Posted by: Charndra at Tribal Baby | January 5, 2010

Still Using Night Time Pull-Ups at 4: What to do?

One of the forums I found myself visiting is called Mamapaedia, they send an email each day with some questions from Mothers highlighted – it is near impossible not to check them out!

I recently responded to a question called “Night Time Pull-Ups” by a Mom called Rebecca.

She was unsure of which way to go in helping her daughter wean from training pants at night, below is my response:

Hi Rebecca,
There may be a combination of contributing factors.

What if you continued on your ‘no pull ups’ at night strategy – once you get a waterproof mat for her to lay on?

Waterproof bed mat options:
(As you can see, squillions of other parents deal with this same issue)

She’s been weeing in her pants (the diaper) since she was born, so this is comfortable and she needs to learn to wake and then GET UP.

I repeatedly remind my son that if he wakes at night he should go to the loo for a wee – as that is why we wake at night – to go to the loo!

With some role playing fun, practice being asleep, waking and then RACING to the loo.

What if you gave her a hefty dose of self confidence? Tell her she can do it, and will get better and better. No OJ until it settles (blame any juice or non-water drink as ‘causing’ night wees too)

Does she wake at a regular time? I’ll bet the pants are WARM – ie they wee on waking. Get in her room just before her waking time and help her to fly out of bed in time for a few days.

Tell her to call you for help (It’ll only be for a while) and help her – she may be scared of the dark – a night light? A special ‘toilet torch’? Just ask.

Do you have a trampoline or mini tramp? Bouncing on it for 10 minutes at a time can really strengthen her pelvic floor, giving her more control and wait time within 2 weeks. (and yes, YOU TOO! Unbelievably effective tip for Moms – I no longer needed to get up at night myself, nor worry that I was getting diabetes as I was going to the loo all the time, LOL)

One last idea to consider is food sensitivities – additives, colours, preservatives, even natural ones such as salicylates in strawberries and such are wee-producing in sensitive kids (perhaps as a ‘build up’), and weeing gets it out of their system.

Check out:

Is this your child?

Fed up with Food Additives:

Good Luck!

You’ll find a way forward, take a deep breath, it doesn’t have to happen today – strive over the next month together to introduce some new changes WITH her – together as a team. You’ll come out the other side stronger. There is nothing wrong with her, or YOU.


See the other responses at Mamapaedia…


It has only taken me 4 years to finally get around to doing this, but here it is! I’ve just added [Tribal Baby News] – an announcements list for Tribal Baby at Tribal

Sign up to receive access to the revamped

“Preparing for your Nappy or Diaper Free Baby”

Preparing For Your Diaper Free Baby

In this 8 page report you’ll discover helpful tips on such aspects as:

  • 5 tips for Choosing a Potty
  • How to Use Disposable Nappies with EC
  • Why using Modern Cloth Nappies is Helpful
  • 7 Top Clothing Tips
  • 4 Exclusive 10% off Discount Codes

That’s more than 10 tips right there!

Pop on by and join up: Tribal

How do you spend less money on training pants for your baby or toddler?

Thinking creatively will help you to save your money as you also use fewer resources, reducing waste

Training pants are a helpful transitional stage on the way from nappies to undies. They are cheaper to buy than nappies, as they are smaller with less padding. For EC this is a benefit as during the day if baby wets, you want them changed promptly anyway, and training pants make that easier as it can be done on the run. This is helpful for the baby who simply won’t lay still for a nappy change!

How can you save when you need to get a bunch (called a ‘stash’) of trainers for your baby or toddler?

Here are 3 helpful suggestions to keep your budget low when using training pants:

1. Buy second hand to test style and fit!

Custom made trainers are made to suit certain baby shapes- that’s probably one of the reasons each pattern was designed in the first place. Buy them at a nice discount to test drive them.

2. Convert commercial trainers into more effective ones.

– Training pants from the large shopping chains tend to have a bit of ineffective foam in the soaker area. Add some more! Chop a prefold or an old towel lined with something soft and stitch into place. Quick, cheap and easy. Or stitch two pairs of knickers together with a bit of towelling in between the two padding areas – easy light ‘backup’ for little ‘Uh-oh’s’ on the way to the toilet!

3. Use a Training Pant Pattern and make your own.

– You can save by buying a pattern to make your own training pants for your baby or toddler. Find trainer patterns here. Use recycled fabrics, or adapt ‘reclaimed’ clothes into new uses. Prefold nappies are softened and made absorbent with time and use, and guess what? The soaker area is ready- made!

