Having a baby without a diaper is a goal for all parents at some point. Most families are potty training children when they are 2-3 years old.
But some parents tend to do so earlier. Some of them start as soon as their baby is born or a few months later.
I tried to go diaper free when my son was two months old. It all started with my concern about his soft and fragile skin. Although I used bio and eco diapers (without unnecessary chemicals) I felt sorry for him because he had marks on his thighs where the edge of the diaper was.
In this article, I share with you my 5 day diary where we started going diaper free again at the age of 15 months.
This way you can get a picture of what you can and can not expect when you try this on your own.
Day 1 Without Diapers
On this first day, I started very enthusiastically. I imagined it would be great and we would make progress soon. Reality? I was on the watch the whole day trying to spot pee signals.
I was looking forward to this day for a few weeks. I had been busy focusing on my company and my school because I knew for this “experiment number 2” I would need patience, time and energy. I wanted to enjoy this time and try to make it work.
We had quite a normal day. We went out in the morning at 8:00am and stayed in the garden for one hour. I missed the exact time when my son was peeing. He came to me already wet.
My job was to look out for signals or cues from him telling me he was about to go. What can I say? “There was too much distraction!” I said to myself and I tried to focus more on discovering cues.
During the day, there were many moments when I offered the potty or the toilet. Without success. I kept notes about every pee time so I could find some structure and get an idea of how many times he needs to go a day.
It may sound silly but it wasn’t such an easy thing to do. After discovering he peed, my first reaction was not to check the clock and write down my notes.
Naturally, I went to him and showed him a signal for peeing. I told him he was peeing and made the “peeing sound”.
It was very easy for me to get distracted and forget to write it down. That is where the thought to create a Google Sheet for this was born. You can download it and use it too. It is available for free here>>(I am working on it)
During the noon nap, I used a diaper for safety reasons. I couldn’t imagine another wet sheet. A mother and father need to stay in a good mood and feel ok during the potty training period. This was a way for me to do that.
But after a refreshing siesta, we continued the process. We also went to the playground diaper free. And again I didn’t get the exact moment of peeing. We changed the pants and came home dry.
The rest of the day was similar. My son suddenly peed and I cleaned him and changed him. He peed once while sitting on his baby chair. Again, I didn’t see any cues.
At this point, I started to think that my baby is not signaling his need to pee at all.
But we had one little win in the evening when he started to make funny noises and pointed both hands to his lap. It was an intense noise. I asked him if he needed to pee and he nodded yes.
So I remained calm (that is what the book says) as I picked him up and I saw pee coming out of his pants. As I was carrying him to the bathroom there was a line of pee from the kitchen to the bathroom.
But I was happy because we almost made it!
Benefits Of Going Diaper Free For The Baby
Why even try going diaper free when it is so difficult without any support?
This is what I observed during the training time:
1. I spent more one-on-one time with my son. It was only him and me. It was an uninterrupted time for us. Which was beneficial for him and me and our relationship.
2. He could enjoy the time without a diaper wrapped around his bottom. There were no marks on his skin around the thighs plus a lot more oxygen for his cute little butt. When it comes to boys, it is beneficial for their testicles so they don’t overheat in a closed and wet diaper.
You might be asking right now;
Does it make sense to continue if all I see is a disaster? My baby pees here and there but not in the potty. It looks like they are doing this on purpose. Should I continue?
The answer to those questions is, yes! It makes a lot of sense.
Even though nothing was captured in the potty, by writing down the exact times of pees and poos we obtain very valuable information about the patterns our child needs to eliminate.
We will gradually start to notice what cues they are showing.
We can use all this later for successful potty training.
DAY 2 Without Diapers
I really thought it was going to be much easier. I had my list of pees from the day before and I naively told myself to offer the potty around the time my son had to go yesterday and that was it!
I am laughing right now but I wasn’t much that day.
Every time I gave him a chance to go, he refused. A few minutes or seconds afterwards he did it in his pants.
I started to tell myself that maybe my son is not ready yet, or I simply don’t understand him.
But I said I will try the whole 5 days and that is why I stuck to the plan.
