The Poop Report: Diapering and Pottying at One Year

Sometimes my 3yo entertains my 1yo on the potty for me.

My one-year-old reliably uses the potty when she wakes up in the morning and after her two naps. In fact, I will even leave her in a Kissaluvs fitted diaper with no waterproof cover for a nap because I know she will not pee on the bed when she wakes up. She'll wait until we put her on the potty. And she occasionally wakes up dry in the morning too. She will pee many more times on the potty if we put her on it. One day I realized around 5 pm that she was still in the same diaper I'd put her in that morning. We go through few enough diapers that often I realize I haven't washed diapers for five or six days. Once I ran out of cloth wipes before anything else.

My one-year-old is a very stable sitter now, so theoretically I could leave her unattended on her little potty. But soon after she became an expert sitter, she became an expert stander, first with the use of a stool or using the basket of books next to her, and now hands-free with no help needed at all. All that practice sitting and standing on the potty will come in handy someday when she goes to the potty by herself. At the moment though, not entirely useful. And now she likes to look and see what's in the potty when she's done, and, if we let her, put her hand or foot in the potty and maybe even dump out the contents on the floor. So I still can't really leave her unattended there. When I need to use the restroom though, the potty is the handiest place to put her to keep her out of trouble in the bathroom.

Board books are a must!

We went through a brief period where she resisted sitting on the potty even when I knew she needed to go, like right after a nap. But I could always get her to sit down by reading one of her favorite books. Sometimes, folks, you have to really sell it. With this baby, I have really enjoyed using the Rosemary Wells Mother Goose board books (based on our favorite very large Mother Goose volumes). I found the larger 7" x 8" discontinued board books used on Amazon (I don't like the smaller size!). So to get her to sit down, I would just say "Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town," and then  she would sit down while I held her hands and listen while I continued the rhyme and quickly opened the board book. She also really likes the board books of baby faces, which were a real favorite of her older sister. Often times she even wants to sit on the potty longer than I want her to. I know she's done using the potty but she wants me to read to her some more. And sometimes she strongly resists getting off the potty because she needs to go #2.

Sometimes when she is really fussy or refusing to nap, we eventually figure out it's because she needs to poop. My one-year-old has probably pooped less than three times in her diaper in the last three months, and she really does not like it when she does.

In other news, she's become more amenable to using the potty in the van. A big plus.

Benefits of Early Potty Training
[Note: this next section might be TMI for some -- but then, this post does have "poop" in the title. Consider yourself warned.] 

During these last 3 months, we have had occasion to be very happy that we practice early potty training. First when my daughter had a minor stomach bug. Minor enough that she didn't have watery diarrhea, but bad enough that her stool was very loose so that she often pooped a bit inadvertently while peeing. And that loose poop gave her a horrible burning rash. After a day of this bug, she wouldn't pee unless she was on the potty, to avoid accidentally pooping in her diaper, I'm sure. We would realize it had been 2+ hours since she peed, and would rush her to the potty. Once the bug was over, she went back to peeing more frequently, often in her diaper, but for that week, both the baby and we made a big effort to get her to the potty for all of her business to spare her bottom any contact with the burning poop. She was basically almost completely potty trained for a week, and if I were a more together person, perhaps we would have sealed the deal right then. I thought about it, but soon slipped back into my old ways.

Another week in the past few months my baby had one of those mystery fevers. High fever with no other symptoms. My first child had one of these fevers, and after waiting as many days as the doctor would let us, they used a catheter to check for a UTI. For me and my husband, this was one of our worst experiences as parents. This time around, I felt relieved knowing that if we had to take this baby in to check for a UTI, I was confident I could get her to pee in a cup. Because she uses the potty, I also was confident that she wasn't experiencing any pain while peeing. Sometimes it pays to be really familiar with your baby's elimination. Note that early potty training actually reduces the risk of UTIs and other problems.

My one-year-old hates hates hates it when we lay her down to put on a diaper. At home, I always use the Kissaluvs fitted diaper with snaps (no cover) because I can put them on her easily while she's standing up. I usually use a unbleached prefold (in thirds) inside a cover outside the house, or sometimes I just put a waterproof cover over the fitted diaper she's already wearing. In large part because she resists diapers so much, we are planning to switch to training pants in the next month. I have four or five Imse Vimse trainers that I really like, but they are a bit too big for her. So I plan to buy a few in a smaller size (20-26 pounds) and use the larger ones as back up. This transition would be a bigger deal except that she almost never poops in her diaper. A poopy training pant is a big bummer. A wet training pant is no big deal at all, and will not be much different than wearing a fitted cotton diaper with no waterproof cover (note that the Imse Vimse trainers are not entirely waterproof, although they will prevent a puddle or soaked clothes). I'm hoping that switching her to training pants full time will motivate me to take her to the potty more regularly, since I have many fewer trainers than diapers.

At night I've started stuffing my Bumgenius with a prefold (folded in thirds) instead of an insert. I do this because the prefold stinks a lot less than the synthetic insert and she doesn't pee much at night so I don't need the extra absorbency of the hemp inserts anymore.

For more tips, tricks, and tales from early potty training, visit my Early Potty Training page.

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  1. It's so great to hear from another early potty trainer! Well, technically, we've been practicing EC from birth, but we've only consistently gotten our daughter to pee in the potty in the last few months (she's 16 months old). I recently switched to cloth training pants, and they've been great! It's way easier to slide them up and down, instead of taking off pants, taking off diaper, then putting them all back on again. (To avoid this, we've generally had her in leg warmers rather than pants, but that gets chilly in the winter!)

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. My oldest trained herself at by 18 months and my second was trained by 17 months. My youngest started pooping in the potty at 2 months old due to constipation issues. She started use
    ing the potty on a regular basis at age one and actually rarely pooped in her diaper! Our 4 episodes of stomach bugs last year were made a lot easier with a baby that could go on the potty!


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