Twyla’s 18 month update + amazing nighttime success: An update on Twyla’s last 6 months being totally diaper-free.
Hey there! For those of you who’ve been following our journey with our 5th and final baby, ECd from birth - Ms. Twyla Bean - here is our 18 month elimination communication update.
So many things have been so organic this time and I couldn’t be more pleased with implementing the things that I teach y’all to do with your babies. I am a woman who practices what she preaches.
Let’s go through (with the help of various Instagram posts to remind me and give a visual story!) Twyla’s last 6 months, stage by stage, along with take-aways that you can use with your sweet baby.
12 months old - waiting for walking, planning our next move
My original plan was to take Twyla out of daytime diapers when she began walking or at 12 months old. Of course, she took her good ole time with the walking milestone, so I decided to wait a few weeks longer after her first birthday.
Meanwhile, we stayed the course with wake-up pees, poops, transition times, and all diaper changes - regular ole elimination communication.
13 months old - ditching daytime diapers
After she’d mastered walking at 13 months old, even though I was shaking in my stockings because this girl hadn’t spoken a word of language other than “mamamamamama” and “me,” we took her out of daytime diapers and did not look back.
I swapped out the diapers in my baskets with Tiny Trainers - about 12 pair were sufficient for my rotation.
We began the fun process of teaching self-dressing by 100% changing her standing up from the moment we ditched diapers on.
14 months old - lots of wet Tiny Trainers
This month held sooo much information. You see, Twyla decided to pee in her Tiny Trainers instead of telling us when she needed to go pee (her signals were fussing or pointing at the toilet).
So, daily, we probably had 3-6 wet Trainers to deal with. It was frustrating to say the least, and I wasn’t yet brave enough (with 4 other kiddos to wrangle) to switch to the Undies just yet. So we pressed on and did not return to diapers.
15 months old - switching to Tiny Undies + accidental diaper-free naps
By the time we reached 15 months, I’d had enough of wet Trainers. I took my own advice (yes, I know! I was really slow to accept it!) and moved Twyla into Undies and loose-fitting elastic-topped pants during all awake hours.
And guess what? It worked, like magic. She instantly stopped peeing her pants, would intentionally hold it for longer and longer periods of time. I’m thankful for the Trainers during a time when wet floors would have been too much for me to handle, and yet it was now time to move on.
With having her in Undies now, my husband (who had taken over nap and nighttime duties so we could night wean her - and mommie could get some well-deserved rest!) accidentally left her in Undies for naps a few times. Twyla woke up dry from those so many times, that the next month we decided to stop using diapers during naps.
16 months old - dry diapers at night + diaper-free naps
Like I just said, last month we had so many accidental naps-in-Undies where T came up dry that, this month, we decided to make it intentional: we dressed Twyla in all daytime hours, not just awaketime hours, in Undies and elastic-topped pants.
When we began doing, this, we noticed that she began to come up dry at night, consistently, and began to sleep through the night. At this time she was still in a Dyper compostable disposable diaper backup. We used the same one over and over again at night until the tabs literally fell or ripped off (how many of you are with me on experiencing THAT!?!).
17 months - ditching nighttime diapers + diaper-free outings
At 17 months we decided that it was silly to put her in these diapers at night, and even though this was 9-15 months earlier than my other 4 children, we made the decision to go diaper-less at night, too.
My husband was still on wake-up duty at night, and he had full permission to do what he needed to do. She’d wake in the middle of the night and I would ask when he came down if he’d pottied her. “No,” he’d say. “I just put her paci back in.”
Sometimes he’d potty her at night if the paci didn’t work, but 9 times out of 10, she slept through the night with dry Undies without being pottied once during the middle of the night (this is a Dream Pee, which we discussed last week in episode 94).
It was, in a word, amazing.
Twyla would either resist pottying at night or would not go, so David gave up and just gave her the paci. But more than that, he trusted her that she could go all night. And she certainly proved him right!
This month we also started to go on a lot of hikes during the quarantine, and for these we’d be in the van for about 10 minutes (I’m in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, where there are hikes literally everywhere). We’d offer the potty in the van when we arrived but she wouldn’t go. We’d go through the whole hike and come back to the van, and she still wouldn’t go. It wouldn’t be until we got all the way home that she would finally go pee in the big toilet...TWO HOURS LATER!
18 months - focusing on rhythms, public toilet + road trip success
We did a few road trips this month where she finally began to use the mini potty in the van at rest stop pullovers - we achieved this with massive patience, and turning our backs to give her privacy as she sat on the mini potty inside the van on the floor, on the side of the road. If she doesn’t go and we need her to so we can proceed, we set her back on it and say “go peepee” and she complies if she has any. But, honestly, Twyla Bean still prefers the big toilet with a reducer, to this day.