As your baby then toddler weans to regular knickers, a psychological feel of regular underwear can help them to master the clothing skills, while giving puddle protection. Training pants have little bulk in the wash and it’s easy to carry a spare pair.

With these three ideas you can save money – whether it is only for reducing your budget, or also to recycle fabrics into new trainers, to reuse nappies that already have a low carbon footprint or to have a bit of fun sewing!

As you are reading this, you already know to avoid single-use disposable trainers as much as possible they are expensive, contribute more waste and are really not helping your child to improve their continence. Use them sparingly and thoughtfully.

Training pants are an important and helpful stage in your child’s journey to toilet independence. Use them, and save money and help the environment at the same time.


Posted by: Charndra at Tribal Baby | December 29, 2009

A message I sent to Pinky McKay…

I love you Pinky!

I LOVE the gentle sleep message.

I LOVE that you empowered and encouraged me when I first went to ‘New Mother’ classes and all my confidence was thrown out the window as I was SHUNNED for breastfeeding my baby to sleep, and similar sentiments that had me crying for days.

Your books are in our ABA library, and I was reassured by those friends, meetings and your books NOT to go the route of “They have to learn to sleep, crying is the only way” and all that guff about making a baby convenient, compliant and … asleep all the time!

I wrote a complaint letter at the encouragement of my ABA group, and that really helped heal me, as well as cathartic, they re-educated the trainer involved, good for the next mum who came along and said she co-slept! (and hopefully wasn’t told over and over in front of the other mothers that she would likely kill her baby by sleeping with it!)

Pinky is running a special teleseminar about Gentle Baby Sleep…

Visit Pinky McKay…

“I was reading about potty training and there are a lot of people that are “Infant Potty Training” and they hardly use any diapers at all! There’s no way could I be alert 24/7 waiting for that tinkle! Although it must be a very green way to raise a baby. What do you know about Baby Pottying?”

That is a common question on parenting forums, and here’s an answer to this basic question…

What is Infant Potty Training REALLY Like? Do people stare at their baby all day every day?

No. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week isn’t the reality!

Infant potty training is a bit of a mis-nomer – simply worded that way to make it at least accessible to those curious about what mothers did before diapers were an option. It is ‘training’ in the sense of guidance, gentle learning and support…

In reality, Infant Potty Training is not about ‘potty training’ and it is nothing like what you do with a toddler who has been trained to pee and poo in their own clothes for several years. (Rewards, charts, expecting them to go there and do it all themselves)

‘EC’ or Elimination Communication is a more accurate (if cumbersome) word for it – as it is simply communicating with your baby about their elimination needs. I like the term Baby Pottying. I’ve found it enhances other aspects of our relationship, too – such as supporting breastfeeding and simply having a wider understanding of what might be causing baby distress – needing to go poo!

Often when this concept is first introduced on a forum, a bunch of people jump on board shrieking about it, when in fact they have no experience or idea, and assume people do it slavishly 24 / 7 with no diapers, and do horrible things like forcing babies to go, or holding them on a potty until they go.

No, that isn’t EC at all.

EC is a gentle, respectful and cooperative process!

What REALLY happens is people gently and lovingly give their baby the opportunity to do their business in a baby potty or special bowl, rather than ONLY allowing them to go in their pants. Perhaps at first only when they are having a diaper change – the diaper is off already…then the diaper GOES BACK ON THE BABY! (Imagine THAT! Would using a diaper between potty visits make it easier? Of course!) Then perhaps when the baby wakes they offer too – as, like us, babies often wake to go…

Babies are going to wee and poo anyway – but you can communicate as a team to ‘catch’ some of that waste and flush it away. That’s the wonderful thing about Baby Pottying – enhancing the relationship with your baby into these new areas. Parents often know more about the natural rhythms of their baby than they realize. Practicing EC simply adds some extra skills – reducing ‘unexplained’ crying – which is REALLY helpful with a tiny little newborn!

Check out Part Time Diaper Free and take a free guided tour into EC if you have a small baby under about one, or will have one soon – you’ll see what a gentle and benign practice this ancient form of baby hygiene care actually is…

EC is great for the environment – REDUCING the use of diapers – even one less diaper at a time is a great goal.

The Ultimate Green Baby Is The One Who Isn’t ‘Using’ The Diaper They Are Wearing!

Infant Pottying is something more and more mothers are integrating into their lives – perhaps consider a spot of baby pottying with your next baby. It’s great fun. When it’s not, your baby is in a diaper, no big deal.

Posted by: Charndra at Tribal Baby | December 14, 2009

Scout Go Pee Pee


A documentary by Kenton Hoppas about families that use Elimination Communication with their infant children and the positive aspects in brings to their family as well as the inevitable difficulties of going “diaper-free” with an infant.

