she pretty much potty-trained herself

she pretty much potty-trained herself 1Our 4-year-old commonly refers to her 19-month-old sister as "Little One." She'll say..."Come read this book with me, Little One" or "Don't touch that, Little One" or "Good job going potty, Little One."

Yes, it's true. Our petite and sweet 18mo is going on the BabyBjorn Potty Chair pretty regularly now. She even woke up this morning with a dry diaper and went immediately in the potty.

Two nights ago, she stood upright at 2am and walked to the door, tugging on her clothes. I took her to the bathroom immediately - she sat down and went in the potty (in the dark, mind you) - and then we both went back to sleep.

Because she's ready, we went to Target a few weeks ago to buy her some teeny tiny underwear. The smallest size was 2T/3T! So she's wearing too-big Princess Tiana underwear around the house.

she pretty much potty-trained herself 2She's not in underwear full-time though - mostly just because we haven't made the transition yet. She usually wears gDiapers during the day and disposable diapers at night. I'm officially a part-time cloth diaper user (here's me checking another box on the "How crunchy are you?" list). ;)

In case you're wondering, I like cloth diapers so far. They're soft and CUTE and easy-to-use. Except when poop is involved. Once after a particularly icky episode, Tim said flatly (with sarcasm dripping from his voice), "Maybe when we're rich someday we can afford disposable diapers."

I still haven't quite figured out why cloth diapers are somuchbetter (I bet a bunch of people are going to leave links trying to convince me now...which is good, because I like to research these things). Are they *really* better for the environment? For baby's skin? For your sanity?

Do you use cloth or disposable (or both)? What led you to your decision? Also, at what age did your child switch to underwear? [P.S. Where can I buy 1T underwear?]

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42 comments on “she pretty much potty-trained herself”

  1. Yay for Little One!! Your girls are precious...just a reflection of who they are around all day long! You love your girls well - on so many levels...and that teaches them to love well too!

  2. I use cloth diapers (pre-folds with Snappi's) for many reasons. I live in Nepal and although I'm in the city and have access to disposables (which we use when we're out and about) they cost about as much as they do in the states, however our budget doesn't allow using them all the time. I certainly think cloth is better for the environment, especially here where everything gets burned or tossed into the river that runs through the city. Other people have commented on further environmental concerns much more eloquently than I can, however, for those concerned about the use of detergent and its affects, there are alternatives! On Etsy there's a lady who sells earth (and cloth diaper) friendly detergent, her product is called Crunchy Clean. Also, soapnuts are a good alternative if available. They are native to Nepal, (Yay!) but they can be ordered from as well. I have no Idea of the price because I get them here at a little local store. Soapnuts look like the shell of a nut and when used with hot water work like soap, although you won't get all the suds that you do with detergents. Also, you can boil them and let the solution sit over night and then make soapnut ice cubes (which is what we do and it makes them stretch much farther). We use them for all our laundry actually and they work great! Also, on a side note, if your kid does have a tendency to get diaper rash, coconut oil works wonders. It's (obviously) all natural and doesn't gunk up cloth diapers like most creams do.

    1. Thanks for the coconut oil tip! Neither of our girls had diaper rash, but I'll definitely keep that natural solution in mind for future babies.

  3. Oooh, the Great Diaper Debate! You've opened up a can o' worms here, Steph!
    My Votes:

    Cloth is better. It's also easier, once you get the hang of it. G diapers were my first attempt, but the way they are designed doesn't exactly allow for #2 to stay in the diaper (their customer svc told me they are constantly working on improving this) and the disposable part of G -Dipes are still made with Polyacrylate Gel, which is a known hormone disruptor, that is also the main absorbency ingredient in *ahem* disposables (which really can never be disposed of). If you are going to do cloth, "the half way method" of G diapers should have you asking yourself "if I'm already sticking my hands in the toilet/poo/etc..., then why wouldn't I just switch to regular cloth diapers which are EASIER than G diapers?" I actually switched to disposables from G diapers because of the frustration, and it tainted my view on cloth. A few months later, I got myself some Happy Heiny's & Kissaluvs & Green Mountain Diapers, along with a bunch of prefolds and a couple diaper covers and for less than $250, I was set for baby 2 & 3, too.

