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. ;)