This is a guest post from our friends at Spral Pal, the most amazing way to rinse cloth diapers easily in your home. Joovy is delighted to participate and so happy to share these wonderful products with all of you.
You may be wondering why a brand like Spray Pal would be writing about tips for helping your kids succeed without their cloth diapers, but here’s the thing. Most parents find that their kids will actually potty train sooner when wearing cloth. This is likely due to the fact that with cloth diapers, you have the option of allowing your child to feel the wetness, which signals to them that something has happened down there that they don’t necessarily feel comfortable sitting in, as opposed to disposable diapers which contain harsh chemicals and “stay dry crystals” that are meant to keep your child from feeling wet.
Mini Spray Pal 1.0 actually started noticing this phenomenon at around 18 months, and by 21 months she was telling us in her own words and signals that she wanted to go on the potty and didn’t want to wear her diapers anymore. By waiting until she was ready and going off of her cues, she completely ditched the diapers well before she turned 2, which was bittersweet for me because I loved her adorable fluff!
Not to fear, we still had our little guy rocking the cloth in the NICU. Now that he’s turned 2 and is still facing lots of developmental delays, we’re realizing he’ll probably be in his cloth diapers for an extensive amount of time. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start reading his signals and practicing elimination communication for those times he’s clearly showing us he’s ready to go. Every opportunity for him to communicate something with us is a good one, and this will just prepare him down the road as he starts to make the connection that the bathroom and the toilet is where this stuff is actually supposed to happen.
Here are my tips as we start down the road toward bathroom independence:
- Look for cues, but don’t force it. If your child is giving obvious signs that s/he is about to have some potty action, just ask in a super friendly tone, “Would you like to go sit on your big kid potty?” If they accept the invitation, just go with it!
- Stay positive and encouraging. If your child isn’t in the mood to go on the potty at that moment, just act like it’s no big deal. But the times that they do choose to make the attempt, play into those moments. Tell them how exciting it is and how proud you are and basically just ham it up and act like a goofball. They’ll love this positive reinforcement and they’ll remember it next time you ask if they want to use the potty.
- Play down the accidents. If your child is going without diapers, and doesn’t quite make it to the potty, just play it down. Clean it up and go on with your day. You definitely don’t want them to start thinking it’s hilarious when mommy or daddy freaks out about the mess on the floor! Maybe ask a bit more frequently after that if they’d like to try the potty and see the previous tip.
- Give TONS of positive praise, even if they just try. We never had to do a reward system or treats with my daughter when she started using the potty. She just loved hearing how excited and proud we were of her! Of course there are some kids who respond better to candy, so you’ll have to go with your gut on this one. You know your kid best!
- Don’t beat yourself up! You are doing a great job, mama, no matter what happens. If your child isn’t quite getting it after a few days, it might be time to throw up the white flag and save it for another time. It’s not the end of the world if you have to wait a few more weeks, especially if you’re using your cloth diapers! At least you won’t have to run out for a few more packs of diapers, right?
So, since we’ve recently started working on this with mini Spray Pal 2.0, we have teamed up with some amazing companies to offer some super helpful tips and products that can make this journey easier! One lucky winner will win a gift set containing one of each of these useful products!
Potty Training Must Haves:
1. Oops! Sheet. $40. This is a waterproof cotton mattress protector for night time potty training and occasional oopsies. Learning is a process, and accidents can happen, so protect your mattress with this great mom-created product! Available in sizes ranging from crib to king.
2. A Joovy Loo. $40. In the beginning stages of learning, it’s important that your child have a small, easy to access place to practice using the potty. We highly recommend the Joovy Loo potty chair. The folks at Joovy have designed this potty chair to be just as functional as it is stylish, which means it’s easy to clean (always a plus in the Spray Pal household). You can read more about what makes it so great on their website HERE, and one of you will win one below!
3. EcoNuts Natural Ammonia Bouncer. $16.50. Depending on how many accidents you have to clean up, you may need this product all throughout the various stages of potty training. I’ve actually seen this product in action first hand, and it’s amazing how it actually does destroy the strong ammonia smell with only natural ingredients! Safe to use on cloth diapers or anything that ends up getting pee on it, you can even add it to a spray bottle to spritz it on accident spots.
4. Joovy StepTool. $20. Some sort of step stool is a good idea to have around from the very beginning stages of potty learning because your kids will feel a great sense of accomplishment after they do their business and wash their hands in the grown up sink. Joovy is giving away one of their stylish StepTools for this purpose, and it will pair perfectly with our next innovative product.
5. Aquaduck Faucet Extender. $13. This is another mom invented product that was created out of necessity. When Susanna’s kids were getting to be too big and heavy to hold up to wash their hands, she created the Aquaduck faucet extender to solve the problem. This makes the water from your sink easy for your child to reach when they’re finished using the potty and need to wash up.
6. A Spray Pal. $25. You’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute. I already have a Spray Pal. Isn’t it just a cloth diaper sprayer splatter shield for protecting my bathroom and walls from the poop splatter? What does this have to do with potty training?” Well, let me tell you. One of our amazing fans gave us an idea for repurposing the Spray Pal splatter shield after your boys are out of diapers! She has a 4 year old who wakes up in the night to use the bathroom all by himself, which is fantastic, until she wakes up in the morning and wonders why her bathroom smells like urine. Turns out in his half asleep state, he is standing in front of the toilet and just spraying away aimlessly, lol. So she suggested putting the Spray Pal in the toilet as pictured before bed, then it will continue to serve its purpose as the perfect splatter shield even while you sleep!
Little Jimmy can wake up and go to the bathroom as always, and mom can wake up, quickly spray down the Spray Pal with the diaper sprayer and stick it back in the wetbag to tuck it away until the next night. No more mystery urine smell, no more mess to clean, everybody’s happy! Also, we love that this makes your investment in a Spray Pal and a sprayer last even longer and it’s a way to reuse something you already have! I’m even envisioning people drawing bulls-eye targets at the bottom of the Spray Pal to make learning to aim easy and fun. So, if you didn’t think the Spray Pal was a bathroom must have before, and you have a little boy, you may want to reconsider.
7. Oops! Undies. Prize value $30. These waterproof bamboo underwear for kids are the perfect reusable option for that transition out of diapers. They look and feel just like regular underwear, but they will protect against minor accidents if your little one is having a hard time making it to the bathroom on time. These are great for mid to later stage potty training, but if you already have some natural fiber cloth diaper inserts or doublers at home that you’d like to add for extra protection, you can use these even longer! Available in sizes for ages 2-7.
8. Easy Daysies Get Dressed and Bathroom Routine Pack. Prize value $18. This handy magnetic schedule is perfect for kids just getting used to the routing of using the bathroom independently. Personally, I think it’s especially great for kids with special needs who really benefit from having each step visually laid out for them. You can tell this was invented by a former teacher, right?
We wish you all the best of luck as we enter this crazy journey together!
Thanks to Jen at Spray Pal for these great tips!