As restaurants began to open back up, we began to offer with the Potette Plus on public toilets, something she’d previously refused, and she has begun to cooperate there. She literally goes every time - and we offer upon arrival and before we leave to get back in the van.
Twyla is still diaper-less during all hours, day and night, home and about, 24/7. She can hold it upwards of 2.5 hours and poops at least every other day now (check out constipation issues in episode 89).
She now only speaks about 10 words, total, including “chicken,” and her main signal is pointing at her bottom. She will also kick on the potty when she needs to poop, and will yell “no! Owie!” and point at her bottom if she is not ready to get off the pot yet.
Twyla tries to push her pants off sporadically throughout the day, so we leave her commando (no Undies) a few times a day so she can practice. We use Gerber grow-with-you pants which are super-easy to pull on. She has shown an interest in self-dressing. She specifically loves the Bear on the LEARN Undies so I’m sure using those will be next - and, they will teach her how to self-dress! (She’s in a 3T of Tiny Undies, btw, because this girl is CHUNKY at 27lb.)
A few conclusions I’ve made:
- Babies are capable of WAY more than we give them credit for.
- Babies do not have to be able to speak to wrap up elimination communication or toilet training. (if they can somehow tell you when they’re hungry or tired, you can wrap up EC or toilet training too)
- Transition times and using the right “back-up” (ie: underwear) are wonderful for the 12-18 month stage.
- It’s always important to start as you mean to go on - and to stick with your decisions and trust your baby!
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Which part of our story inspires you to be brave in going diaper-free with your little one?
I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!
PS - here’s the video version of this episode in case you prefer to YouTube it. ;)
This gives me hope. My 11mth old and I are on a reset right now and I’ve read your hybrid plan. I will be doing observation time after this. We were on Trainers before this reset and she was peeing in them all the time. So I might try Trainers again but if it doesn’t bother her when wet like diapers. I will try undies!
She’s able to tell me her wants now like for water or milk or food. So I feel like it wld be a matter of time that she will tell me she needs to go potty
Wow great to hear how Twyla is doing, she’s doing so well! My little girl is also 18 months and pottied since birth. She tries to pull down her own but still struggles and will put her self on potty when naked. She will also sign to go to potty for all poos and most wees but we have often have between 3-5 wet pants a day (occasionally less). She wears cloth trainers during the day (switched from nappies at 14 months once walking). I might try switching to regular underwear during the day at home after reading this though :)
It sounds like you are doing great Lucy! Switching to undies made such a big difference for Twyla, definitely give it a go. xx Andrea
Hi! You are definitely heading into a good age to start wrapping up. It’s very common to see a potty pause right now, things should come together well after your reset. xx Andrea
Andrea, thank you so much for sharing Twyla’s journey with us. So many good points that we can incorporate.
It’s my pleasure! I’m so happy to hear sharing our story is helpful for you. xx Andrea
My 19-month-old absolutely refuses to use the potty, although she did until about 15 months. She went five hours without a pi, while I had her commando, watching for one. If I put her in trainers, she goes in them. Maybe I’ll just go for undies and see what happens. We did get a new potty to see if it would help. She likes to sit on it and says potty when I’m changing her. Thoughts?
Hi Angie! You can try undies, see how it goes. It sounds to me like she is waiting for a “diaper” to go potty. She doesn’t quite understand pee/poop is for the potty. I’d recommend a potty training experience if things don’t improve in a few weeks. xx Andrea
I have the Tiny Potty book. I’ll probably start over again. :-)
This is awesome! But I’m so jealous. My almost 3yo cannot sleep without peeing. He pees before I discover he’s waking (because he isn’t really awake yet), and so we never get that morning pee. My almost 18mo is a bit better, but night dream pees are impossible because he will scream and demand to be nursed (which I do not want to do). I’m hoping one day they will both just start waking dry.
Hi Rebekah! Every kiddo is different. Limiting fluids before bed will help, sometimes changing how they are dressed will make a difference. If you have a partner, having them do dream pees at night may go over better. If there is a family history of bedwetting into school age it could be that it will take a while. Don’t worry though, it will happen eventually. xx Andrea
We went diaper free at 18mo with our little one and also found that she just peed in trainers but undies were the magic cure. She had one or two accidents and then basically stopped. She’s been dry during naps and diaper free all day for about a month now and only wets her diaper overnight about 2-3x a week. I keep delaying giving up overnight diapers because I don’t know that I went to be doing that much laundry just yet haha… Any advice? Tips?
That’s fantastic Karen! It sounds like things are going so well. Check out my post on dream pees, I think that is the way for you to go at night. Ditch the diapers, try naked bottom or commando. You can use something like a Pea Pod mat to protect the bed. xx Andrea
Our 21 month old only says 3 words (we’re having her speech evaluated), and she has been entirely daytime potty trained since ~18-19 months old! She does use the “potty” sign though. We have never ECed at night, and I feel bad for keeping her in a pull up, but she has never been dry at night and is a heavy wetter! I’m thinking of adding in some dream pees, but I’m super nervous and don’t want to deal with wet sheets every night, in addition to nursing my 7 week old at night. Any thoughts or tips?
