should we switch to pull-ups? underpants? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Our 20m old DD uses the toilet really consistently whenever she is diaper-free, but when she is in a diaper, she just uses them - she might tell us if she is pooping, but she doesn't tell us if she needs to pee.  Since she's been so consistent with using the potty when diaper-free, I feel that it might be time to switch to training pants or underwear that she can pull down herself, but I have been hesitant to do anything yet because I don't want to introduce any confusion.  We have cloth trainers that she should be able to pull up or down herself.  We don't have any undies yet, but I could go purchase some if I thought she might use them soon, but I don't want to jump the gun (especially since she is in a constant bigtime growth-spurt!).  

 

One issue is that she is with my MIL all day during working hours, who won't let her go diaper-free, so if she is ever to use the potty successfully over there, we need some kind of solution that involves wearing something.  MIL also will likely not buy into anything that requires more work than changing her diapers, as she does now, so if there are a lot of accidents in the trainers or in undies, that could be an issue.  On the other hand, because DD just goes in her diaper when she has one on, I'm not sure if she will behave any differently in a training pant or undies - they may just feel like another kind of diapers for her.  I can certainly show her how to pull them down and explain how she can pull them off to use the potty, and maybe this will work, but I have been nervous about trying that because I'd like to keep things simple and consistent, and I don't want to rush her.  

 

I feel like DD is ready to use the potty more often, but I think her current diaper/clothes situation is getting in the way, and I'm not sure how to proceed (and also don't want to rush her at all).  

 

I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas or advice about whether trying the pull-ups would be a mistake that might confuse her, or whether it would make sense to try undies, or whether the two (since we have cloth pull-ups) are likely to work about the same - or is there another option?  Any advice, or relevant experience welcome!  Thanks for reading my post!


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Old 09-27-2012, 04:47 PM
 
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Our DS started using the potty about your daughter's age, and I remember that it felt like a big jump for me to go from being diaper free around the house to using the potty all the time - like when we'd leave the house. He did really well with it though, and I think it was easiest for all of us to make that transition, once he was ready, rather than drawing it out.

 

I read in multiple places on the internet that it is too confusing for toddlers to use training pants or pull ups, and it's best to go right to big boy/girl underwear, so that's what we did, and I think that is was a good decision for DS.

 

I wanted to include him in the process, so we all went out to the store and made a big deal about buying "big boy underwear." We let DS pick them out, and we talked about how great they were. We showed them to grandparents and friends and they all told him how great they were.

 

We also went to the library and picked up a stack of books about using the potty. We had lots of other books, but for awhile there DS only wanted to read the potty books.

 

I never wanted to clean a plastic potty, so DS goes directly into the real toilet. He uses a step so that he can climb up by himself.

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:28 AM
 
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I'd say underwear as well- my DS is pretty much an EC grad, but he will still take advantage of the little bit of absorbency in trainers to delay the inevitable trip to the potty. He never wets his undies at all. I'm sure your MIL doesn't want to be changing diapers forever- surely she knows some accidents will happen in the transition?


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Old 10-02-2012, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, HappyWoman and flyrabbitfly, for your feedback.  I haven't tried either underpants or pull ups yet because I've just been uncertain about how to do it, but I think it is probably time.  DD has started trying to pull off her pants/diaper and signaling to me when she needs to go even when she is dressed (although not 100%), so I think she might do ok moving to underpants very soon. I'm not sure how that is going to go over with MIL - I think I can try it at our house first, and then once she seems to be pretty good there, I can try to convince MIL to go there, too - I'm just worried about her being in diapers at MIL and underpants at home and that being confusing.  

 

HappyWoman, thanks for mentioning the potty books - we don't really have any (we have one book about the body more generally that has one page on pottying), but I had been thinking about getting some.  She definitely really likes putting her stuffed animals on the potty and pretending that they are using it. :)

 

A few other practical questions, if anyone has some tips:

 

How did you guys find underpants that fit?  Our DD is very tall for her age, but skinny - she is in 2T at least for length, but can still fit into 6/9m stuff for width - any tips on underpants that are likely to be cut skinny enough for her?  

 

We don't have a car, so when we go out we don't really have a place to keep a travel potty, unless we have the stroller (which I tend only to take out for longer trips).  What do you guys do when you are out the LO needs to go (and there isn't a public restroom right there - here in NYC public restrooms are pretty rare).  Is there a travel potty that could fit in a backpack, for example?  And how long does it seem to take kids before they can wait at least 10 minutes to get to a toilet, so that you don't need to bring your own potty everywhere?

