Monday, July 27, 2009

In Search of Cloth Trainers

It seems like there has been an explosion in cloth diapering. Numerous cute pocket diapers and covers abound as well as a growing preference to use them. They are not the cloth of the 70's and prior, requiring pins and folding. At least, not if you don't want to.

I have used cloth about anywhere from 50-80% of the time with my daughter. Yet to find a cloth diaper she does not leak through at night, so she gets her pampers then. Since the move to trainers, however, it has been a more complicated process. Do I put her in a cloth diaper to continue to encourage her awareness of her movements or choose the disposable pull-ups which are both costly and so absorbant she can ignore her pees and poos, yet have the "grown-up" feature of being able to pull them up.

So I have been searching for cloth trainers and am still trying to find a style that I like. Just as with cloth diapering, the trainers to not run cheap and $8.00 per trainer is about as low as they seem to go! And just how long is a 'training period' for any how? Is it worth it to invest in them when you will eventually just shift to regular undies?

I don't know.

But here are the brands I am finding because it seems that unlike cloth diapers, cloth trainers are much scarcer to obtain.
The Kushies I am currently using, available at and amazon.

Snooty Booty Diapers
has a nice listing of a few brands available through their store:

Gerber carries a few on Amazon. Though I hear they are just thicker panties and you need to purchase separate waterproof covers.

There are some cool trainers also available via Etsy by many small businesses of Work At Home Moms.

And the Inspired line, which have some really cute patterns.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How did this happen?

After a week of "scaling back" on naked time and really de-escalating potty-talk, my daughter is virtually potty-trained! She now announces her poo's and "big pee!" So long as we are indoors at home, in trainers or out, she is using the potty like a pro. What we don't have down--more to my own not knowing what to do--is how to not rely on trainers going out. I can't bring her potty to the park and I don't know how to teach her how to squat in the bushes. But I am amazed and proud of her achievements as they are so maybe we will just hold here for a while and see where it goes. Stickers seem to have helped reward her a little and she is quite proud when she goes. I am just amazed she made such progress in such a short amount of time. Like so many other aspects in motherhood--toilet training has been full of surprises.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

31 Week OB Appointment

Getting back to non-toileting content, I had my 31 week OB appointment today, again rotating through to meet a new doctor in the practice. She was very nice, though disconcertingly my own age (by my estimate) which is also somewhat cool. It was as routine as appointments go: vitals--stable; weight gain--up 48lbs now; fundal height--measuring at 38 weeks; fetal heart tones--130's and 140's. Oddly enough, it took her a long time to find the heart beat of twinB, who was the one I was least concerned about because he seems to be always moving. He was moving and squirming all around while she was trying to chase after his rhythm. Whereas twinA who hardly makes a peep down there came on right away with a good strong rhythm. That is the nice thing about this stage in pregnancy, having the movements to reassure you. But despite that, it was a little unnerving when it took so long to find the 2nd heartbeat because who knows what is going on in there! She also wrote an order for weekly non-stress tests to start as of 32 weeks. Between my 4 week ultrasounds, bi-weekly OB appointments and now FST I am about to start spending a lot of time at the doctors. So much for my days of leisure (aka housework) when my toddler goes to childcare. But as I get farther along, I don't mind too much having the extra checks, it is always nice to know things are moving along fine.

My weight gain did not please me however. I don't actually feel like I am eating enough as it is--certainly not per Dr. Barbara Luke's recommendations out of her book on multiples I have. And I don't look nearly as chubby as when I was pregnant with my daughter, but regardless, it is quite scary to approach that 50lb mark with 5-7 weeks remaining. I mentioned my concern to the doctor who said--do you exercise? Well--if chasing a toddler around 5 days a week counts. She agreed it does, but suggested I "cut carbs and eat protein." Hmmm, great nutritional advice. I guess my days of guilt-free cheeseburgers and sundaes are waning. I just hope the babes having been getting the lions share of nutrients and next Wednesday will have a good report of healthy and stable growth.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I don't even know what to call this...