    I'm baffled by the way people gasp at the mere thought of bodily fluids from their kids and having to clean up "that mess" in reference to cloth diapers. Is it really that different than disposables when we have WASHING MACHINES not wash boards? I figure it takes two extra steps: 1) shake poo into toilet (no swishing, that's old school and most diaper companies will tell you that) and 2) throw in washer! PS, most of the people that vomit when they think about Cloth Diapering, are picking up their dog's business with a thin plastic bag and then carrying it around on their belt loop until they see a trashcan.

    A couple interesting facts: Did you know it's illegal to throw human waste in the garbage? Yet lots of people do that when they put a dirty single-use diaper in there...technically, it should be flushed down the toilet, too, so it doesn't get into the ground water or cause a bio-hazzard.

    Since the invention of the single use diaper in the late 1950s, NOT ONE OF THEM HAS SINCE BIODEGRADED and are in fact still sitting in our landfills brimming with viruses and bacteria. Yummy.

    If put in a landfill (after being used hundreds of times, of course) a cloth diaper will decompose in about 6 months.

    Here is an excellent link on the diaper debate and the dangers of the chemicals in disposables and also lists a great company to use if you are set on using disposables:

    We also EC (and use cloth part time) so i have loads of tiny undies. If you are crafty, you can make them yourselves (very easy - plenty of tutorials online) or, here is a site that has very comfy great undies that last for boys and girls:

    But I also use the Gerber cotton training pants (which are hardly training pants, the "stuffing" is quite thin) and they are very affordable. They come in 18-24 months size for the tiny potty people.

    I had so much fun writing on this post! I LOVE cloth diapers and tiny undies! Kudos to your baby exciting.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Soni! I am especially intrigued by the information you shared regarding the gDiaper "hybrid" diapers. Maybe I'll buy cloth inserts when my disposable inserts run out. Or would you recommend that I switch to another cloth diaper brand altogether? I'm all ears!

      RE #2. You mentioned that you "shake poo into the toilet." What about the "messy" poop that sticks? Do you still just stick the diaper in the washer? I'd like to hear your thoughts on that.

  4. I actually just wrote a post about Darah working on potty training (or potty learning) (disclosure: there's a review and giveaway as part of the post..didn't want anyone to think I was being spammy).

    Anyway, I really just sort of came to terms with the fact that you have to smell/sometimes touch poop regardless of whether or not you are using cloth or disposable, and so I'm happy with the cloth switch. Diaper rash is a thing of the past for Darah, with a few rare exceptions. I'm also personally finding that using cloth is helping Darah potty train earlier. She's more aware when she is wet, I think (although the cloth diapers of today are impressively absorbent). I'm also more motivated to get her going on the potty earlier so that I can wrap up this diapering business sooner rather than later!

  5. Yay!! Oh dear, cloth diapers...I could go on forever about why I love them, but I think it has to be something you want to love in order to really love them. Any chance you have access to Mothering Magazine? If so, there was a GREAT article in the Jan/Feb issue about cloth diapers and EC'ing...the cloth diapering article though was quite convincing about why cloth next to your baby's skin is so great. What is that gel-like substance in disposables anyway? :) save sooo much money! Our son is only 6 months old, but in that amount of time we have not yet had to buy any diapers. You can find small training pants from EcaPants are also a great product, they are part training pants, part diaper.

  6. Wow--I've been wondering when my daughter would show an interest. She's interested in the toilet, but I'm not sure if she's interested in actually using it or just playing in it!
    I'm a completely disposable diaper person! I considered cloth diapers for a brief period of time and my husband is completely and totally against it. I'm glad he was because with going back to work and bringing my dear daughter with me to work at 2 months and keeping her there until she was 8 months I think I would have gone crazy trying to cloth diaper and work full-time and take care of an infant. I'm still kind of grossed out by the idea of poopy cloth diapers so I don't know if I would be able to make the leap or not even though I know its greener and cheaper.

