A few weeks ago, Adele started shoving her hands into her diapers all the time. I gently told her no each time, exaggerating the yucky part of my explanation, and washed her hands. Instead of doing it less, it seemed to become more of a habit, which became a problem when she had a poopy diaper. Yeah, it was gross.
When the twins were babies, they had a few incidences of covering their cribs with the contents of their diapers. I have never dealt with something more sickening in my life, and when Adele started to seem curious, I wanted to nip this new curiosity in the bud before it went any further.
One day, after I was especially frustrated over her not listening to my explanation of how yucky it was to put her hand in her diaper, I decided I would just take her diaper off. I told her she was done with diapers, and that if she needed to pee or poop, she would use her potty. In the back of my mind, I felt like I was possibly setting us both up for failure, since she had shown literally NO signs of being ready to potty train. In the past, I would ask her occasionally if she wanted to use her potty, and she had always said no very emphatically. I usually put her on the potty before a bath, but she has never used it. She wasn’t particularly afraid of using the potty, but she definitely had no interest. In fact, if she had a diaper off for any length of time, she would ask for me to put one on. She would often open the drawer where we kept the cloth diapers and help herself, bringing it to me for help.
So a few weeks ago, I let her wander around diaper and pants free for about an hour, watching her carefully. I placed her potty in the living room, just in case, and waited. I decided after that hour that maybe it was time to try putting her on the potty to see what would happen. However, after sitting for about 30 seconds, she was ready to get right back up. I tried to read to her, play with her, and make silly faces while she sat there, but without success. She wasn’t having it. I finally broke down and let her watch something on my phone, and she sat quietly for about 20 minutes while I waited next to her. After her attention span had exhausted the phone too, she had to get up. I didn’t want to force her to sit there, and definitely didn’t want to make her resent the potty, so I let her run around. I went into the kitchen to wash dishes, and after a few minutes, she came running in to tell me “potty”! I followed her back into the living room, hoping she was ready to sit and try again, but to my surprise she had already peed on her own! The downside was that she was running around with pee dripping down her legs (sorry, TMI, I know), but it was cleanable. I was just so excited that she actually understood what she was supposed to do!
We continued this for a few hours with no diaper, just hanging out around the house. Again, I was in the kitchen, and she came running in to tell me “potty”! So I followed her once more, discovered that she had pooped this time, and gave her a huge hug and kiss. She was so proud of herself (and of course I was pretty excited for her). She ran around and told Avery, Cade, and CeCe that she had went potty and wanted them to give her a high five and say yay!
We did the same thing over the next few days, and she only had two accidents in four days. It was crazy how quickly she picked up on this new habit. Over the last three weeks, she has had a couple accidents here and there, but other than that, she uses the potty. I put a diaper on her at night, but she is dry more nights than not and is nearly always dry at naptime. I am so excited that she has done so well with this, and am relieved that it has been so easy, but it’s been another bittersweet experience. I think everything is bittersweet with your last baby. I can’t believe we are done with diapers, probably forever. I loved cloth diapering, and honestly didn’t find diaper changes or diaper laundry to be a nuisance. I really enjoyed seeing that pretty rainbow hanging in the backyard each summer.
One last thought: Adele being out of diapers has made me realize how thankful I am that she is still breastfeeding. I know that seems random, but I love that although it’s hard to see her begin to leave some of her baby ways behind, she is still a baby in so many other aspects. I don’t know where the last two years have gone, but I do know that I will look back and feel the same way two years from now. I try to remember this when I’m awake with her at night or when she’s nursing for the 10th time before dinner. The days really are long, but the years so very short.