Today I was officially "scaling back" on naked time so as to not distress my daughter. Right after she woke from her nap, she she was playing with her blocks and still in her pull-ups from the nap. She started running around in her anxious pre-bathroom way saying: "poop coming!" I gently reminded her where her potty was and asked her if she wanted Mommy to sit with her and help her go, she said "no" so I stayed where I was, didn't push it and eventually she went. Then of course didn't want to change out of her pull-up.

Later on after a trip to the park where she played in the fountain and got soaking wet we were at home and she said: "naked naked!" After not long it was apparent she wanted to pee and sat on the potty and went. Not much drama. I certainly had not intended to do any kinda of potty stuff today but it seems I have just opened the door and will just follow her interest from this point as it develops.

I just don't know what to call this--am I potty training, no, not like I was last week. But I guess as I said before it is a process so I will just ride with it and take turn this week following her lead.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monday Monday

Monday is my swing-shift day. Coming off a night-shift schedule from Saturday and Sunday nights, I sleep for three hours and beyond, depending on when my daughter chooses to wake. My husband takes her for the morning, puts her down for a nap and leaves for work. So she goes to sleep with Daddy and wakes up to Mommy!

There is nothing better than Monday mornings, when standing bleary-eyed waiting for my ride home, I climb into the car and see this face:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Favorite Potty Vids

Of course I have incorporated all potty-related media into the training process and thought I would note my daughter's favorite YouTube potty videos:

What she calls "Boys!"

And "Potty Sing!"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Just when I was ready to bag it....

We had a totally successful afternoon! With her seeking out the potty 2x, peeing well in it and requesting to remain naked. She then said a few times "poop coming" and "where's potty" so she could poop. Alas said poop never showed, but now I am so confused. I guess what I realize is that potty training once you begin and I guess get this far, becomes a lifestyle thing. So it continues, back to focusing on one day at a time...


I talk to just about every mom I encounter--friends, moms at the park, moms online. Consensus for the most part is aiming for 2.5 years, about 6 months after boys are born. Given the reluctance of my very astute and clever girl to adhere to using the potty unless placed there (yes granted it has only been a week) I am leaning toward adjusting my strategy. It is distressing for her having accidents during naked time, so I think I will scale back the naked time and just go with the cloth pull-ups for now. She likes them and does not seem attached to 'diapers' as I hear some older kids become. Plain panties are a bit too distressing for her when she accidents as well, so rather than another week of consecutive naked drills I am going to just give the cloth pull-ups a whirl and lessen up on directing her to the potty. She knows it is there and I think is a little tired of hearing about it. Will continue to encourage of course, but not as intensely.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Progress and then setback

I guess that is the roller-coaster ride of toilet training. Back and forth, a new indication to confirm this is the right time to do this and then backsliding bringing forth new uncertainties.

Yesterday she was at the nanny's who is not comfortable with cloth trainers until she is 95%+ trained. I think that her having accidents is part of the learning process but I also respect the nanny not wanting accidents all over her place. So she was in pull-ups for the day. When I picked her up, I got the report that she peed 3x in the potty. Great news! Unexpected too.

Today that was not the case. Again she was fretful when naked and having to go and only made it to the potty if placed. Even then she would pop up again. I don't mind the accidents, what makes me nervous is her distress around not knowing what to do when having to go. She knows what the potty is for, but is not quite comfortable using it. So again I am back to thinking that one more week and I will scale back on the naked time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Setbacks and then progress

Quick update with semi-rave. My daughter continues to struggle somewhat, crying during accidents that occur through her panties or when naked. She did not want to use the potty but would fuss and fret before finally having an accident which would prompt tears. I was really doubting this entire endeavor, but I also noticed she is continually having her hand in her mouth so it is quite likely that along with some of the distrubance PTing creates, she is also teething and extra fussy. Despite some of the difficulty, I feel more confident moving forward.

