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Hmph! Guess we're not using diapers anymore. - Advice needed!!

post #1 of 123
Thread Starter 
Good grief, I was a little unprepared for this adventure in parenting.

Changing DS' diaper has become more and more challenging. It has progressed from "Hmph, this is not very fun" types of crying to "You are violating my personal integrity!" type of crying.

So, I have been working on this. I tried the talking diaper trick... that worked twice. I have tried not to make a big issue of changing the diaper if he doesn't want to, unless it's been pooped in.

This morning, DS pooped... you could smell it a mile away. So I sing and dance and use my very limited repertoire of playful parenting tactics to see if he will let the bug diaper hug him. : This is not something that comes naturally to me, so maybe I don't do a good job. Either way, it didn't work.

After about half an hour, I finally tell DS that he doesn't have to have a new diaper, but he has pooped and I can't just leave him in his poop so we'll have to take that diaper off...

Cue the "NO!" from ds.

So, I actually had to drag him kicking and screaming onto the changing table, and he curled his whole body up and got REALLY pissed off!!! Not just annoyed or upset, but REALLY was unhappy with me and cried for a while afterwards.

So, I'd much rather clean up poop and pee from the floor than do that to him! I don't know if this is a normal 2 year old thing (he's 25 months old) or my little guy is just very adamant about his personal space.

I guess I need advice. If I just put the diapers away for a while, will it make him feel like I'm forcing THAT on him (lack of diapers)? I worry a bit that suddenly not using diapers might make him feel insecure or upset because of being a change in routine, KWIM?

And, if we aren't using diapers, I have NO IDEA what to do with him when we leave the house. And since we co-sleep... well, he usually doesn't go at night, but god help me if he does!!

I mainly want GD advice, not potty learning advice. Any ideas on how I can approach this so that elimination is somehow being dealt with, but in a way that he is going to be OK with, or at least semi OK with?

TIA for any advice, and if you have been there and done that please at least chime in to tell me it will end!!
post #2 of 123
if you are okay with cleaning the floor rather than changing the diapers then i think you are pretty much set, mentally. as for nights why not water proof the bed. in case he goes, you just have to wash the sheets. that is what we did (we ec'd from 4 months).

i dont have experience with PL but from all indications he is ready to ditch the diapers. you may find good support on the ec board here at MDC as well, there are many who started "late" or could otherwise give you better support. basically, going in the diaper is as unpleasant for a baby as it would be for an adult so usually you dont need to worry thatyou are 'depriving' a child of diapers esp when they themselves are expressing frustration / discontentment with the process. anyway he has the choice and could ask for them if he wanted, no?

do you have a potty or a few around the house? toilet seat inserts? i think ec and pl have a great deal in common, it is just a matter of when you start ... you will still have to clean up some messes and you will have to talk a lot about what is going on. and you probably start with wake-up pees / poops since nearly all babies go right upon waking.
post #3 of 123
How about talking to your son and agreeing on a certain number of times a day that you will change his diaper? You could have a big sheet where you mark it off so he can see how many diaper changes he's had and how many he still has to go. Or setting a timer and only changing his diaper when the timer goes off? Have you asked him where he wants to go to have his diaper changed? How about letting him watch a video/listen to a cd during the diaper change? How about taking him outside to change his diaper (the novelty approach)? How about just changing his diaper while he does whatever it is he's doing (harder for you, of course, but maybe not so hateful for him)? How about telling him that if he goes in the potty you won't have to change his diaper?

Personally, unless you think he's ready to use the toilet, I don't think ditching diapers is the way to go. I don't think it's ok to teach a young child that they can pee or poop wherever they want just to avoid the discomfort of having to have a diaper changed.

Namaste!
post #4 of 123
About the ECing...

We started that (late) around 15 months b/c DS (same age as OP's) was very interested in toileting. He was doing great for 2-3 months, and then suddenly, for reasons I will probably never get to know, he was terrified of peeing in the toilet and wanted diapers on all the time. So we are currently having issues with hating the diapering process and rejecting the toilet - vehemently.

So, just so the early ECers know, when toddlers get used to dipes, there are other issues that can arise that wouldn't if a child used a toilet from infancy. It's not really so black and white.

