Have you been putting off wrapping up EC because of concerns about daycare or preschool? We get it, it feels soooo intimidating! But guess what? Your child is going to become diaper free at some point, and if you’re a family with two working parents, that’s most likely going to happen with the help of your childcare provider. So might as well knock it out now before that toddler phase is in full swing! Tune in this week for some encouragement and practical tips to help you ditch diapers at daycare.
You Will Hear:
- When and how you can ditch diapers at daycare at any stage
- An overview of the Wrapping Up and Diaper-free at Daycare MiniCourses
- Steps for wrapping up EC with the help of your childcare provider
- Helpful supplies and strategies to keep things consistent for your kiddo(s)
Links and other resources mentioned today:
- Go Diaper Free Book
- Successful Potty Training with your Daycare - Podcast #156
- To daycare… without diapers - Podcast #84
- Diaper-free at Daycare MiniCourse
- Wrapping Up EC MiniCourse
- The re-set - Podcast #46
- Tiny Potty Training Book
- Mini Potty
- Potette Plus travel potty seat
- Top Hat Potty
- Tiny Trainers
- TinyUps cloth pull-up covers
- The Ultimate Guide to EC Back-ups - Podcast #53
- Tiny Wet/Dry Bag
- Tiny Undies small baby underwear
- Tiny Undies Store
- 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 254: How to wrap up EC when your child is in daycare
Some of you have been putting off wrapping up because of concerns about daycare or preschool. We get it. It's so intimidating. But guess what? Your child is going to be diaper-free at some point, and if you're a family with two working parents, that's most likely going to happen with the help of your daycare. So might as well knock it out now before that toddler phase is in full swing. Let's get to it. This is episode 254, How to Wrap Up EC When Your Child is in Daycare.
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, welcome back. I'm Nicole Cheever with Go Diaper Free. This is the Go Diaper Free podcast. Today's episode is 254. How to Wrap Up EC When Your Child is in Daycare. Find the show notes, the transcript, and links to everything I mentioned today over at godiaperfree.com/254. Leave us comments, ask us questions, and if you're listening on your favorite podcast player or watching on YouTube, please make sure you subscribe so you're notified about our new episodes.
All right, some of you have been blowing us up about wrapping up. If your child is in daycare, you're so freaked out about it, and there's this misconception that just because Andrea has homeschooled her children at different points, it means she's never gone through it or you can't relate to her. First off, that's not true. She's had her kids in some kind of school or daycare outside of the home at various points, and she talks about that in her book and on previous podcast episodes as well.
So first off, make sure you head back to the book. I know when you've been practicing EC for months or even a year, sometimes it just feels like you're doing your thing and you don't have to return to that book, but the Go Diaper Free book really does have everything in it, including troubleshooting and advice for moving on. So make sure you refer back to that. There's episode 156 by one of our coaches, Danielle, talking about successful potty training with your daycare. You can check that for reference as well. Then Andrea talks about sending Branson to daycare without diapers after the summer break, back to preschool without diapers. That is episode 84, so I'll link to that as well.
We do have the Diaper-free at Daycare and Wrapping Up EC MiniCourses, and what I'm going to talk about today covers a little bit of what you'll find in those. Because I know, even after you've gone through the podcast and the books, sometimes especially with your first child, it's still a little bit nerve-wracking. You can still feel self-conscious about making that step. Diaper-free is a really big step, trust me. Even with my third baby, I felt it. So we'll go through that today, a little bit of a game plan for how you can make it happen, wrapping up at a daycare.
Now, if you're not quite in the wrapping-up phase yet, your baby is 0 to 12 months old or so, still go ahead and listen and keep this earmarked for future reference, because eventually your baby is going to be diaper-free at some point. So it's important to have that long view. But if you're in that 0 to 12 months and you're not practicing EC yet because you're worried about daycare or preschool, go ahead and just start. Part-time EC is so valuable. You don't even have to tell your daycare that you're doing it. You can just practice at home.
My third baby was very, very vocal and insistent about not pooping in her diaper. So if I had had her in daycare at some point, I would've had to tell them that that was what was going on. Especially because when I was a working parent, I was working 10-hour shifts, so I would have, at some point, had to tell them that my infant was not going to poop in the diaper and probably worked that out with them. But for many babies, you can just practice part-time, and it's not a big deal, and you don't have to worry about any questions, judgment, or anything that you're maybe a little insecure about when it comes to your daycare.
If you're in that 12- to 18-month range, we're thinking about wrapping up right around the time they start walking. When I started EC with my third baby, I told my husband, "Okay, we're going to have diapers for 18 months and then we'll be done." And then, as it started to approach her 10, 11-month mark, a little bit before her first birthday, I got panicked all of a sudden. I was like, "Oh no, actually, we're probably going to ditch diapers around walking. This is coming up really soon. I don't know what to do." So I had to go back and listen to some of the podcast episodes and give myself a little pep talk about doing that. We're good now, but I get it. So if your baby is walking or they're going to be walking soon, this is around the time we're going to be wanting to wrap up, and that Wrapping Up EC MiniCourse is really going to help you as well as the troubleshooting in the book.
