a review as well.
I know everyone's busy right now during the holiday season, so I'm going to keep this nice and short and sweet. The holidays can be chaotic, but they also could be the perfect time to be ditching diapers. You don't have a lot of other things to focus on except for your family. Of course if you're hosting, that may be a little bit more complicated, but usually we've got some time off work, we're really spending a lot of quality time together, and so this can really be a great opportunity. And this is coming from someone who's done this twice.
My second child, we did a hybrid plan when she was 18 months old over Thanksgiving break. We had tried it at the end of October doing EC, she was way too independent for that, and so we waited for the holiday break. We did our hybrid plan, and then right around the next holiday break in December was when we were starting to ditch nighttime diapers. So that was really great, we got it all done.
My third baby, who is now a little over two, she's an October baby, and we ditched diapers when she was about 13 months old, and we actually started on a road trip. We used the TinyUps as our back-up in the car and I just said, "We're going to try to use as few diapers as possible while we're on this road trip, and when we get back home I don't want to use them anymore." And that was that, she was done during the day.
Here is my five step plan for you to ditching diapers during the holidays based on all the information that we have available here at Go Diaper Free and a little bit of my own experience.
Step number one, have a plan. Use the books, whether it's the Go Diaper Free book, the Tiny Potty Training Book, we also have a whole bunch of programs and MiniCourses. Did you know that? There are seven MiniCourses and three different EC programs and those are broken up by age. So if you really need a little bit of a deeper dive or more kind of handholding, there are video and audio files, and of course both the Go Diaper Free Book and the Tiny Potty Training Book also have the audio files as well. That's how I "read" both of the books was in the audio. The MiniCourses are video. It's Andrea just talking to you one-on-one and really helping encourage you through all the different phases. There's troubleshooting in all of them, the MiniCourses are subject-specific. Things like Wrapping Up or EC While Out + About. Those are really great courses to be taking for if you're anticipating wrapping up during the holidays.
Step number two, take advantage of the time off. Some parents do take time off work intentionally to wrap up, to do some intentional concentrated teaching time. If you are potty training and you're looking at doing the couple days of naked teaching, it's not a bad idea to either take a long weekend or take a little bit of time off work. It's sort of a short-term sacrifice for a long-term gain, right? The sooner we get our children out of these diapers, the sooner we can start building those lifelong good potty habits.
The nice thing about the holidays is we already have that time off usually built in, so take advantage of it, schedule in some of that downtime. If you're potty training, a lot of times we say don't schedule activities, but you can have little activities you're going to be doing with your child, because that's a great way to do that observation without hovering. You're there close and observing and looking for all those signs that they need to go potty. So if you're doing some kind of craft or activity with them, that's a really great opportunity to be doing some of this naked teaching and observation.
Step three, consider your lifestyle. Are you a family who always has a lot going on? Then that should be your reason, not your excuse. I hear so many readers and listeners saying, "Well, we've got the holidays coming up and then we've got a road trip and then we've got a wedding, and then we've got this and that." If you are a family that's just go, go, go all the time, you're not going to be able to wait for a downtime or some time off because your calendar is packed, so look ahead. If you're a family that's on the go all the time, the holidays is the perfect time for you to wrap up, especially because it gets you and your child used to the routine of pottying on the go. So we want to set you up for success in a lot of different ways, and one of those is to anticipate. What is life really going to be like and can we model that and make it as seamless a transition as possible? So if you're one of those packed calendar families, please definitely just pick one of those events and go for it.
Step four kind of leads into this, it's look ahead. When is the next time you'll have the ability to ditch diapers? If you're the type of family who only has this concentrated three or four days, or maybe a week or more, of time off during this time of year, are you really willing to wait a whole other year before attempting to ditch diapers again or before attempting to potty-train? Just think about that for a second. A whole other year of buying diapers or washing cloth diapers or both, whatever you're doing. A whole other year of wiping poop off a butt or possibly having blowouts. If that just makes your skin crawl, strike while the iron's hot, now's the time to ditch those diapes.
Step five, gather the right tools. This goes hand-in-hand with step number one, but it's not exactly the same. That's more your planning tools, these are your logistical tools. Things like your schedule and your setup at home, or your setup on the go, are going to inform what tools you need. Also consider how these things might change over the course of the break. Are you going to be the first couple days at home and then you're staying somewhere else, or are you going to have a big family meal at somebody else's house? These are all factors to take into plan.