All that said, I will EC any future children. I had no idea how traumatizing diapering could be. What a horrible dynamic it creates with free-spirited tots! I do believe diapering was thought up by someone from a seriously controlling parenting paradigm...
post #5 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristiMetz
I guess I need advice. If I just put the diapers away for a while, will it make him feel like I'm forcing THAT on him (lack of diapers)? I worry a bit that suddenly not using diapers might make him feel insecure or upset because of being a change in routine, KWIM?

And, if we aren't using diapers, I have NO IDEA what to do with him when we leave the house. And since we co-sleep... well, he usually doesn't go at night, but god help me if he does!!
I will tell you how we deal with diapers in my household, and then you can of course choose to follow this advice or not. I feel that we do practice GD, in that we never threaten, bribe, or punish our almost-two year old daughter. We all treat each other respectfully in our family, and we try not to create arbitrary rules.

That said, there are a few non-negotiables in our household, and, until she is able to use the potty, wearing a diaper is one of them. We are just very matter-of-fact and low-key about it. It sounds like this has become quite a little struggle in your household, and I would do what you can to take the "juice" out of it.

We give our daughter the choice of where she would like her diaper changed (laying down, standing up, holding onto mama, etc.) but the changing (and wearing) part is just not optional. We have our little games and songs and fun things we do during the diaper changes which usually help, but this is not a negotiation situation in our household - it's right up there with street safety, being in your carseat and wearing appropriate outerwear when we go out in the winter.

Yes, occasionally, she cries or resists. I can change her diaper in less than a minute though, and a minute of crying while I'm right with her and talking to her seems better then spending a 1/2 hour fussing and struggling over it.

I hope some of this is helpful. I know there are many parenting strategies and philosophies and I know you will find your way in a way that feels right for you and your child.
post #6 of 123
Quote:
and then suddenly, for reasons I will probably never get to know, he was terrified of peeing in the toilet and wanted diapers on all the time.
so sorry to learn you had (are still having?) such a hard time. what you describe at 15 months sounds very much like the 'potty pause' that even early-start ec'ers go through. of course, i dont know all that was going on at the time and it could be any number of things.... thanks for pointing out that ec is not black and white.

since the OP's son is over 2 yrs old, i thought that he was well past the age of potty pause. and even those who start ec early will go through ups and downs till around 20-24 months, maybe more, when suddenly they realise months have gone by without a diaper. so it is a question of slow-motion learning-to-use-the-toilet-consistently that takes about 2 years via ec, or 2 weeks in standard potty training, or maybe only 2 days if you wait long enough. whatever it is, there will be some cleaning up to do, but provided you communicate and can perceive when children are keen to learn, and above all, dont get frustrated by "misses" then chances are things will go all right. good luck.
post #7 of 123
Sounds to me like he is seriously ready to be using the toilet, or is at least done with diapers.

I find it interesting that more and more ppl do not potty train their little ones.

In every tribal area, babies are taught early not to go near where the food is prepared. It's just not sanitary. But then again, they don't use diapers, or if they do, like in MN winters, they are only used until the baby is able to crawl.

I would suggest visiting the EC forums and preparing for him to learn to use the toilet.

