Becoming nappy free is a slow, evolving process ofteamwork with baby and one’s own confidence – stretching the barriers of the comfort zone until they become wider! Then staying there for a while – cruising in the zone – until the confidence to expand comes again! (It always does) So what if we plateau for a while – it is all fun. Then you look back and go “Wow, look how far we have come!” (Which is what I do now with my toddler who has been nappy free for months – yet started in them full time!)
Nakey-butt time was really important to learn Maven’s signs and to be able to respond quickly to them in order to reinforce them. At first the time between sign and pee is short, so having no pants to remove was helpful! And later, it is just easier.
I slowly developed ways of incorporating nappy free time into our lives that I was comfortable with, as I didn’t want to be changing my clothes all day as I learnt his signs. By practicing regularly, my confidence built and I got better at our communication, and we had more success at responding to his needs.
In the first four weeks he was always in a cloth nappy, we just removed it for pee-ops and changes. We’d have a bit of time by the window naked on a mat. Mostly he’d just pee as his nappy was off, and he liked it.
When he was about a month old I found nappy free observation time outside was good – when I thought I’d seen a sign – just aim and cue, no removing nappy, darting to another room or aiming into a bowl. I started with twenty minutes the first time, and felt my brain straining at the concentration! The next day was an hour. It really helped a lot. Within a couple of days I had him nakey-butt for the whole afternoon.
We used cloth nappies so that we knew as soon as Maven peed and could cue him, and then change him straight away so that he didn’t get used to being wet or having his business on his skin.
By the time he was three and a half months I began using Onewet pants, his ‘undies’. Onewet pants are polar fleece training pants with an absorbent section that will hold one ‘miss’, are water-resistant, but not waterproof. They are changed as soon as a miss is discovered, and of course stop puddles! We always use them for outings, and I bring two spares in case, which has always been enough. They can be custom-made in Australia by Marnie. She can be contacted at Noonee Wilga online at: www.nooneewilga.com
There are a variety of types of specialist EC Clothing options now available to make it easier to practice EC. They are almost all made by WAHP, and the EC Underwear are far superior to any commercial varieties – which often have a bit of foam and perhaps some crinkly plastic in the crotch area. These simply don’t hold misses – a puddle forms. EC underwear stops puddles, yet are promptly changed. I have put together an EC Clothing Options Directory to help you see and explore your options from here at Tribal Baby.
When nakeybutt, he’d have a singlet and top on, and long socks up over his thighs for warmth. Socks are easy to change. We used larger size socks. This is in a warm place obviously.
By clipping the one piece suits around his waist we could use them as well, as otherwise they take too long to get on and off, and I’d ALWAYS have a miss one minute after I put him in one, like a Murphy’s Law of EC.
Having normal pants with ribbed ankles helps avoid the pee-stream when they are pulled down. I cut out the seam in several pairs of pants to make them ‘crotchless’ for easy peeing. Good in winter.
When Maven was over one and doing really well with his skills and signalling, I made some split crotch pants, and bought some from the EC Store, and started using them often.
This was perfect timing as we had moved to Canberra and it was getting really cold! They work really well; it is so easy to give a pee break without removing his pants, and he could sit on the potty, or squat down, and pee without getting his pants all wet.
As can be seen in the picture, you can’t see anything of his bot bot – and they are full split crotch pants!
I adapted a normal pants pattern – seamed the inner part, slightly crossed the waist part and joined and put in elastic as usual. They took about an hour to make as I had to use a sewing machine.
A lot of the time in winter he wears regular pants – by this stage he would signal well in the pants, and actually cry if he wet himself, as it felt yucky – then we’d change instantly and he’d finish the wee in the toilet place.
Going out with a completely nakey butt baby? Around seven months I have gone for walks around the block a few times with Maven in a sling with success. Once we went to the supermarket – but he was breastfeeding in his sling the entire time – which is my ‘no pee’ solution for him! We do short trips into shops at seven months nappy-free in his pants. Basically, I always have his undies on when we go out – too chicken to risk it! Plus, he is still nappy free as he goes to the toilet like everyone else. Discover More about My Elimination Communication eBook…
At eight months I started wearing him nakey-butt in slings when out – I realised if I could do this successfully at home, why not when out? Once he comes out of the carrier, his undies go on, for peace of mind in case of a miss, and for his discretion.
Elimination Communication: Transitioning to knickers This stage really began when he was over 12 months of age…