  7. hee hee, the temptation to write about "How do I love cloth diapers? Let me count the ways!"
    Okay but you have read some of my Cloth Diaper Friday posts on my blog so...I'll just refer you to those! :)
    I believe CDing IS better for the environment, b/c of the reduction in garbage quantity and quality (all that plastic and Super Absorbent Polymers!?). Health wise, same reason. Sanity wise - okay, I can't speak logically to that, b/c I for some WEIRD reason just love cloth diapering for no one reason in particular. I'm just fascinated by being able to take care of my baby without relying on going to the store every few days. That I have to "figure out" what kind of diaper is going to work best in what situation. That I am VERY aware of his "potty" routines (which is supposed to help me and him potty train easier). That I personally wash and care for the items that go on his little soft buns. Perhaps I'm really just "out there" in that regard.
    That's all for now! :) Hope you continue to enjoy CD-ing. Also did you know there are cloth training pants, if you're looking to transition from gDiapers to something more underwear like. And they probably make them in smaller sizes for moms who practice Elimination Communication. Check out Etsy shops or Bumbledoo... :)

  8. Yeah, I too don't like the term "trained" but that's just me :)...our little one starting going potty when she was 15 months old. We started EC and it worked fabulously. I SO wish we had started from birth though! Next time around...Although she did have a good potty pause, it's been super easy and great. We did of course do organic hemp cloth diapers before that which definitely helps. We also had the little baby bjorn potties around the house which really helped her. When she stopped wearing dipes (15 months) I bought the smallest organic cotton undies (which were big on her) from Hanna Andersson and some handmade organic wool ones for nighttime from a shop in Austin. So cute!!! We love both very much!!!

    As far as cloth vs. disposables, whoever says that one isn't necessarily better than the other, is sorry to say wrong. Cloth is definitely better than disposables in SO many IS better for the environment (especially if you go organic), but more importantly, it's better for little one's health (again, especially if you go organic). When you care for CDs how most people I know do and how it's typically recommended, you use very little water and most people air/sun dry them so there's little to no electricity used in the drying process, plus you can wash them with other things too. And of course most people use the same dipes for multiple babies or pass them on to someone else who will.

    Did you know it takes 1 cup of oil to make every disposable many diapers do disposable users go through in a day??? in a month? in a year??? That oil adds up kind of fast doesn't it? Is there anyone who thinks we shouldn't be severly decreasing our use of oil these days??? Using CDs will help with your oil use BIG TIME. I remember reading where the U.S. uses 18 BILLION disposable diapers a year...that's a WHOLE lot of oil people, not to mention other chemicals, perfumes, and the TON of water and energy used in the manufacturing process. Also think about what you use when it comes to many plastic bags you go through keeping them from smelling horrible and taking them out to curb every week. Then of course you have disposable wipes and all of that...uuggh!!! If you CD, you really must cloth wipe too - so easy, so much less waste, and so much better than the nasty wipes on your baby.

    Further, CDs won't last forever in a landfill!! Think of all the human waste in our's disgusting. Human waste is the 3rd largest single consumer item in our landfills and it contaminates our waterways!!! Do you know that you're supposed to rinse ALL human waste off a disposable diaper before throwing it away??? Do you know anyone who does that??? I don't. Supposedly diaper packages are supposed to have something on/it that says that (I don't know b/c I've never bought one) b/c according to the WHO, human rights are violated by allowing that human waste into our landfills.

    Plus, the materials in disposables are really gross and I would never put those chemicals, plastics, fragrances, and perfumes up to my baby's skin, especially their sensitive reproductive area. We NEVER once had a diaper rash ever from CDs. Think of ALL the diaper rashes that disposables have caused which then cause the "need" for chemical-filled diaper creams and's a sad cycle. Plus the whole concept of disposables is gross I think too...they make them more absorbent so that the kids can wear them longer...I think that's quite gross. Plus they just smell in my opinion when wet/soiled....cloth doesn't completely NOT, but it's significantly less IMO. Cloth makes it so much easier for them to be aware of it all, which is a GOOD THING. It makes potty learning so much easier. Plus I wouldn't want to support the big diaper companies and would much rather support smaller and at-home businesses who are truly making healthy products. We loved cloth's easy, not as smelly, and SO MUCH better for the health of the environment and your little ones!!!

