With the sun beginning to come out (slowly but surely!), it's the time of the year that a lot of parents think more and more about potty training their little ones.
Warmer weather means that it's easier for little ones to be running around in only their pants while they get used to the idea of going for a wee on the potty instead of in a nappy!
I thought it would be useful to put together some eco-friendly tips for plastic-free potty training, as I know that when I was potty training my son, I accepted any hints and tips there were going!
The caveat to all this, is that every child is different. They will instinctively want to potty train at different ages and different times... some children are ready at 2, some at 3, and some beyond that (and even some before that!). If you possibly can, it's always best to go with what your child is happy with. And it does often take children a little longer to be reliably dry during the night, too.
And if, like me, you are concerned to give your child the best possible experience at the same time as being environmentally friendly, then you'l be trying to figure out ways to reduce your environmental impact during potty training.
So here's a few tips to get you going...
1) ALL ABOUT CLOTH
Cloth nappies can help with potty training!
When I've asked around about potty training, I've always found that those using cloth nappies have found potty training a little easier than those that use disposable nappies. It sounds like this is because little ones can feel the wet a little more quickly than with disposable nappies, and
2) NOT ALL POTTIES ARE MADE EQUAL (there are non-plastic alternatives!)
When I started to investigate potty training, I thought that there was no option but to have a hideous plastic potty. How wrong I was!
You can now invest in a plastic-free biodegradable potty for potty training, instead of a plastic one.
This eco-friendly potty is made from plants, and at the end of their lifetime when they biodegrade they go back into their basic components, not releasing toxins and polluting substances into our environment. It returns to nature to nourish the crops from which the process originates. How delightful!
They are really excellent, too. Here’s a lovely testimonial from a mum of 2.
"I bought two of these potties to toilet train my son, not wanting to buy a cheap, polluting plastic one. It was surprisingly difficult to find anything remotely suitable for a reasonable price until I found this one. I'm very glad that I did, because it's been a great bit of kit. Here are the main advantages I found.
- The potty is easy to clean. The surface is smooth, dense, and hard, and doesn't have that slight greasiness of plastic.
-The potty is robust. It is slightly heavier than the equivalent in plastic, and this stops the potty from skating round while a toddler is trying to back onto it!
-The potty is durable. After almost a year in use, the surface of the potty still looks pristine. I'm sure I'll be able to use them to train my daughter too.
-The potty is comfy! My son likes using them, which has been really important in persuading him to sit down during training.
The eKoala potty has been a great choice for us!" - Amy, mother of 2
See Plastic Free Baby’s full potty training range here:
- SAVING THE PLANET, ONE WIPE AT A TIME
I found that during potty training and toilet training, normal disposable toilet paper and/or disposable wet wipes simply don’t cut it. They are messy and simply don’t get the bottom clean enough!!!
I have found washable / reusable wipes to be an absolute blessing for potty and toilet training. They can be used like disposables, but can just be washed on a high temperature wash and reused time and again.
The ones that I really love are these bamboo cotton terry wipes from MuslinZ. They are super soft, and they are a good size for bums.
- DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ONE
You can’t be at home 24/7 during the weeks (and months?) of potty training, so you’ll need a practical and environmentally friendly solution for when you leave the house. You could take the biodegradable potty in a bag with you, but if you need to travel light, then try packing a disposable biodegradable travel potty! Made of recycled cardboard, it is portable enough to keep in your handbag or backpack, and can be unfolded when needed in a moment of toileting urgency! They have been a total blessing for me at times!
- DON’T FORGET THE BIG KID PANTS
It was my son’s nursery that gave me this top tip! Put pants on UNDERNEATH the nappy when potty training, and that will alert your child to them being wet sooner, and will help them understand the queues more quickly. This is particularly the case if you use disposable nappies.
These Bright Bots are really lovely, and fit little bottoms, and have made for ideal potty training pants for my son and for many of my customers. My son is a large 4 year old, and he has fitted in his 3-4years pants for about a year and a half now, so they are really great value.
- NAPPY RASH CREAM WHICH IS PLANET-FRIENDLY AND BOTTOM-FRIENDLY
Finding this calendula nappy rash cream was a real game changer for me and my son. It’s totally plastic-free and free of any nasties such as microplastics, it’s completely vegan, and smells delightful. It’s also AWARD-WINNING! But the main thing is that it REALLY, REALLY WORKS - I can’t say this enough! Some customers have bought this cream in batch loads, because they swear by it. And they also know it’s toxin free for our little ones, and it’s planet friendly too - a win win!
Good luck with potty training, and let me know if you have any other good eco-friendly potty training tips to share!
Laura, Plastic Free Baby founder