1 Cup of Love

1 Tbls of Creativity

A Dash of Eco-friendliness

Servings: The Whole Universe

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eco Training Pants - Continuing the Journey With Sticking to Cloth and Staying Green!

Hi folks!  I wanted to share some great resources for eco-friendly cloth training pants for your little ones.  Previously, I had posted about my geeky passion for cloth diapers and Elimination Communication (EC) and realized that I hadn't shared my findings on training pants. 

I had actually introduced training pants to Andrik when he was about 18 months.  Now that Andrik is 27 months (as of today) and is mostly wearing training pants now (he still wears cloth diapers at night since it holds more pee for the times I miss), I thought it would be helpful to you parents wanting to find an alternative to those icky, disposable training pants!

For a 2 year old, Andrik is on the smaller end.  The last time he was weighed (about a month ago), he was 20 lbs and 10 ounces.  And at 18 months, he was even smaller so it was really important to find training pants that could fit him. 

Thankfully my dear friend Yvonne referred me to Potty Scotty and Potty PattyPotty Scotty are training pants for boys and Potty Patty is for girls - although I have both for Andrik because the only noticable difference between the two is that Potty Scotty's are blue and Potty Patty's are red.  I wanted a little variety for Andrik's colors so I bought both.  What I love about these is that they are not only reasonably priced (3 pack for $12.95) but they come in extra small (19 lbs - 24 lbs).   I would've gotten some of the 2 in 1 Waterproof Potty Training Pants  for times when we go out and about but they don't come in extra small unfortunately.

When I was researching on cloth training pants, as mentioned, these were the most reasonably priced but I wanted to try out a few more styles to see which ones I liked best. 

The following is a list of training pants that we purchased:

1). Beetle Learners - I purchased these from one of the Holistic Moms Network (HMN) members, Lisa Carey's store.  I loved the fact that they are organic and so soft but the downside is that they didn't fit Andrik (even now they are still a little big on him).  But for children that weigh up to 24lbs for their size small, it would work out just fine!

2). A great store for ECing and other Attachment Parenting needs is Continuum Family.  I ended up purchasing a couple of their CF Organic Side Snap Training Pants in size Medium.  I also like these as well because they are organic and have side snaps.  This helped out with the poop misses where I could just unsnap the training pants vs. pulling them off and perhaps making a mess on my son.

3) Another wonderful store for ECing is EC Wear.  I purchased 2 Bikini Britches Basic Trainers by Daisy Doodles. What I like about these is that they have the outer PUL so that it protects the clothes from getting wet.  I save these for when we go out and about. 

There was one other training pant with PUL that I purchased from EC Wear but is no longer in business and that was "Why Mommy".  So I have 3 training pants with PUL that I save for when we go out and about.  Since I am able to catch more pees when we go out, I tend to only need those 3 (but of course I pack at least 5-6 more of a variation of his training pants mentioned above, just in case).

So there's the scoop on what I've found online that I use for Andrik's ECing needs.  Speaking of ECing, I wanted to also share a little bit about our journey with ECing here (for those that are contemplating on trying it).  The first advice I would like to offer is: DO IT!  It's soo worth it!  Again, it's not about getting your child potty trained (although eventually that is what ends up occurring during the process) but it'so much more.  It's about being able to communicate with your baby, it's about being able to start noticing when they have to go pee or poop.  And trust me, the first catch (EC terminology of when you help your baby to go pee or poop outside of their diaper), is exhiliarating and exciting to say the least!  Not to mention you just saved having to wash another cloth diaper (for those new at this, cloth diapering and ECing truly go hand in hand).

