Rockin’ your infant and toddler diaper free is no easy task. But the pay off is huge: lessen your ecological impact, deepen your connection with baby, less $ at the grocery store buying diapers, and saving on water for cloth diapers. This mini-tutorial is not really a 100–its more a 300 class. But I wanted to share some images and thoughts on how to do it. These steps are also applicable at home. Staying at home with your kids and doing it ‘diaper-free’ is one thing, cruising in the big city is quite another. Like brewing perfect coffee in a press pot there are some specific procedures which can lead to success. Here are 6 steps to a diaper free day in the city.
*all the images are clickable for larger viewing
As with all things, attention is important. But don’t panic! Once your attention is tuned in, the world around you will become much easier. Your child has a rhythm, and you will naturally follow it. Intuition plays an enormous role in the early stages of this practice. And so does feeling. If she is close to your body, and you feel her tighten her abdominal muscles, or hear her grunt a bit, this might be her cue to you that she is ready to go pee. In some ways being out-and-about in the city or on vacation can be easier–the last thing you want is urine on your Diesel Jeans. Unless you do, which is a discussion for another blog…
You may find yourself disappointed if you miss a pee, try not to sweat it too much. Remember all of the times you and your baby were right on, and you ‘caught’ the pee’s.
Find a nice, peaceful spot to have your son/daughter pee. If you can’t: just do it wherever you are. You are bound to get starred at, but would it really be the first time? Without further ado, quickly take off the child’s pants. Once she has become accustomed to having her pants removed before she pee’s, it is unlikely you will miss the big event.
Gently cup your hands underneath his thighs and rest his head into your chest. Its is also helpful if your gaze is on the action–especially if he is sitting on an infant potty, this way he will not be in the squatting position unnecessarily.
Step # 3 (alternate):
If you are so inclined, you could travel with a little infant potty. These certainly come in handy if the child has not had a bm for a couple of days. They are a little much to have in the bag, but I always am glad when I bring mine…
Here we see brother giving Creepy Baby a ‘pee cue’. What a helpful brother… All of this instruction can be utilised not only by family, but also friends. All of our friends got in the mix with our daughter when she was a baby. My wife or I would hand her over and tell who ever had her that she pee’d 15 minutes ago, and to be looking for cues withing the next 1/2 hour or so. Your buddy will be stoked to be apart of this rad parlor trick.
I like to do a couple of different things at this stage. I begin by making a relaxing sound with my own breath, this lets him know its time to let go. I also will make a “tssssss” sound. While I am holding or supporting him I will also relax my hold around him, as a physical cue that it is time for him to relax his muscles.
Can’t take it with you…uhhh… I guess you could if you wanted to fix your garden with nitrogen. I don’t. But who am I to judge?
I think it is great to say positive things to the child and to the helpers. I am wary of getting too excited because it could set a negative dynamic for the child if she does not go in the potty or goes in her pants. I find myself simply saying ‘what-is’, which allows the child the freedom to draw their own emotional connections to the event.
Of course, the need might not always arise while on the sidewalk–and hopefully it doesn’t–so I always give an insurance squat before I leave a cafe or restaurant.
There are several books out there. You could always read one of them.
Or you could email me directly:
Thank you to Wendy Finkleman for the photos in this piece.