Ilya has given up diapers for good now. He’s such a big, little guy! It’s a bit of a challenge to find non-obnoxious undies for two year old boys. I have no idea what ‘paw patrol’ is, but it’s all over all the smallest boy undies I could find in the stores. We ended up ordering some plain ones to dye and paint with sumi ink (it lasts very well on fabric!), but if anyone has a pattern or an Etsy link, I’d love to get him a few more.
Both our kids have been very aware of their bodies from an early age, and around their first birthdays, they both started to let me know directly that their diaper was dirty, so it could be changed right away – I think cloth diapers make it easier for kids to develop this awareness because the diaper doesn’t try to mask wetness at all. But we also will always keep diaper-changing and diaper-checking very conversational. It may seem silly to ask a newborn if he needs to be changed, but newborns love being included in everything, and it is the baby’s body after all!
Around 18 months or so, we set out the little toilet (in the house if it’s bad weather, or in the yard in summertime), and since our babies spend so much time ‘being free’ there isn’t a need for a lot of focus or clothes-changing. We just encourage them to “focus on your body!” and try going to the little toilet for all their bathroom needs. It takes a few months of wiping up accidents and delighting in successes, but around 2 or 2 1/2 they’re ready to head out in public, diaper-free and fully clothed!
(Nota bene: each child is different. Each child is aware of his or her body at a different point..a child still learning at 3 is not ‘lesser’ or ‘behind’, he just has a different level of bodily awareness or a different level of control. This is just how we do it.)
Transitioning from the little toilet to the outhouse is a much slower process for us. Even my big 6 year old girl is not going to walk to the outhouse alone at night. If she needs to go after sunset, whether it’s 9pm or 3am, she wakes us and we take her. Because night-time can be spooky when you’re all alone.
Ilya is in the middle of his transition. It’s summertime, so the little sits unused and he has a parent walking him to the outhouse anytime he needs to use it. But in the winter, he’ll switch off: the toilet when it’s too cold for a quick run to the outhouse, or in the middle of the night, when taking off footy-pajamas outside would be impractical.
Essentially, we try to support our kids as they develope their self control and confidence. We try to adjust to the different seasons so that a small child isn’t surprised to find being big in winter is unbearably harder than it was in summer. And we try to let them take time to adjust to each stage of growing up while they’re in it..because being a kid can be really tough sometimes!