 

Any other general tips for the transition before we take the leap? :)


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Old 10-02-2012, 03:08 PM
 
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Since you asked, here is what I would do:

 

1. Check out a big stack of potty books from the library. (Request from home computer in advance if you can.) They have A LOT. Many are gender specific, so you can request ones that are written for girls.

 

2. Take DD to the store and purchase a small pack (like 3 in a pack) of the smallest size undies you can find. (Make it exciting and talk it up. You can always purchase different undies on Amazon when you need more or a smaller type.) This will get you started and will give her the experience of being involved. Some of our potty books talk about going to the store to buy "big girl underwear." You might want to wait until after you've been reading your potty books together a little while.

 

3. Once you feel she is ready, dress her in undies and easy-off clothes (skirts, dresses, simple leggings or pants that come off easily.)

 

4. Continue to use diapers for naps and at bedtime. (Until she is ready for this step.)

 

 

Our DS is thin too. He was 22 pounds at 2 years old, (not even on the growth chart for weight - we're not worried, both DH and I are thin, and were small when we were little.) It was a little tricky finding him undies that fit. We tried a few types and a few brands. (Best type for him: Hanes Boxer Briefs size 2T/3T, fit better than any regular Briefs size 2T/3T.)

 

It's very likely that the undies will be a little big, but will still work. You'll probably get a few years out of them. I wouldn't wait to purchase them for fear that they won't fit; they will work for awhile.

 

You could start when you all have a weekend together.

 

DH and I share a car, which means that I don't drive very often. We go for long daily walks with the stroller. We never used a travel potty.  Looking back, we never really needed one. The learning process goes so fast. To answer your question, you'd be surprised how long a toddler can hold it. After a few weeks, and perhaps a few accidents, she'll be able to hold it for 10 minutes. If I were you, I wouldn't buy a travel potty. Instead, I'd pack a change of clothes and undies, and a wet bag (or plastic bag) and wipes. You could always pack a small plastic container (like a butter spread container) if that would make you feel better.

 

I do remember that it felt like a HUGE step for me to go from diaper free around the house to full time underwear (except for naps and night time diaper.) It was a shift for me too. It's a transition, but they pick it up fast.

 

Good luck!!

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Old 10-08-2012, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, HappyWoman, for this really detailed reply - this is so incredibly helpful!!  DD has started (at least at our place where she always uses the potty) to tell us when she needs to go and to try to pull the diaper off herself, so we are planning on buying her first set of undies this week.  Wish us luck!  


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Old 10-08-2012, 02:49 PM
 
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Yay!! So exciting. :)

 

I forgot to mention that many of DS's accidents were little - like a few drops of pee vs. a whole bladder full. Not a big deal.

 

Good luck!!

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Old 10-09-2012, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, that's really encouraging. :)

We'll see how it goes here...

I'm beginning to think that we should have started this before it started to get cold outside (we spend a lot of time outdoors at the playground or on walks in the city)... :)


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Old 10-17-2012, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Just thought I'd update...

We got the undies - they are a bit on the big side, but stay up ok.  DD has been wearing them around the house, and under regular pants whenever we go out.  We did get a little travel potty that folds up quite small, and have been using that when we are out.  

 

DD has now been in the undies almost all of the time when not sleeping, for about one week.  Things have gone well so far - we need to ask her every 45m-1h or so if she needs to use the potty, and she needs help getting her pants up and down when she is wearing both pants and underpants, but she has mostly used the potty without incident.  Today at the pediatrician she pulled her undies down in the exam room, so I took her off to the regular toilet (since the travel potty wasn't immediately accessible) and she used that for the first time, with just my holding her onto the seat.  

 

She's had a few accidents (for example, sitting on the potty and peeing even though her pants were still on), but I think we've done really well for a first week.  Things have gone more smoothly than I expected.  She even managed a three hour nap one day (very unusual) and a two hour car ride with a totally dry diaper.  I'm not sure how smooth the continued potty/undies use will go, since I know there can be regression at times, but I've been impressed with how relatively smoothly it's gone so far.

 

Now we just have the trouble that all her pants are too wide at the waist without diapers on... :)

 

Thanks again to everyone for their advice and encouragement!


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