If you’re trying to save some dollars and implement eco-friendly parenting habits, this time in quarantine may be an opportunity to start reducing disposable plastic nappy waste by switching to reusable diapers and potty training your kids.
Potty training can be quite a chore (I speak for myself here as a mum who is raising two kids) and can really test your patience. Now that the novel coronavirus is forcing us to stay at home and spend more time with the family, parents of toddlers can focus more on a sustainable potty training routine for their little ones.
So here are some earth-friendly potty training tips for you:
Non-compostable diapers represent about 30% of non-biodegradable waste in landfill. About 20 billion disposable diapers containing pee and faeces is dumped in landfills and rivers every year. If that’s not bad enough, a single disposable diaper has high plastic content and can take up to 500 years before it breaks down. These diapers contaminate groundwater and bacteria from human excrement can can even leak into local water systems.
Diapers are made from mostly synthetic materials such as wood cellulose, polyethylene plastic, nylon, polyester, polypropylene and polyacrylate. The synthetic chemicals in diapers have been linked to cancer and other human health problems.
There are so many reusable diaper options out there but choosing eco-friendly cloth nappies and changing accessories should be the aim and to locate suitable brands is as simple as doing a quick online search and reading through customer reviews for recommendations. Australian brand Be Bliss Baby produces nappies featuring low impact materials such organic bamboo and bamboo terry lining; and GroVia uses organic cotton and hemp in their eco diapers. Biome offers a range of diaper changing accessories such as eco-friendly wipes, liners and wet bags.
If the choices for cloth nappies overwhelm you, check if you have a cloth nappy library nearby where you can rent different kinds of cloth nappies without spending a lot. Check out Clean Cloth Nappy Hire and Precious Little Me if you’re based in Australia. You can also search the UK Nappy Network for a local nappy library.
If there is a need to travel and your little one isn’t complete potty trained, an eco-friendly disposable one may be your best option. They will still end in landfill but they are more sustainable than the disposable plastic nappies. They usually take around 3 months to break down.
The key to successful potty training is patience and the most practical way to learn how to potty train your kid is to research and seek advice from other parents. Next you’ll need potty training accessories and you can either buy second-hand or purchase new eco-friendly potty training accessories. Parents.com has a great list of essentials you may need to help you with potty training such as potty chair, a stool, and easy on-and-off underwear pants. You don’t need brand new stuff for this project as your toddler will probably need it for just a few months before they get completely potty trained and free from diaper dependency so if you can source used items go ahead and do so – just make sure to give them a thorough scrub and sanitize before you use.
And if you really want to cut out unnecessary purchases, instead of purchasing both the little potty and a detachable potty seat, you can skip the little potty altogether and go straight to the detachable if you prefer.
If it takes a little while before your toddler graduates from diaper use to proper underwear, there will be a constant need to do the laundry. It usually takes around 3-4 days before a load of cloth diapers goes into the laundry which uses up around 20-40 gallons of water for every wash. That’s ok. Keep in mind that the production of one disposable diaper uses nine gallons of water.
There will always be clues for you to know when your child needs to relieve his or herself. Once you have familiarized yourself with these simple gestures and actions, it will be a lot easier for you to guide your child to the toilet before they can even soil themselves.
Potty training videos and resources
As a parent you can create a fun learning experience for yourself and your toddler with potty training videos. The videos on the list contain real life examples and parental advice that will serve as a guide so you can go through this journey together with more ease.
You should also check out the ever popular book Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right written by potty-training expert Jamie Glowacki, potty-training expert, who share her six-step, proven process to get your toddler out of diapers and onto the toilet.
No matter how stressful and frustrating this whole experience will be, remember to be extra patient with your little one. Never show any signs of anger or disappointment which will only make your child feel small or embarrassed. Your love and support will be needed to make this a smooth, sustainable and stress-free journey.
So make the most out of this community lockdown and have a little fun sustainable potty training your child!
Have any sustainable potty training tips and tricks? Please share by leaving a comment below.
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