This is just like planning for naps, feeding, anything during the holidays. What you're going to bring for your baby to wear, entertainment like toys or books. You're already planning all of this out as you're intending to go on road trips or visit other people's houses, so this is just another part of it. Just like helping your baby potty is just another part of caring for them. So, are we going to need a toilet seat reducer? If we are, let's have one that we're starting to practice with at home that's going to be really easy to take over to grandma's house. Or could grandma get the same one to keep at her house? Are you over there a lot? These are all important things to consider.
If you're going to be staying with family, if you're going to be traveling, whether it's by air or train or car, keep all of those things in mind. What are the bathrooms like on these facilities or at these other places you're going to be staying at? So you might want to use a step stool and a seat reducer at home, or a seat reducer that has the attached ladder, but if you can't bring that with you and then your child just gets really dedicated to using that device, it's going to be a big challenge for you, so you really want to look at the big picture and look ahead.
Consider what kind of back-ups you're going to use. Like I said, on one of our road trips with my youngest, we used the TinyUps primarily. We did use a couple disposable diapers in the car for longer stretches, but at the time that was the back-up that was really helping her to stay the most dry and signal the strongest that she had to pee. Those are the two kind of golden rules for back-ups. I'm going to link episode 53, which is the Ultimate Guide to Back-ups, and that talks about everything there is out there. It's got links to everything we've got at Tiny Undies, and it will help you break down what's going to work best for you. Remember, it's not maybe going to be the same for day and night, so you don't have to night train at the same time if you're wrapping up or if you're potty training, so just consider all the factors.
The other things you might want to consider are a step stool. Is there something that's collapsible that you can bring? Can you ask whoever's at the destination home to have something ready for you? Light switch and faucet extenders are super underrated. You'll likely discover a need for these if you're doing the ease in period, that's when we start to really introduce our child to the whole potty routine if you haven't been already, so you can ease in both with wrapping up and with potty training.
If you read the board books, those give you the whole routine. The Tiny Potty board book goes through step-by-step-by-step. It's a really great reinforcer, but the other thing it does is it kind of has your child fixating on all the parts of the routine, including turning on the water for washing hands. Or if it's just something you do in your family, turning on and off the light switch, we all know how toddlers love light switches. Having those extenders and having them do that part themselves if they're really fixated on it can go an incredibly long way to avoiding resistance.
Hear me now, get all the gadgets you think that will help encourage your child to be doing these pieces of the puzzle on their own. That's the whole point of potty independence. We're passing it all off to them. And some kids, if they're not feeling like they can be totally independent, they can't turn on that light switch or turn on and off that water, they just give up. They're like, "What's the point? I can't do it myself, I don't want to do it." So, pay attention when you're starting the process or if you're doing the ease in period at those little things that your child really loves and try to help encourage it and help facilitate it for them.
Then the other part of this last step is toys and books. So, are you going to have a special potty toy? I will link an episode on whether play on the potty is too much or not. I didn't write the number down, I'm off the cuff here. I'll have to go back and link that, but I have an episode on how much play is too much on the potty, and that gives you a little bit of advice on how to keep it kind of simple and make sure it's not gone too far into totally playtime. But still using those transition objects, using things to help entertain and encourage using the potty can be really, really helpful. So, keep all that in mind when you're packing for your travels and you're planning what you're going to take with you.
I'm just going to remind you again, we have these incredible MiniCourses specifically that help with this time of year and travel in general, and those are the EC While Out + About MiniCourse, Wrapping Up EC and Getting EC Back on Track. If you're looking at this going, "We wanted to wrap up, but we kind of fell off the wagon and we don't want to be changing diapers for another year," check that course out. Then head on over to godiaperfree.com/262 and let us know: have you ever ditched diapers during a holiday break? How did it go? What would you add to this list?
That's it. Thank you so much for sticking with me during this very busy time of year. I hope everyone is having and has had a wonderful holiday season. We've got one more episode left of 2023 and that one's going to be teaching your toddler how to climb onto the big potty, so don't miss that one next week. Thanks everyone, and we'll see you then.
Want to catch your first pee today? Grab Andrea's free easy start guide and do just that. It's only one page and it will change your world. Get it at godiaperfree.com/start. We'll see you next time.
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About Andrea Olson
I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my 6 children (all under 12 yo) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day. (And I love, love, love, mango gelato.)