  9. We part time EC and cloth diaper as backup. As I wrote on my blog (, the main reason we decided to cloth diaper was when I found out that in 1957 92% of American children were toilet-trained by 18 months and by 1999 this had dropped to 4%.

    Not too long after I wrote that post, Elizabeth had a so-called "potty strike" which lasted several months, and we got to experience the joys of poos in the diaper for a while. Elizabeth's not exactly what I'd call potty trained now but she did start using the toilet again and we're dry at night and back to about 80% in the toilet.

    One comment I have on the disposable vs cloth diaper - I've never understood the less work comment. Before solids, we just threw poopy diapers straight into the washbag for cloth, which was exactly the same thing we did with disposables - just different location. With the advent of solids, we dump the poop into the toilet, but mostly that's a case of letting the poop fall from the diaper into the toilet. Sometimes I use a bit of toilet paper to help move stubborn poop, but it's really NOT a big deal, especially compared to going shopping (which makes me tired just THINKING about it). So what is everyone else doing that we aren't?

    I too was looking around for underwear for her and have found that there's more in the "cloth training pant" category than straight underwear (I think the options for small underwear are pretty much to make or get someone else to make). I heard good things about custom underwear and training pant maker online but she's located in Australia (!) so shipping isn't exactly overnight.

  10. We potty trained my oldest at age 2 and it was a long process. I tried potty training Lily at age 2 and she was not going to have any of that. I gave up or tried half heartdly for a while. Finally about a month ago my husband took control and she was so easy - all thanks to him and none to me. We have not had an accident in quite a long time - and most morning she wakes up dry!

  11. How cool that your baby has decided she was ready for the potty!

    I couldn't afford the up front cost of cloth. I did buy some pre-folds at Walmart once my babies started to have solid poop. And once they were big enough, I put them in training pants.

  12. We use a diaper service that picks up the dirty cloths and brings us clean cloths once a week. I definitely couldn't wash so much during a week. I have read that using a diaper service is the best enviromentally friendly choice, due to less water waste but costs about the same as disposables.

    Audrey is in no rush to use the potty (she is 2 years 3months), I am just letting her do her thing and not rushing her either.

    I bet your oldest has a lot to do with your youngest using the potty. She must look up to her older sister ( :

  13. We use disposable diapers. I would love to use cloth, but I've been too lazy to get into it. :P

    Princess (3) didn't wear panties until a week before her 3rd birthday, when she (finally) potty trained herself!

  14. We use cloth all the time unless we're going to be away from home more than 3 days. That's as much of a stash as I have and most places I just don't want to wash diapers - especially my mother-in-law's HE machines. They don't use enough water to really get them clean.
    My main reasons for switching to cloth... it's better for my baby. No chemicals that he sits in all the time, cloth diapers aren't made with chemicals, and they are just in general softer. I've never had a diaper rash problem with cloth.
    I would say that it's probably even for the amount of water that it takes to make disposables versus the washing of cloth, but in the end you aren't filling up the landfills with human waste, it's going down the drain where it's supposed to go. You're basically just creating less waste all the way around.
    Plus, since I started with my first son I have spent maybe $200 total for diapers since #2 was born and he's almost 7 months old. That's a LOT of money saved! I will have to replace the elastic in some of them as it's starting to wear out, but that's a pretty straightforward job and will only cost me a few bucks in elastic.
    I would say, if you're not sure how many more kids you're going to have and are thinking maybe only one more, don't buy new cloth. Go to a place like diaperswappers where you can buy second hand. You can find some almost new there and spend half the price from a diaper store. If you're going to have 2 or more more kids then go ahead and buy new because they will last longer that way!
    I personally like Happy Heiny's because of the velcro. I hate the time it takes to get all those little snaps lined up on a wiggly baby! Bum Genius uses velcro too I believe.
    Happy shopping!
    Also, I've never seen size 1T in anything...