When I first heard of ECing, it was before Andrik was born.  But I just couldn't wrap my head around that concept because at the time it was too overwhelming for me to even do research on cloth diapering and vaccinating (although truthfully I had wished I would've done ECing from the beginning).  The 2nd time I heard about it, Andrik was 7 months old.  I had tried it here and there but didn't stick to it. Until it was brought into my world once again when he was 10 months old when my cousin, Miriam had shared in an email about her starting to EC her daughter.  I felt it was the Universe trying to tell me something and decided to try it again.  Except of course Andrik was considered a late-starter in the EC world because he was already mobile.  But I did it anyways and found great support with online support groups, such as Infant Potty Training Late Starters, Mothering Online Elimination Communication Forum and Diaper Free Baby Local Groups.

Of course it had its challenges but honestly I'm grateful that Dalmacio, Cindy (Andrik's nanny) and I stuck with it.  Before Andrik could communicate via the English language, he would sign when he had to go potty but what he used most of the time was grunting.  He would grunt to let us know when he had to go pee or caca.  I was ecstatic at this point because we were saving alot of cloth diapers from going into the laundry (I would say we were only having to wash once a week as opposed to twice a week or pre-ECing with every other day)!  And then the next milestone came along (walking) and we went back to having some misses.  But for the most part, looking back at my EC log (I had created a spreadsheet to tally the catches and misses each day throughout the week to see the progress we were having), we were having more catches than misses!!  Woohooo!

And then the inevitable happened - we moved twice within 3 months!  Now I had heard about potty strikes where the baby/toddler won't use the potty.  Well this was starting to happen with us.  We moved and Andrik was starting to talk more but he would only let us know that he went peepees and caca after the fact.  I had read about potty strikes online and in the book I read, Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer and the one thing these resources mentioned was to notice if there are any milestones or changes within the environement that the baby/toddler could be experiencing.  Well moving twice within 3 months of each other could definitely create a potty strike, or 2, or 3, or 4....

We were back to washing diapers and training pants at least twice a week.  At least Andrik was still telling us that he went peepees and caca so he was at least still aware of when he went.  I had actually stopped logging the catches and misses in the EC log back in July 2010 because we were so successful back then and felt there was no longer a need.  But just recently within the past month started logging in it again and it is actually reassuring knowing that I'm not missing as many as I had thought.  The funny thing is within a week of us starting to tally the catches and misses, suddenly Andrik was letting us know more often when he had to go peepees and caca.  And then we were having more catches (average of about 11-12 for pees, 3 cacas and about 3 pee misses a day)!  So looks like we're back on track or shall I say moving forward with communicating Andrik's elimination needs!  This is the update as of today.  Yayyy!! 

All in all, I am definitely grateful that the Universe kept guiding me down this path with ECing.  Not only has it created another way for us to communicate with Andrik when he couldn't speak yet, but it created such a loving and trusting bond between him and us.  I recall one time when Andrik was younger, he was still getting used to eating solids and the changes that come with going caca after eating solids.  He was having a hard time pushing it out while sitting on his potty seat reducer.  It was hurting him and he started to cry and a look of panick came across his face.  Dalmacio stepped in and connected with Andrik and reassured him that Daddy was there for him.  Dalmacio started making grunting/pushing noises and touched his forehead to Andrik's forehead.  It was such a beautiful connection they had that it was because of this moment that enabled Andrik to feel safe and supported and was able to push it out.  Now that right there is a beautiful example of conscious and eco-parenting at its fullest! 

Nope..I wouldn't change a thing with our decision to cloth diaper, EC and use cloth training pants.  Not only are we making a difference with our carbon footprint on planet Earth but we are continuously connecting with our son on so many different levels.  Just like so many of our conscious parenting choices, it may take a bit of practice and take longer to instill but  in the end, is well worth it!  And sure a disposable diaper may be the "quick fix" just like "rewards and praise" may seem like the best answer to solving an issue you're having with your child so you can go to the next thing on your parening to-do list but when we take the time to connect with our children through love parenting vs. being coercive through fear-based parenting, in the long run, we are helping to guide our children into becoming conscious, loving, nurturing citizens of the world.  And that my friend, is what the world needs more of in order for our planet to thrive!