Diaper During Sleep
I have decided to go one step at a time. So during the lunch nap and the night sleep we used diapers.
It is too much already to have a baby and to run a household. And I am not even talking about the needs of my older son, my husband, and, well, ME.
DAY 3 Without Diapers
This day started a bit differently. After two days, I felt kind of disappointed and tired. It was difficult for me to be enthusiastic again.
Let’s face it! After two whole days I spent concentrating on my baby, this was my score:
- I didn’t catch any pee
- I didn’t catch any poo
- I had no idea what cues my son uses
Anyway! I switched to the positive mode. At this point, I had no idea our first win was coming.
This day was very fast. I was so busy doing chores at home that I actually kind of forgot to write down the pees in the morning.
So if you downloaded our daily observation sheet, you will see an almost three hour gap with a note NO DATA. (Coming soon).
But after lunch, we got back to our plan. And at 4:45 pm we caught the first poo. How did we do it?
I suddenly noticed that my son started to squat.
He seemed very focused, and that’s when it clicked for me.
He’s going to poop.
I consciously calmed myself down and told my son he was pooping.
I asked him if he wanted to poop in the potty.
He nodded to me that he wanted to. I gently sat him there and waited.
Sometimes I repeated to him that he was pooping and also showed the sign so that he could connect it and communicate his needs with me more easily in the future.
If you would like to know more precisely how to use toddler communication signs and how to get started with them, you will find great information in this article>>
The whole action lasted about a minute.
While I was putting him on the potty, a piece of poop fell next to us.
I calmly described what happened and didn’t make a big deal out of it.
Later we washed up and flushed the poop down the toilet together.
Of course, we waved him goodbye.
So the third day of our effort turned out to be successful.
It was motivating and encouraging for me.
DAY 4 Without Diapers
We had a successful morning today. At 9:00 am we managed to catch the poo. Yes!
Is it starting to be a thing?
In the afternoon I had to go shopping. I intuitively decided to use diapers for this activity. After these intense days full of doing laundry I wanted to have a little break.
If you have a baby you know how challenging shopping can be even without trying to communicate their elimination needs.
Even though we used a diaper, I still monitored his condition.
He stayed dry all the way to the store, while shopping, and it wasn’t until we were at the car that he peed.
So if we went shopping without a diaper and I tried to make him pee at the end of the shopping, it should be a successful mission.
I understood that with this method, when you don’t rely only on the child’s “readiness“, but take into account the fact that he is ready to be without a diaper from birth, a person learns to rely more and more on their intuition and maternal (parental) instincts.
I almost forgot to mention that I was surprised when I put my son in the carrier in the afternoon…
Of course, he was without a diaper and I could just feel the warmth spreading down my back.
The books say that it is natural for a baby to pee before or after being carried in a sling or carrier.
DAY 5 Without Diapers
I feel like I need to be absolutely honest here. The last day of our diaper-free challenge was Sunday.
Everyone was at home and we had a free day. I only managed to note the pees in the morning until the lunch nap.
In the afternoon my older son refused to play with his brother without a diaper on.
Later my husband took the baby biking so I gave him the diaper too (the baby, not the husband).
And then, finally, it was evening and I was making dinner so I couldn’t imagine dealing with misses too.
I am happy I went through with this diaper challenge. I have learned a lot about my son and his needs.
My goal is to go diaper free as soon as possible but without pressure.
What Are the Positives Of Diaper Free Method?
- spending more time with the baby/toddler
- being more ecological
- saving money on diapers
What Are the Negatives Of Diaper Free Method?
- it is time-consuming
- there is more laundry to wash
- mentally exhausting
Going diaper free is a tempting idea for many parents but it is very difficult to go through with it without any external support.
If you feel like you need to contact me or other parents and get free advice on parenting, simply connect or share a win… You are welcome to join our Simigarten’s Parenting Academy– it is FREE and always will be!
I took two days off but I was missing our diaper-free period.
I believe that babies are born with the ability to communicate their elimination needs.
I feel it is my job now to figure it out.
And what is your story or your opinion about the diaper-free method? Please let us know in the comments below.