  15. Amazing! Good for her!

    My older son potty trained himself, as well - right around 21 months... and no, there are were underwear small enough :(

    Maybe etsy?

  16. our nearly 3 year old was in panties at 18 months also. We couldn't find ones that fit so me just got the 2t/3t and shrunk them the best we could.
    We are using Fuzzi Bunz One size diapers with this little one. So far I love them. I never feel bad about changing a slightly wet diaper, or wasting money on diapers.

  17. i used huggies and loved them. I have heard kids potty train quicker with cloth diapers.

    I love that big sister calls her "Little One" - that is just the sweetest thing ever. I love when sisters take care of one another and take on the caring role.

  18. I made the switch to cloth diapers when my oldest was just over 2 (and not potty trained yet) and my youngest was 7 months. My oldest potty trained just 4 months later. I'm happy with cloth and don't find them to be too inconvenient. However I'll be honest and say that I do not think they are better for baby's skin. My son has at least a little bit of a rash nearly all the time. I recently switched from Charlie's Soap to Thirsties Pre-Wash and Super Wash and have seen some improvement, so I highly recommend the latter. We stick with cloth to save money and help the environment, although we still use disposables when traveling. Anyway, congrats to your little cutie learning to use the potty! I'm sure having a big sister to watch really helped. As for the need for smaller undies, I've heard of people making you sew? :)

  19. It is amazing that she has potty trained herself! I can only hope that Addy will do the same, but we aren't there yet. I have always used disposables, because I too am not convinced that cloth diapers are really better and I've done a lot of reading on the subject. Ultimately my husband vetoed the cloth diaper idea as being too unsanitary and he's right - I don't care to be swishing or rinsing poopy cloth diapers. As far as diaper rash is concerned, it has never been a problem for us even though Addy has very sensitive skin. It's hard enough keeping up with the laundry as it is, so I'm happy with disposables.

  20. We are devoted cloth diaper users. This weekend was the longest my 7.5 month old had ever been in disposable diapers (and those were gdiapers with disposable inserts) and that was only 3 days. I'm jealous that your daughter is learning to use the potty, my 28 month old has zero interest. She tells me the instant anything comes out but refuses to sit on the potty. She just likes her cloth diapers too much :)

    I definitely think they are better for the environment. How can they not be? Do we use disposable clothes? Are disposable plates better for the environment? Plus in cloth there is hardly ever a blowout, where as every single time we have used disposables we end up having a blowout. And that means less clothing laundry! Also, softer, no chemicals and way cuter!

    I would suggest looking on hyenacart or etsy for undies. Or using the diaper covers that come with dresses. I have those all put aside for the day when my daughter decides she will use the potty!

  21. I read a report that the chemicals in regular diapers are damaging for boy's reproductive system but I cant find links to it now.

    My one year old is totally out of diapers, but Target's/Circo 2t underwear fits her well. I found that Target's underwear is the smallest compared to other brands of the same size.

  22. I'm a disposable diaper mama. Never even occurred to me to use cloth until I started reading blogs. NO ONE around here uses cloth. Crazy.

    My oldest (at 16 months) watched her just-turned-two year old cousin "go potty" and immediately said, "I go potty too, mom." So I took her diaper off, lifted her up onto the toilet, and she went! Color me surprised! We stopped by the store on the way home that very day to purchase a step stool and toilet seat cover. (I've never used a separate potty chair with any of my kiddos.) From that day forward I rarely had to change a wet or poopy diaper. She thought it was HILARIOUS to pee and poop on the toilet. Cracked me up.

    My second and third children? Well... let's not go there, shall we?! ;)

  23. Hi Steph and the clever Little One!
    We use cloth (and disposables at night atm until my night nappies come through coz she's a super-duper wetter at night) and i find it really easy (although those poos aren't very fun - we use one of those portable shower hoses to wash off the solids into the toilet which works really well!)
    I had a gorgeous custom nappy made - its got denim on the outside with little pink pockets and a pink 'belt' - it looks so cute on her little bum!
    Cloth's not for everyone - don't stress if you don't like it!