Hi! It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job!! Dream pees are actually super easy when you’re already up with a newborn, congrats btw. Check out my post on dream pees to help you get going. You can use something like a Pea Pod mat to protect the bed. xx Andrea
Wonderful to learn from Twyla’s journey, Thank you for sharing and inspiring. My baby-boy is 13 month, just started to learn walking. That got us in more messy days, but Ec in transition times and dream pee worked well for him. I ditched day and night diapers just before his first birthday, decided to trust his instinct and put on usual cotton underwear. Accidents happen here and there, but by now he is able to have 2 h walk in park being dry. I feel it’s his and mine little success .
EC is not common in my community, so it’s great to read and be inspired further by your kids experience . Thank you Andrea.
Hi Maria! It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job with EC, way to go!! I’m glad that Twyla’s story helps you feel connected to the EC community. It is hard sometimes when no one you know practices EC, you feel alone. xx Andrea
Loved reading Twyla’s journey and certainly helpful to see the little flow chat timeline too. Our son wrapped up nighttime kinda before we realised it too. We moved into a new apartment at the beginning of lockdown and then just noticed that he hadn’t wet any nappies since quite a while before we moved. So it was a helpful marker. The U.K. lockdown has been great for pottying since we were always home! Little guy is 23 months and hasn’t worn nappies now since 20m. We think he’s been dry overnight since 18 or 19m, no dream wees even. He wears a mix of training pants and regular undies depending on what’s in the drawer and how the day’s gone. He’s got mixed success in the day. Some days we smash it and others we are a mess but I really see it as quite a lot to do with how we are tune with him; and him opting for a vote of control in his life. Even if that means he has a miss. He’s great at heading to the loo for a poo and for that I am super grateful! Even if he’s just done it in his pants, he’ll head to the bathroom and it can roll off and then maybe he’ll do more on the potty too. Plus, my 4yo is loving taking her little bro to the potty. Love it when they sort it all out on their own!!! Now we are teaming up to teach the 26m old girl who I nanny. Her parents have been avoiding potty training… but I’m persisting!! They’ll have to run out of excuses sooner or later :) Thanks for all the ‘Can Do’ attitude you promote- for both parents and the babes.
Thanks so much!! My little girl just turned 1 on the weekend and I had planned to ditch our cloth nappies when she did, but now it’s here it’s a bit nerve wracking. Great to see a roadmap for starting and where we are heading. but also hurdles that I can expect, but power through! I’m excited and feeling motivated 👍🏼
I love hearing this! My baby is 14 months. I also planned to take him out of daytime diapers at 12 months, but he wasn’t even pulling to stand yet. We started physical therapy (hypermobility and mild low muscle tone) and he’s doing much better. Still not walking though and it could be a few more months. We’ve been putting him in tiny trainers for the past two weeks. It’s hard to know what to do since he’s not walking (he says tons of words), but I think maybe we should keep on trying after reading about Twyla. We have a mini potty, and he also prefers the seat reducer in the big toilet.
Hi Alyssa! You absolutely can move forward with wrapping up even though he isn’t walking yet. You may see a slight regression when he masters walking, but it isn’t a guarantee. Just go for it! xx Andrea
Great story! I am a bit stuck, I started training also at 12 months, she gave me sooo much hope when she took her potty and peed there few times-even if she was sitting backward?? Like riding the potty. She is 15 months now, never used training pants, pees and poops a lot on the floor 🙈 and days past since she used the potty. Now I have her on panties, she sometimes sits on the potty but doesn’t do anything and I’m starting to despaire :(( I thought she was doing so well, seems she just doesn’t want to use it not, just plays with the potty…
Hi Florenta! If it feels like things aren’t coming together, you can do a potty training experience. Sometimes kids just need an extra boost to make the pee/poop in the potty connection. xx Andrea
Thabks Andrea for your reply! Yes, I have the book and I think naked time and talking lasted too much as as you say in the book, she just pees on the floor:( however, if I try to putnherbon the potty, she struggles and cry and I do it gently every time. She just wants it in her own terms, if she chooses it. Any thought? I am thinking to leave her in normal pants to just feel wet a short while, as everytime she peed in her pants I used to change her immediately. What is your thought on this? Do you advise differently? Sorry panicked mum here, also afraid not to constipate her etc…
It might actually be a good idea to do a reset if she is used to going on the floor. Two weeks of full time diapers, no potty unless she asks or it is an easy no fuss catch. After the two weeks are up either start from the beginning with EC (the hybrid plan is a great option), or potty training. The reset will help break the “floor is a toilet” belief that she has right now.