The Diaper-free at Daycare MiniCourse is for any babies 0 to 24 months.
If you're already diaper-free at home and you want to continue it with your caregiving team, if you're just about to send your child to preschool for the first time and you want a really seamless transition, if you want to potty-train or do EC without the fear of daycare holding you back, the MiniCourse is going to be really helpful for you. So this is a bit of a blend. This game plan for you is a blend of what's in that MiniCourse and some of my own experience.
I didn't do pure EC with my second baby when I was working full-time. I tried it a little bit later in the game, at about 16 months, and she was just not having it. You've probably heard me talk about it before. She was way too independent. She didn't want me having anything to do with this whole potty routine. So we re-set, we regrouped, and we waited for the next longer weekend. We went ahead and did the potty training experience, and then I sent her to daycare without diapers. So I'm drawing a little bit on my own experience there because we were successful, but as anything else, we had hiccups along the way. It happens.
The first tip I'm going to give you is plan ahead. You can wrap up or at least start that process, even as early as six to nine months. Go to that section of the book, Building Blocks of Potty Independence, and look at all the things you can start teaching your child. As soon as they're even a little bit mobile and you start putting those building blocks in place, you start encouraging their independence in all these different areas. By the time they have mastered walking, they already have all those skills, or they're at least starting to get them, and then diaper freedom and wrapping up is pretty smooth from there.
No shame whatsoever if you end up using a potty training experience to finally put a little bow on EC and just wrap it up for good. That's what I ended up doing with my second, anyway. There's no shame in that, but most babies, a lot of babies, can really just wrap up if you're putting those building blocks in place and handing over the keys throughout, as they become developmentally ready for each step.
Second point, you're going to want to have a conversation with your daycare. Find out what their policy is and also what's possible, because just because it's written down doesn't mean it's necessarily the only option. A lot of times they put a policy in place that's convenient for them, that seems to work for most of the parents, but there may be a little bit of wiggle room, so don't read it and then just give up hope. Talk to your care providers, see what's going to work for them.
Here in California, we have something called ratio, and I think that's probably common in a lot of other places, but the daycare is required to have a certain number of staff members present for every certain number of children, depending on age. So depending on what the staffing's like, what ratio is going to require, it might not always be possible, but it's so important to have that conversation. Of course, if you have it early, you then also have the opportunity to shift to a different care situation if it's going to work better for your long-term goals. That's important with any of your values. Potty training is no different.
So tell them your plan. If you're in that 0 to 12-month range and you are doing part-time EC and wanting to integrate it into daycare, you can suggest transition times when they could take your child. You could provide things like a Mini Potty or a seat reducer that's the same one you have at home that they could use. A lot of times they have these really big changing tables at the larger daycare centers where you could probably fit a Mini Potty or Top Hat Potty right there and during the diaper change, which is one of our transition times, one of the easy catches, during the diaper changes, they can just offer the potty right there. And that makes it easier for them because it's not like a big extra step.
Number three, of course, is start wrapping up or doing the teaching process at home. So you're going to be putting in those building blocks of potty independence at home, starting at whatever age that building block is developmentally appropriate for, like moving to the potty. You can start teaching as soon as they're crawling. Each of those building blocks has an age range where that skill is appropriate. Start that at home. If your baby is walking or is about to walk, you can go through that Wrapping Up EC MiniCourse, and that's a deep dive into all those building blocks and putting them in place.
When each skill has been mastered or as you're working on it, you can also communicate that to your care team. You can say, "Hey, we're really working on Johnny being able to push down his own pants. So during the diaper change or anytime you have to change his clothes, can you just help him hook his thumbs in and say, 'push'? That's what we're doing at home." Like anything else, any of your children's preferences that you might be communicating to your care team, communicating what skills they're working on or have mastered, is key. Especially as they start to get closer to that 18-month mark, where they're really becoming toddlers, there's going to be things they want to do for themselves. Your care team is going to figure that out with a lot of the day-to-day things that they're used to helping with. But if they're not really that used to helping with really young toddlers in pottying, you might have to clue them in and say, "Hey, he really wants to push his own pants down." Or, "He really wants to put the seat reducer on the potty by himself."
Number four, the next step is going to be to ditch diapers at school. Again, you're going to want to lay this game plan out with your care team and start with a foundational pee. Just like any of the other transition times, when we're arriving somewhere, we want to pee before we go about our business, whether it's shopping or the park, whatever. You're going to want to do a foundational pee at school. This does a couple of things. It builds confidence in your child and your care team because they're actually seeing it happen. They're saying, "Oh, Johnny can use the potty. He did great." And you can kind of talk them through the process. And then it helps to build that connection for your child and that consistency that, "Okay, when we're at school, now this is where we're going to go potty."