My dc have really liked the step stool and the small seat that fits inside the bigger one.
With my ds, I found it was easier to let him sit on the toilet backwards. Of course, there was the frequent poo smear on the seat, but that's easy enuf to wipe off than struggling with diaper changing.
post #8 of 123
Do you think he is capable of handling diapering himself with pullups? Show him how to use them, help him put the first pair on and just let it go for a day or so (making it clear that you are there to help any time he wants you to) and see what happens. I am guessing he might try to live in a very wet and poopy dipe for a day or two, but will either change himself, try using the potty, or ask for help. Or even putting the dipes/pull-ups in a spot where he can get to them and just tell him that when he wants a change to bring a dipe to you. It sounds like a control issue and maybe giving him more/all of the control will help him work it out.
post #9 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopervegan
I am guessing he might try to live in a very wet and poopy dipe for a day or two, but will either change himself, try using the potty, or ask for help.
That could be dangerous, as he might get an infection. He won't be at risk of infection if he goes without. In fact, he might be more inclined to use the potty or stop fighting diaper changes if he actually is able to see himself poop or pee.
post #10 of 123
Also, FYI, my dd shocked us by self potty learning at 2.5 without showing any signs and with no pushing from us. We had a stool and a little seat on the big potty in the bathroom since she was 18 months because we had a frequently visiting potty-using friend over. On Christmas day dd asked for underwear. I ran to the store and bought her some. She from that moment on has been 100% potty savvy overnight and all. There were no signs at all. so maybe even providing a small potty would be a good idea in case he decides to use it. But I would not push it at all.
post #11 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
That could be dangerous, as he might get an infection. He won't be at risk of infection if he goes without. In fact, he might be more inclined to use the potty or stop fighting diaper changes if he actually is able to see himself poop or pee.
I do not think there is a risk of death by infection from one or two days of less frequent diaper changes. Especially if frequent baths are offered. OTOH, there is also risk of bacteria spreading with defication happening on less-than-optimal surfaces. Actually having a toddler in the house at all is risky business. Anyway, just throwing out ideas in case the OP is not really excited about doing a daily search and destroy poop expedition in her house
post #12 of 123

excellent GD opportunity when you ditch the diapers!!!

I feel for you going through this! And honestly, I think you're onto something with removing the diaper as long as that's done:

* with gentle, continuous explanations and reassurances (so that he doesn't "feel like [you're] forcing THAT on him")
* with close observation of his body signals and gradually, gently teaching/helping your ds reconnect/relearn his body signals so that he can understand the pee/poop process and get it into the toilet instead of the diaper (just like you provide labelling and language for emotions to help your babies avoid frustration & deal with feelings & communicate - this is just what toileting in a GD way can look like)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KristiMetz
After about half an hour, I finally tell DS that he doesn't have to have a new diaper, but he has pooped and I can't just leave him in his poop so we'll have to take that diaper off...
Good for you!!! You wouldn't leave poop on your toddler's hands because he didn't want to wash them, so why would you leave it anywhere else on his body either?? Very respectfully, I strongly disagree with a pp's idea of "only changing diapers a certain number of times each day" -- this only teaches our kids that sitting in their own waste for an extended period of time is OK, and they become even further detached from their body signals than they ALREADY are after having learned to go in the diaper for the last 2+ yrs (since we are not in a society w/ an ECing majority).

Plus, I would NEVER personally want to sit in my own pee/poop "until the timer dings" - even if I thought I wanted that, I would hope someone would NOT allow it!!! So Kristi, I agree with you 100% when you say "So, I'd much rather clean up poop and pee from the floor than do that to him!" Same here. Plus, your ds IS able to go through gentle potty learning - don't be put off by the "he's not ready yet" thing that has been perpetuated by ill-informed pediatricians and very wealthy diaper manufacturers. Gentle Discipline means "to teach gently" -- doing this w/ potty learning is helping your son learn about his body gradually so that he can take over more control of it/his functions as he is ready.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KristiMetz
I mainly want GD advice, not potty learning advice.
Like any GD situation, talk about what's happening (simple, running commentary w/ ds) and so both you & ds know what to expect. Talk about how you don't want to fight about diapers anymore. Put yourself in the mindset that this is a gradual learning process and look at it as something more like learning to walk or eat solids - and help him as you would in those endeavors, providing him opportunities to be independent and understanding that there will be accidents along the way. Make it very "no big deal" and "everyday" like eating. Talk to him about how his pee/poop come out, what "having to go" might feel like (tingling, pressure in his bottom). Help him learn to recognize his own body signals (for example, does he generally hide in a corner while pooping? label this for him the next time it happens! does he dance around when he's got to pee? same deal).

Quote:
Originally Posted by KristiMetz
And, if we aren't using diapers, I have NO IDEA what to do with him when we leave the house. And since we co-sleep... well, he usually doesn't go at night, but god help me if he does!!
For me, the anticipation of leaving the house without diapers was much worse than ACTUALLY taking the plunge! It's as basic as throw ing in 2 extra pairs of pants, socks, and undies, and a plastic bag (for any wets) when you go out. Consider putting a little potty in your car if you want to be able to respond ASAP to any desire of his to try the potty. As for nighttimes, a good couple of mattress pads have saved us many a time, plus, that first nightwaking (if you have one) that's like 4-5 hrs after they go to sleep? It's usually because they have to pee, so you can even offer the potty at night. I used to nurse through it because I had no idea, but DH had the bright idea of offering the potty, and whoa - he was right on!