It is 19 minutes long.

Watch the video…

Practicing Elimination Communication (EC) Is All About REDUCING The Ecological Impact Of Your Baby.

Generally babies produce about two tonnes of diaper waste that pollutes our planet for many years. With some fun potty breaks in your day you can gradually reduce that amount…

Read on to discover three ways practicing Baby Pottying will help ease the environmental impact of your tiny baby…

There are many benefits to being part-time diaper free. However the main reason parents love to practice EC is the enhanced connection between them and their babies. Simply, their babies love it and they love it too.

– Perhaps your baby will love it as well?

3 Benefits of Practicing Elimination Communication That Are Helpful To Our Environment:

1. ANY reduction in the number of disposable diapers used is a boon to the environment – imagine if every parent used one less diaper per day as their baby went in the potty a few times?

2. ANY drop in the size of your diaper washing load is fantastic news for mother Earth – even less water and detergents used.

3. ANY reduction in the amount of creams, wipes, powders and medicated diaper rash ointments lessens the ecological impact we have on the environment. All these products mean more resources, transport, waste. We can reduce it.

Strive to use just one less diaper each day – or each week at first!

Even one less diaper will make a difference to the Earth as more families do it. Visit Part Time Diaper Free to discover your many options to slowly reduce your need for diapers, as you raise a green baby.

You’ll feel great and it will set a wonderful example to your friends and family. Your child will grow up with a legacy of less waste and knowledge of a more sustainable and traditional way to care for babies as they develop social toilet use skills in a natural, gradual way.


Pop over to Charndra’s website on part time Baby Pottying, or – you can join to receive a free e-course introducing you to the Secrets of EC Confidence. Over 40 Potty Songs, plenty of tips, resources and helpful ideas to make your journey easing into EC very smooth indeed.

Give EC a go! It’s good for the Earth.

I was visiting the blog of Lisa called “Relentless Abundance” (What a great name for a blog!)

She has described her EC experiences so far with a great introduction about the abilities of her 4 month old to communicate and then wait while on an airplane with a long line at the loo!

She has also included those reasons to EC that most appeal to her, namely:

  • Health reasons
  • Attachment parenting
  • Environmental reasons
  • Fun
  • Common sense

I’d pip them as pretty spot on for the reasons we also practice EC. Regardless of how many ‘misses’ we might have on a ‘rainy day’, or when Jett is having a ‘potty pause’ kind of planky baby day, I still keep up his nudie time at home, and outside, well, that is no-nappy time for sure! No extra washing thanks when the grass needs all the water it can get, and the wee is actually a fertiliser for our poor drought ridden ground.

What a lovely post about EC she has written, and there is a lovely ‘on potty’ photo of her little boy, Kolya. I have excerpted a bit of it to introduce it to you here:

We were on the plane to Cape Town. Over the engine noise, Kolya started fidgeting. There was a queue three-deep to get to the toilet. No way is this child going to wait that long, I figured. But the signals were hard to ignore. I stood in the queue, baby in arms, wishing that the other passengers wouldn’t take so goddamn long. Eventually the little door sign clicked green. We popped into the loo, and I whipped K’s nappy off, convinced it would be a complete disaster zone. Nothing there. I held him over the tiny airplane toilet, feeling like a freak. “Chhh chh” I whispered sheepishly. “Just in case you want to go.”

And, super-matter-of-fact, 4-month-old child did just that. Did his thing in the aeroplane loo, probably with better aim than most adults on the flight. I tried hard not to feel smug, but the truth is that one of the best parts of being a parent is feeling that you’ve succeeded in meeting one of your child’s needs, especially when he’s too young to spell them out to you verbally.

Elimination communication – otherwise known as natural infant hygiene. Big terminology for a fairly basic concept. I first heard about it while I was pregnant, and (like so many of the ideas I read about, and later ended up taking on board) it sounded weeeeeeird (no pun intended). But intriguing.

See, the commonly held western view about babies is that they can’t control their pee or poo. Leave them alone and they’ll squirt the stuff liberally all over everything. Enter the nappy industry. A baby therefore must be wrapped up for about the first three years of its life in a nice, tightly-fitting absorbent nappy at all (or most) times.

Question is: what about those aeons that passed before nappies were invented and marketed (a mere 200 or so years ago)? And: what about all those children in places where people don’t have access to – or can’t afford – nappies?

The answer is elimination communication. Except that in the places where it’s most commonly practiced, it doesn’t have a name at all. It’s just what people do.

