The Potty to Panties Project: Toilet Learning here we come

there are tutorials of cute ways to do this but...

We’ve had some big developments around here on a number of fronts. One of them snuck up on us and took us by surprise last week: Nava’s readiness to shed diapers. 

There’s a page on Navagating (yes, just look up a little…oh wait…not if you use  reader…) called Potty Principles. It’s woefully out of date (I’ll fix that soon, promise). On it I explain how Nava has been doing most of her #2 on a little potty since about 10 months. For a year now she’s been in diapers but also using the potty to pee, to the point that we only change her on waking, after a nap, and at bedtime. For months, she has been dry overnight. And on a mommy and daughter only weekend jaunt to Bangkok in May she stayed dry for 24 hours – all it took was going to the potty every time her heavily pregnant mommy did (during an extremely busy schedule featuring taxi rides and appointments all over town).

Based on all of this the little mommy voice in my head kept clearing its throat and sweetly whispering “Potty Training! She’s Ready!”. The practical voice in my head (also known as the lazy voice) however kept shouting back “New sibling, not the right time, too much work, not the right time, kids with Down syndrome train later, not the right time, she can’t do her pants herself, not the right time.” But I kept coming back to her obvious signs of readiness and thinking that the longer I ignored them the more I was verging into the territory of not just “not training” but actually teaching her she was expected to use her pull up for her pee. And that was a point my lazy voice couldn’t shout down. So I compromised. A friend recently gave us her huge diaper stash so I thought, lets move Nava into cloth diapers so she starts getting used to feeling wet if she goes (something I feared the pull-ups she’s used to could be confusing). I told her cousins to really try to work on using the words wet and dry with her so she’d have a clear understanding of the vocabulary of what was coming next.

And then I got out the panties I’d bought a year ago. And the training pants I bought 6 months ago. And the training pants I bought last month along with the Piddle Pad for the carseat I bought at the same time (I’d been ignoring that voice a looooooong time). And I said, well, we might as well put her in panties when she’s just hanging at home.

And then I got very, very surprised. With regular potty trips initiated by us, the new Nava in Panties stayed dry. Stayed dry all morning, stayed dry when down at the corner store, stayed dry on bike rides (she actually told them she needed to go during the ride). NIP even stayed dry through naptime. It was at this point I was thankful for:
a)    the vagueness of Lao language. I didn’t ask anyone to be so gung ho on the panties but maybe that’s what it seemed I was asking for?
b)   The fact we live in a hot climate that easily allows for a toddler go around in panties only
c)    Our house, mostly furnished via going away sales, and sporting easy-to-clean tile floors.

So now, about 10 days after I mentioned we should ‘try’, panties are the default daytime wear. Today I snipped off the ends of all her onesies (so now they’re T-shirts with funny hems) and put away her rompers. I have extra panties in the car as well as a change of clothes. And we’re going with it. Today, with some constipation in the mix, it didn’t go so well (we came home with two sets of wet bottoms and a scantily clad child) but the successes have the accidents vastly outnumbered. I’ll take it.


  1. Does ripping off diapers and running away from Mama count as readiness? :-/

    Good job, Nava!

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