A pp said she didn't think it was right to let your kids pee/poop anywhere - well of course not!!! But that's different than removing diapers to eliminate a power struggle over something as ridiculous as a diaper WHILE using a gradual, GD approach to helping your child reconnect with their own body signals/learn how to anticipate when they go so that they can gain control over it.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of babies on this earth go through gradual, gentle, non-coercive potty learning starting from birth or early on in the first year (pp rumi mentioned EC), and this approach is not damaging. So, as long as you are gentle and focus on the gentle "to teach" part of helping your ds re-learn his pee/poop body signals (don't focus on the "trained" part - focus on the skills that will allow him to understand his body), I'd say that your time is being FAR better spent than figuring out a way to keep your DS in diapers longer!

Best of luck - let us know how it goes if you get a chance...
post #13 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by miziki
Very respectfully, I strongly disagree with a pp's idea of "only changing diapers a certain number of times each day" -- this only teaches our kids that sitting in their own waste for an extended period of time is OK
Well, I certainly wasn't advocating letting him sit in poop. I figured that if the OP could negotiate four or five diaper changes a day, she could reserve the majority of these for poopy diapers and, especially if he's in disposables, sitting in a wet diaper for four hours or so wouldn't be a major catastrophe.

For what it's worth, in this situation I would just tell my kids, "Wet and poopy diapers have to be changed, even if you don't want to," and go ahead and change it. I certainly don't think kids should be left to sit in yucky diapers.

But the OP indicated that she wasn't comfortable forcefully changing her kid's diaper, so I was throwing out some suggestions. Apparently I suck at this GD thing, because my suggestions are usually criticised as too controlling, yet when I try to come up with creative alternatives, those are crummy too!

Namaste!
post #14 of 123
have you considered cjanging him on the floor where he's at instead of the changing table??? maybe the changing table is the majority of the problem...
post #15 of 123
I don't mean to be Debbie Downer, but my 24 mo toddler has been protesting diaper changes since about 14 months and has not yet shown signs that she is ready to potty-learn. (She has a potty, we talk about it, she sits on it sometimes, she has books about it, we've explained it--she just isn't ready.) When she started being very anti-change, people here also told she must be ready to potty-learn. Well....I wish it was so, but it isn't. She's just very opinionated about her personal space. (She also hates nail trimming, face washing, hair combing...we do our best on all of these, but it's been hard.)

I don't think I can advise on the original question, because we have chosen to keep her in dipes even though she protests changes.
post #16 of 123
My ds went through a stage like that where he did NOT want his diaper changed. For him I figured out that it was laying on his back that he didn't like. I started changing him standing up (dificult but doable) we would often stand in front of a mirror leaning against the wall where I could make faces at him as I changed him or in front of a toy he could reach easily while standing. It was harder to clean a poop so if he was realy messy I would put him in the tub to clean off.