Make sure as much as possible you can replicate the home routine at school. Of course, there might need to be some adjustments just because of ratio or the other specifics going on at the center, but you want to, as much as possible, have that same potty seat reducer. Tell them to use the same language. Inform them of what your child says, or signs, or does as far as needing to go potty. With my second child, she was 18 months when we did the potty training experience, and I warned them. I said, "She will just sneak off to the bathroom by herself and she won't tell you. If you follow her and you make too much of a big deal about it, she'll clam up and decide, 'Oh, nope, I don't have to go potty.' And then you might have a miss. So really, just try to peek in on her, give her as much privacy as possible, and just notice if maybe she needs help getting the pants down. If she does, you can offer quick help and then step back out of the bathroom." So they were able to get that pretty quickly because that's what she would do. She had a couple misses when they forgot that she just took herself and wouldn't tell them. But it's a transition. It's a process. They all get used to it, and it all worked out in the end.
Consider what backups you're going to send with your child as you're going through the wrapping up process or the potty training experience. Obviously, in the end, we want them in just undies. Not just undies, obviously undies under their clothing, but during the training process or the wrapping up process, you might be going through phases where commando is better or training undies. We have the tiny trainers, we have TinyUps, which are the cloth covers. I used those a few times with my youngest, just alone. But you can also pair them with the trainers for more absorbency if you're worried about that.
So during the wrapping-up process or during the training process, you might go pretty quickly through a few different types of backups. Check out episode 53. That's the ultimate guide to back-ups, and it goes over every option and what it might be good for. So if you're stumped and you're still getting lots of wet pants or no signaling, things like that, it might be time to change your back-up. Make sure every day you come to school, you inform your care team of what back-ups you have that day and maybe give them a little insight into why you're using them. That brings them into the conversation, and that can actually encourage them to give you feedback on whether or not they think those back-ups are working and what maybe you could try differently the following day. Don't forget your wet/dry bag. That's super important so that they can put any wet clothes in the waterproof zippered part, and then you can have the extras in the not-waterproof, the smaller section. We have those at Tiny Undies as well.
Number five, your tip is going to be to update your caregivers daily. I did already touch on that, on the changes or discoveries you're having at home if their signals have changed, their preferences, whether they should be expecting a poop anytime soon or not. My second kiddo was notorious for pooping during their recess time, like their after-snack outside time. She'd be at the far end of the playground and all of a sudden realize she needed to poop, and she couldn't make it back, so she'd just go off into a little corner. So they started to learn that that was something that she really regularly needed to do, and they would either assign someone to keep more of an eye on her or actually have her hang back closer to the classroom door so that she could go in and take care of that in the toilet where it belonged instead of in her pants. But we have quite a few stained, Tiny Undies because of that.
The last tip I'll give you is make sure you get that update. At the end of the day, you'll do a pee with your child, or at least offer it, before you get in the car to go home or walk to go home. Make sure you get that update from your care team of how it went. If they think you need to change the back-ups or send more of them, and any other details that went on during the day that can help you, once you get home, have consistency with the process.
The MiniCourse is going to have troubleshooting in there as well. It's got a ton of troubleshooting in it, a video, and materials for your care provider. So if this sounded like it's helpful and that you would like more information on the tips I gave you, go ahead and check out that Diaper-free at Daycare MiniCourse, and you'll get all of those materials, and you can have your care team watch that video from Andrea speaking directly to them about how they can support you in your journey. Sometimes just having that third party, a little bit of an authority figure, speak on it can be really helpful to your team. So check that out if you think it might be helpful.
If you're listening and your child is over 18 months and you want to potty train, get the Tiny Potty Training Book, of course. Finish in a week or less with that, and you can take time off if you have to. The Diaper-free at Daycare MiniCourse will help you get through that as well. I know that sounds like a lot to say, "Take time off to do potty training.” Nobody wants to do that. But of course, diapers are convenient. Potty training isn't convenient. It's never going to be. The further we push it off, usually, the less convenient it's going to be. So it's better to take that time in about a week and train now than have it go on and drag on for months and months later when it's a power struggle and they're three or four years old. Definitely getting it done sooner before that toddler phase really hits is the best way to go.
I hope today's episode was helpful for you all. Head on over to the blog, godiaperfree.com/254, and put in the comments if you did diaper-free at daycare. Please share your tips with our community. We love to hear your feedback and all of the little experiences and ideas you all have. It's a great community, and we love for you to share. So thank you so much again for joining us today. I'm Nicole Cheever with Go Diaper Free. We'll see you next time.
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.)