My raves are these:

In the evening, the Kushies training pants I ordered arrived and they are perfect. Light enough she is aware of what is going on and disliking it, prompting her to ask to use the potty. After we put them on her she asked to use the potty each time and while most went in the Training Pant, less on the floor but she was still as motivated to take care of the issue. Then when we called it quits for the day, put her in her diaper and off to bed, she asked twice to take off the diaper and use the potty. It was interesting b/c she was still fussing while she asked for it, but she did go pee without a drip both times! I tend to be intensive about PTing until about 430, then pull back for my own sanity and use pull-ups through the evenings. Now with the Kushies I will just use those all day I figure.

Tomorrow she goes to the nanny and I am not sure how best to convey consistency. I am sure my nanny has her own ideas, but hopefully she will be respectful of mine. I will send along 5-6 pairs of pants and her cloth diapers as well as pull-ups and discuss it. I am not totally upset if she winds up in disposable pull-ups all day, I figure I will then have Thurs-next Tuesday to spend with her and get her on track.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day three--Did I really bring this on myself?

Today had its ups and downs. I slept half the day post-night shift. My daughter woke around 1:30 in the afternoon from her nap and was tearful. I took off her pull-ups which were warm and heavy so I am certain she peed as soon as she woke. But I placed her on the pottyand read some stories and fed her grapes. The next two-three hours we hung out, her barebottomed. Mostly we were outside. I put a longish dress on her so she wasn't giving a total free-show. She did fine, having fun playing etc. But then it was time to pee/poo and I could tell by her behavior. I have been trying to look for signs so I can anticipate when to guide her to the potty. She was tugging on herself and jumping around on her tiptoes and looking uncomfortable. She willingly went to the potty a few times, but did not go. She got more restless and anxious and fussed a bit. I could tell she had to go but was having anxiety around being naked, as the previous day. But she was too restless to go on the potty. So she wound up having "accidents!!" as she called them, and intermittetly climbed up on my lap. I notice as she has to go, she gets a bit more clingy and did make several drips on me. From there, she made it to the potty and managed to go a little, but it clearly is not a natural process yet for her. After she had gone, I gave her a cloth diaper which she instantly soaked. We went to the park where she had a blast and then we came home, and it was pull-up time! I am exhausted! I am still wanting to give this a 14-day trial, but wondering more and more what the signs are to indicate she is not ready. I don't want to stress her out too much, and she seems to get upset when having to go and naked. I have a few cloth trainers on the way and I think that will be just what she needs right now. In the meantime, just one day at a time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day two--busting out diapers

Today I mainly slept through the day, as I work night shifts on Saturday and Sunday night. My husband is then the primary caretaker. He did a great job continuing to reinforce potty usage encouraging her to develop more awareness of her body and its functions. However, at the end of the day after I woke, I noticed the diapers I had set out for the week for nighttime use had gone from 5 to 1! Busted! I know she got diapered up a bit more today than I would have liked, but she is back to mommy-time after nap tomorrow and we will see where it goes.

Even after one day's time, I was amazed at how she is making connections and linking the behavior and I feel more optimistic. After being outside (barebottomed) and having a little pee, she came over and said: "potty?" and walked over to her potty and she sat in it. Did not go, but that connection to me was a success in itself.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

First day at PTing

Here is a picture of my feisty one! She is what Dr. Karp of the Happiest Toddler on the Block would call "spirited." You can see it evidenced by the sparkle in her eye and the scratches on her face from too much running (and tripping) in the park.

Today after waking we spent some time on the potty. Nothing doing. Took a quick trip to Target and got supplies: an extra potty seat for outside & car trips (and I will likely need 2 eventually!), 2T/3T panties and pampers pull-ups. I have some cloth trainers ordered expected to arrive Tuesday.

Then we spent most of the day in panties. She did well, just noting her puddles and spent lots of time sitting on the potty and reading our books. She went down for a nap easily in her pull-ups. After nap, she went about 3 hours completely dry and spent some naked time outdoors. When I brought her inside, she made a teeny puddle and said: "Pee pee!" and I placed her on the potty and voila! Success. However, after that things went downhill a bit. She seemed increasingly distressed by accidents and at one point requested an urgent: "diaper change! diaper change!" while bare-bottomed. Trying to put her on the potty at that point upset her so I put on a pull-up and was not surprised when she then poo'd. After we cleaned her up and put her back in panties, she had about three more accidents on the floor, all of which upset her greatly. My husband and I decided to put her in pull-ups for the rest of the night and ease up on the panties.