  24. Potty training is a bad memory that I've tried to erase! My oldest was in full-on cloth diapers until she was 2 and at that point, right before we started potty training, I couldn't take it one more day - the poop kept leaking out, I couldn't get her to hold still and I poked her one too many times with the safety pins - I gave up. After reading that cloth diapers weren't any better for the environment because of the amount of water and detergent involved in washing them, I moved on to disposables and never looked back. My oldest one was potty trained in 2 easy days at 2 and 1/4 but my younger one - let's just say it took a LONG time. Over a year. Pee was a few months but she was Terrified to poop in the big potty and that took a Long time.....I shudder just remembering! You are blessed to have a self-trainer! (:

  25. I started out with cloth. And, I was happy at the time. But a few more babies later & a lot more laundry, I switched to disposable.
    For potty training, I use the IsmeVisme training pants for sleeping times, or any other time they made need a little protection for a tiny accident.
    I had to go to Gymboree to get the tiny undies. And, they are pricey.
    Good for Little One! Hooray!

  26. I used cloth with my daughter. I made the switch because I was tired of the huge diaper blowouts that happened ALL.THE.TIME with disposables. Plus, she always had a rash and I had heard that cloth was better for their skin. So we switched and I LOVED using cloth diapers. I used mostly prefolds with wool shorts/pants/skirts. It worked great.

    As far as tiny underwear.....check out some cloth diaper websites or maybe even hyena cart? There is probably someone who makes little underwear. But in a store I think the smallest is 2T. Good Luck!!

  27. We use G-diapers with cloth inserts too! We also did elimination communication early on which was great so we didn't have to deal with poo in the cloth. I got some gerber brand cloth trainers in sz.18mo. at K-Mart about a year ago. They were great because they look just like undies but they have more layers in the middle so you don't get such a puddle if there is an accident ;) Hope they still carry them.

  28. For my sanity, disposables are better. I tried cloth one time and gave up. Kudos to those who can do it, they are more of a woman than I. For panties, you might want to try the bloomers that come with her 18 month or 24 month outfits. Some are more close-fitting than others so it would still look/feel like panties to her, albeit there wouldn't be a princess on them. My guess is that when you start traveling, you won't want to deal with the laundry of cloth diapers so it's a good thing she's learning to use the bathroom.

  29. We use cloth, money was a big reason, skin allergies was the second, it's greener, and you don't have to deals with stinky diapers in your garbage!!!!

  30. Oh and I forgot LOL

    With both of my older girls, they sort of led the way to Potty Learning (I never liked training). Both were PL'd by the time they were 2.5. (My oldest at 2, middle at 2.5) They transitioned to undies straight away while PL'ing, but only during the day. We still used Pull-ups (cloth OR disposable) at night (still do) even after they'd been pottying and wearing undies for months

    1. I don't care much for the term "potty-training" either. It sounds like something that you would do to a pet, not a person. I like that you use the word "learning" as an alternative.

  31. I decided to part time cloth diaper (at home) to save money with my first. I really fell in love with the ease. I now with baby #3 CD 75% of the time. I like that there are no chemicals to worry about, I don't have a fear of having to change size so often, etc.

    I can tell you that cloth is definitely better for MY kids skin. My middle and youngest have super sensitive skin. My oldest rarely ever had a rash her entire 2 years in diapers, my younger two, always have/had rashes unless they were in cloth. All disposables irritated their skin. And yes I do believe, even with the water usage, that it is less harmful to the environment.

    Are you using the Gdiaper hybrids? or full cloth gdiapers?

    As for the training pants/undies. With them that small, I never had luck buying any in stores that would fit. I had to go this route (cloth trainer undies)

    I also use the ImseVimse Training Pants as seen here

    Or you can usually have a WAHM make you some(search Hyenacart)

    Or there is the Gerber poofy ones that work well if you don't mind that.

    1. We're using the gDiaper hybrids so I guess they're only "partially" cloth. ;)

      Neither of my girls get diaper rash. I attribute the lack of rash to breastfeeding and to changing diapers often.

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