I don't know if you've tryed standing diaper changes but it made a big diferance for us.
post #17 of 123
Potty learning is a long process. My daughter started using the potty at 18 months, night trained, too. She is 2.5 now, and had a relapse at Christmas, with all the busy busy busy. I will tell you our story. Cloth diapers for wetness awareness early on. Whole grains to promote regularity in bowel movements early on. Lots of naked time for body awareness (easier with regular bowels, ha). Baby pee is not dirty to a healthy adult caregiver- unless the child attends a large or unsanitary daycare. Your own urine is sterile to you, and if you are in constant contact with your child, his/her microbes have no threat to you. She went to the bathroom with me damn near every single time I went, from birth, with me talking about everything from the start. A potty out as soon as she could crawl. Always wash hands and sing ABC's, which is the appropriate amount of friction time for an adult to remove germs, and so a good teaching tool about how long to wash. As she showed an interest, introduced training pants, with plastic pants for outings. Kids know the difference early between diapers and trainers that to them seem like mama's and papa's underwear, they are more likely to soil diapers. Some don't like trainers, and need to go to 'real underwear' right away. It seems too fast, but the trainers don't absorb all the pee anyway. Pay attention to their signals at home to use the potty. Put them on the potty every time you go, ask them to check for secret pee pee. This conditioning is a useful tool later in the process for before outings an bed. Put a potty in your car. Start going on outings where it doesn't matter too much if there's an accident. Encourage the child to use the bathroom out in public- especially at places you know to be clean like the health food store. Eat healthy! The kid will touch the toilet! We are still in this phase, the Christmas diaper regression was short lived. I will soon be famous for singing the ABCs in bathrooms all over my town.
post #18 of 123
Emma strongly resisted diaper changes at 21 months, we thought she was ready to be potty trained, and so did she, she was flawess for 2 months, days nd nights! Then she started to regress at night, then more and more in the days, until recenty it was so bad that she just peed anywhere and everywhere but the potty, even hiding in corners. So at 28 months, we put her in pull ups as of yesterday, and we are ALL relieved, we're hoping by just backing right off she'll decide for herself when she is ready. So, not trying to give potty training advice just sharing that stopping the diapers outright worked for us for awhile, but not permanently. In retrospect, I wish we would've let her go back into her diapers months ago, instead of thinking the regression was a short lived phase that we should wait out. I think talking to him and asking him on a daily basis whether he'd like to wear a diaper or underwear or nothing might be good, and be clear that if he opts for a diaper or underwear that changing is part of that decision.
post #19 of 123
My DS is only 15 months, but the diaper struggle began early for us. Pretty much as soon as he could crawl, he would not tolerate lying down for a diaper change - he would twist, turn, roll, and scream, not because he cared one way or the other about the diaper issue, but because he just wanted to keep moving. So there might very well be a personal space/autonomy issue going on that has little or nothing to do with diapers per se, but diapers have now become such an issue for you that you both are having trouble separating the two.

Previous posters have already suggested standing diaper changes and/or changes that do not require your child to stop what he is doing. In addition to starting EC with DS when he was about 11 months, that has been our basic strategy for wet diapers (not poopy ones, though - too hard to get him clean standing up and too much risk of getting poop on the carpet). Sometimes I feel ridiculous following him around the living room on my knees trying to get something on him (we use cloth diapers and training pants as EC back-up at home), but it feels so much better than trying to pin down a screaming baby on the one designated "changing table." Training pants have been much easier to put on him than diapers, so we do that a lot, even though they are not as absorbent and we sometimes get a little puddle on the floor if I don't notice that he has to pee and get him to the potty in time.

As for poopy pants, does your son like baths or showers? When DS poops in his diaper or training pants, we tell him it's time to go get cleaned up because he has poop in his pants, and we ask him what bath toy he would like to take with him. He's still too young to really respond, so we grab a toy for him and head to the bathroom - he usually follows, but if not, we hand him the toy and then pick him up and carry him to the bathroom. We are basically trying to create a positive routine around dealing with poop in the pants - it means it's time for a little bath/shower. We put him in the tub standing up, remove all of his clothes and the diaper, and clean him with toilet paper or wipes as well as we can. If we're in a hurry or he doesn't need a full bath, we just use the shower head and a sudsy washcloth to get his diaper area clean. If he could use a bath anyway, we spray the poop off with the shower head and then run a bath for him so he can sit and soak and play for a while. Because he likes baths and showers, he seems not to view this routine as a total disruption of his play, but instead more like a change from one fun activity to another (mostly) fun activity. And if you're currently spending 30 minutes or more per diaper change, this routine would probably actually save you a lot of time.
post #20 of 123
we used a puppet to change my son's diaper.

for some unknown reason, my son would do with that damn puppet said, but not mommy or daddy.

we got a few puppets from the bookstore (i am a sucker for those folkmanis puppets) and when it was time to change my son the puppet would ask him and then the puppet would "change" him.

he was fine with this, anything else made him insane and he would scream and fight like he was being killed. one reason we are gonna try EC this time around.

HTH!
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