Do you have these EC “maps” for all your kids? It would be so cool to see them all together in a blog post!
Great idea Ashely! We will have to make some. Meanwhile take a look at our ultimate guide to EC back ups post, it has maps for what backups I used at what ages, day and night.
I thought I had seen something similar for the rest of your troupe in the past. I’ll check out that blog post again, thanks!
I am so happy you shared this when you did. We decided to try a dream pee with our 18 month old to see if we could get more nighttime dryness. We have been ECing since 12 months and she has been daytime diaper free 2 weeks after starting. She is now down to only 1 or 2 misses a week. We still use a diaper backup for naps and at night but noticed she was starting to soak through her night time diaper lately. Since trying a dream pee we have only had one night of success around midnight. I started at 10pm and then increased the time every night 1 hour because she kept coming up dry and wouldn’t pee. Around the 3rd night we caught a pee and then the next night she was dry at that time and wouldn’t go. I decided to try 1am the 5th night and she was dry and wouldn’t pee. The following night I tried at 2am and she was a little wet and wouldn’t go. Then next 2 nights I concluded that she is peeing around 2-3 times a night probably around 12am, 2am, and late in the morning 5am or 6am. It was good observation for a week but not sure where to go from here. Should I try at midnight again for a couple nights or should I try catching the second or third pee? I would really like to only wake once as it takes me a while to fall back asleep after offering and she is content sleeping through the night and a wet diaper never bothers her. I want to do a dream pee though to prevent soaking and encourage night dryness. I’m sure she would be more comfortable that way too. What would you recommend? I will also add that she is a seat reducer champ and will rarely go in the mini potty. She hasn’t refused sitting on the mini potty since we have tried dream pees and I feel like she would wake more if I had to take her to the bathroom. Thanks for what you do!
Hi Nikki, Yay for working on night EC!! If possible, I would do two dream pees. One at 12am, another around maybe 3am. If you have a partner, sharing the dream pee work will help everyone get the best sleep. You may also find by changing how she is dressed it will effect how often she goes. You can try naked bottom, commando, or training pants. xx Andrea
I have been ECing since birth (thanks to your book!). My boy is 14 months old now and I’d like to transition out of diapers. He definitely knows the potty, knows what I’m asking of him with the sign language hand signal, etc. We actually also do sign language and communicate that way very well (for fun and games, not just food and all done). But I can’t get HIM to sign potty, even though he’s signing everything else around the house for me!
When I potty him during transitions it’s great, I can keep him dry most of the time. But he will just go without any signals the rest of the time. Any suggestions?? I would like to transition to the trainers (already purchased!) or out of diapers completely. Any advised would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Lindsay! Once you ditch diapers you will likely see him start to signal more. Sometimes it takes a little nudge for them to get there. xx Andrea
In your first podcast on Twyla’s journey, you mentioned she peed a lot during meals. Did that behavior just go away on its own? After switching to the undies perhaps?
Hi Chelsea! Yes it went away in time – approx around walking. xx Andrea
Love heading her updates! We had similar experiences with our twins, turning 2 this month. We went to full time daytime undies (tiny trainers) at 18mos, with dry naps and most overnights. We were shocked how ready they were for this. One of our girls was similar to Twyla where she pees before we go somewhere and holds it for hours until back home. She’s gotten more comfortable going in public and now goes anywhere. I think full time tiny trainers helped lead to dry overnights. Love the support and community. Thank you
Congratulations on being diaper free!! I agree, ditching diapers full time really helps them progress quickly. xx Andrea
I feel like we are getting the hang of ECing more and more. So much more, that our 13-year-old and my mother have both tried and successfully pottied our 3-month-old. That was something I never expected either to do (our daughter thought it was weird, and my mom was against it at first). This week, I have decided to relax and try not to be so potty-centered. Some days I catch most of her pees, and some days, maybe it’s 50/50. The last 3 poops, before yesterday were misses. She doesn’t tell us, and can go 2-3 days without going (which is normal for our formula fed baby, she’s not constipated). I think we missed these because we were so potty-focused. We knew it was coming, so we would over-offer at ever smell, fart, and cry (cleaning a poopy cloth diaper is THE WORST, but keeping her in disposables for up to a day for her to poop was wasteful when it came to pee misses). But yesterday, I kept relaxed, knowing we were creeping over the 2 day mark of no poos. She woke up from a nap. I offered her the potty and caught her poo and pee! Success came when I became less focused, like you preach. Also, having the support from not only my husband, but daughter and mom as well, is a godsend. Speaking of God, she also remained dry all throughout her time in the nursery at Church yesterday, finally peeing in her tophat when we got to the car. after service.
Hi Crystal! I am so glad that you have taken a step back and relaxed around the potty. It really does make such a difference. It’s great that the whole family is getting involved, I love to hear that. xx Andrea