Having some more time to read through more perspectives makes me uncertain if she is ready or not. So we will continue to monitor her habits and attempt to increase her awareness of her own excretions, make the potty available and see where she is at. I will give it about two weeks and then if we are at the same point, will just put aside all potty training until several months after the twins are born.

If it be 3 butts to clean, so be it.

Potty Training Bootcamp?

With my older daughter, now at 21 months, I have been pretty laid back on the potty training. Recently I came across this Monessori-based approach that made me re-think my initial plan to potty train after the twins arrive. One main tenant of the article that made me reconsider, it it's claim that: "Montessori teachers believe the sensitive period to toileting closes before the child's second birthday." This article states that 16-19 months is the ideal time to toilet train and argues it only becomes harder with age, despite our societal norm to train around 2 &1/2.

Looking back, I know my daughter was interested in the potty a few months ago, had a few successes and then appeared to have lost interest. I did not push it. Reading this article made me feel like a critical time slipped through my fingers. Regardless, I did come to the decision that with two months before the twins, now is the only time for quite a while that I can give her my 100% attention to this endeavor. Of course I am motivated by the idea of not having three diaper changes throughout the day, but a potty-trained child may easily regress with new siblings to compete with, so getting her up to speed on this skill and then adjusting to two new twins seems like asking a lot.

My decision for the time being is to promote more potty usage--following some tenants in the article. But even today--and I know a day 1 potty training is just a start--raised my own doubts that she may not be ready.

So in lieu of twin news while I gestate on this final trimester, I am going to monitor and promote the toileting of my toddler.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

28 week belly shots

a whole lotta baby in there...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

All my thoughts toward L&D

I keep re-reading my first blog entry here. It is so revealing to me. My initial clinging to what feels like the safety of modern medicine and now my early third-trimester reaction swinging back to a more holistic approach.

Having twins is scary, for so many reasons. But I have never worried about the reality of juggling care x2 for newborns. Probably that is denial helping me along. I find gestation more anxiety-provoking. I feel the movements now, and it reassuring. I get monthly ultrasounds, which are fun for the added peeks inside. But mostly I feel in the dark about what is going on.

For now, perhaps appropriately so, my preoccupations are all about the present state of health & growth for my twins and planning for the exit stages.

I have been reading more about inducing twins at approximately 38 weeks per policy. The more I read and speak to other mom's on various twin forums, the more I want to experience going into labor naturally again. Having had an almost picture perfect delivery with my first, I want that now to be repeated. Most reading I have done points to a lot of benefit toward allowing babies to be born vaginally without induction.

But I know my OB will not budge on this point, citing a larger systemic policy. I knew that when I began my road to this point with him. I know what I have signed up for. Although I have had a complication-free pregnancy, until the babies are born, we are really not out of the woods yet. In my third trimester, I would not switch practitioners. I would rather follow this protocol despite my reservations than jump ship and begin with someone new.

Yet I can see it will dwell in my mind going forward. These twins were given to my husband and I out of the clear blue--why not assume that they could arrive perfectly and naturally? Why put myself at the mercy of medical practitioners when all of the OB/GYN MD lit articles I am reading provide not only contractions in risks/benefits of inducing twins, but a startling consensus that there is not enough research done to say for sure what the optimal delivery time is for an uncomplicated twin pregnancy?

I have to ask these questions and find a sense of understanding where the medical community is coming from. I have read a few articles I will discuss more in-depth in future entries that make my head spin. One made me cry out to my husband a few nights ago, "Now I am scared to let the twins go PAST 37 weeks!" To which he advised me to put the articles down, and back away from the abstract.

And I will, once I am finished with the conclusions.