The quick overview of what items make baby toileting easier
To practice baby toilet learning you don’t need anything special at all except a bit of knowledge and a gentle touch. After all, many people do this all over the world - from well-off celebrities to those who have nothing to their name but the baby in their arms.
The easier it is to provide your baby a toileting opportunity the more often you will offer. To practice a modern baby toileting in our busy western world we can make it easier on our babies and ourselves with the use of some specific items such as the ones described below.
Belt with Prefold
Great for newborns (or any age) for a quick on/off.
A prefold cloth is folded into layers and held in place with a simple elasticated belt.
Also versatile as liners, wipes and dry fast when open flat.
Covers made from 100% wool are absorbent and catch nappy leaks. Air out between use with occasional hand-wash if dirty. May need re-lanolising a few times a year for best results.
Fantastic as a general back-up. They often have a waterproof outer and a feel-dry inner. You can use them as covers over prefolds to help baby keep bodily awareness of wetness.
Helpful for our modern life if used sparingly and consciously. If used in excess they're not helpful to keeping bodily awareness. Compostable options sometimes available.
Useful in the preparation phase or later on as they can absorb one pee and briefly contain a poo. Available in cotton (to show wet) or waterproofed. They fit slim and are easy to move in.
By using prefold liners within a cloth cover you can reduce your washing. Just change the prefold liner after each missed pee and reuse the cover a few more times.
Good guidance for washing nappies is described by The Nappy Lady here.
Split pants are generally used without a backup for toddlers. They appear closed when walking but open by themselves when crouching.
Chaps or chap leggings are used with a backup underneath (i.e. prefold tucked under the waist-band) or on top (i.e. nappy) to offer without undressing.
Legwarmers are used instead of pants of any kind so you can offer without undressing. They are great in winter and also protect knees when crawling.
A great piece of clothing for sleeping in as you can have quick and silent access to your nappy or other backup, or to offer a toilet opportunity.
Simply wearing a shirt or dress with a backup (and pants) is an easy and clean way to get quick access (compared to onesies with buttons between the legs).
Top Hat Potty
Perfect for assisting newborns when toileting. Just place the top hat potty between your legs and hold your baby over it in a close secure hold.
Mini potties are fantastic once your baby can sit by themselves or prefers it. You can sit behind them for support and to help them with their clothing.
Toilet inserts are great as an intermediate step if your baby can sit comfortably - always stay there for safety until you are confident they won't fall.
A very convenient place to use an in-arm hold; often there's a mirror to see what's going on and any pee or newborn poo is washed away quickly & easily.
The end goal but also a useful spot to use for in-arm holds early on as clean up is a breeze and they're generally readily available when out and about.
Other useful items
Particularly helpful to put under your baby when sleeping in bed in case a nappy or other backup leaks. Waterproof qualities can be achieved with felt wool, fleece or a PUL backing.
For most everyday wet-wiping a washable cloth is the nicest and easily refreshed in the washing machine. Preferably natural fiber to be sensitive on the skin and the environment.
Keeping baby close can help you get in sync as babies - newborns especially - will squirm to get off you when carried as they prefer not to pee/poo on you.
Some babies - mainly older ones - really enjoy mirrors or toys as something to interact with while going to the toilet. Sometimes it takes a little extra to relax into it for some.
Older babies may enjoy learning about toileting through simple picture books on the topic. Talking about the process is a major part of their learning and books are a good prompt.
Babycarrying is a great way to start
Newborns love to be held close and comfortable, so baby-carrying using a stretchy wrap is a great way to support them. When you are carrying your newborn in quiet alertness close to your body you get very attuned to their movements and can quickly recognise an 'I need a toilet' squirm to get out of the carrier. Their instinct is to be off your body and out of fabric to pee or poo (to avoid soiling their nest). You may even experience a phantom pee (hot sensation as if you're being peed on, but aren't). If either occurs its a good time to offer a toilet, as well as anytime you take your baby out of the carrier. There are many types of carriers and you may prefer different ones for different activities. Personally, I preferred a Tula Explore for longer walks; a moby wrap for cosy time at home; and a woven ring sling for out of the car and popping into a shop and back again.
Easier with Nappy Freedom
The practice of offering your baby multiple potty opportunities a day can get a bit tedious with conventional baby clothing, which is why we at Nappy Freedom design and create a multitude of distinct garments that make for easy access and a quick switch away from nappies in due course. Check out our wide range of helpful accessories once our shop has launched.