Visit Relentless Abundance to continue reading this fab post about EC…

Posted by: Charndra at Tribal Baby | December 8, 2009

Opportunities to Practice Elimination Communication as a Natural Parent…

I submitted the following article to Natural Parent in Australia:

Opportunities to Practice Elimination Communication as a Natural Parent

Elimination Communication or EC, is an ancient approach to baby hygiene that involves getting to know your baby’s patterns and rhythms of elimination so that, together as a cooperative team, you can ‘catch’ some of their business in a potty, potty bowl or other suitable place.

Yes, you will still use nappies, despite what some dreadful articles and T.V shows love to sensationalise! Being ‘Part-Time Nappy Free is perhaps a more accurate term, as you use nappies some of the time, or training pants, sometimes nappy-free time. You can certainly use nappies or other reusable cloth options as backup between potty visits. I do, and I have practiced EC since birth with both my children.

My baby is 9 months old at the moment, he is at the stage of wearing mostly cloth trainers and some nappies (I like eco-disposables for my single-use nappy needs) and he signals each day a few times with baby sign language that he needs to go! It is very thrilling. It is a gradual approach to toilet learning for sure, but this is because it is about the relationship, the communication with your baby, not about toilet training – that is just the end result, not a short term goal.

It’s actually quite fun and exciting to practice EC in this relaxed and flexible way, and may have been what your Grandma or Great Grandma did to reduce her washing load all those years ago, just as my Granny did!

Wearing and carrying your baby, breastfeeding and simply playing with your baby offer you a doorway into baby pottying. These natural mothering activities can be used to turn on your EC ‘baby radar’ and help you to begin reducing your use of nappies.

Let’s look at 3 natural parenting activities that can help you to develop your EC senses:

1. Baby wearing and carrying – you can use this closeness to reduce your need for nappies by focussing on some common signs. When your baby has a sleep in the sling, or in your arms then wakes up, you’ve got what we call a ‘Prime Time’- the need to wee wakes babies just as it does us. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll be able to catch a wee or more and start making connections with your baby by using a cue sound or word. So, have a warm potty ready, pop baby out of their sling, whip off their nappy and gently help them on the potty, talking brightly all the time. See what happens!

2. With breastfeeding, you can use this natural process as a window into the elimination rhythms of your baby. When your baby fusses at the breast, slowly remove their nappy, offer them a wee break. You may find a full bladder was distracting them from feeding. This is a really common signal to know when your baby needs to go!

3. Another game to play. When practicing EC, you’ll learn Potty Songs, make Potty Charms, as you play with Potty Puppets and enjoy fun moments connecting with your baby. When they ‘go’ in their potty or while you hold them lovingly in an ‘in-arms’ position to go, cheer, enjoy their thrill as they look up at you with bright eyes that say “You got it, Mum!”

Smaller washes each week? Yes, please! Fewer nappies to buy? Yes, please! EC offers you these opportunities to reduce costs and the ecological footprint of your baby as you enhance your relationship with new tools of understanding; using your familiarity with their elimination patterns and rhythms to reduce the amount of waste and washing produced by your baby.

Imagine if every baby wore 1 less nappy each week, then, in time, one less nappy each day?

That would add up to sizeable benefits to the environment, and positive experiences around a potty will make it an everyday, familiar item, so that eventual regular toilet training can flow smoothly.

Perhaps you’ll even find yourself with a baby that only wears nappies part-time?

It’s a liberating place to be!

– Charndra Josling

Visit Natural Parent…

Elimination Communication is a fun way to connect with your baby each day.

By offering potty breaks you can reduce the waste produced by your baby, or your washing load (or both!), minimizing the environmental footprint of your baby.

Families all over the world and throughout time have used this gentle way of helping baby to stay clean and dry as much as they can (yes, not all the time), and more importantly, they enjoy the communication with their pre-verbal little baby, the insight into their world this window can open up – it is why people get hooked when they take the plunge and have a go!

3 Key Ideas About Infant Potty Training. These Tips Will Help You to Understand EC:

1. Being part time nappy or diaper free is about the communication with your baby, NOT about early toilet training. Again – it is NOT about early toilet training – that is something different. EC is about the bond between parents and baby / toddler, developing your relationship into new areas of understanding.

2. Yes, practicing EC can mean your toddler achieves earlier independence, but it is not a given, as EC is about their personal journey – and many things in life can ‘happen’ and fluff around with that journey. Around two is general average for when EC toddlers achieve good communication, though few diapers are used daily often long before then.

3. Meanwhile you will likely use far less nappies / diapers than if you were using diapers full time, which is great for your budget, the environment and your washing load. Think of it as about reducing any sort of waste or washing related to your baby, that’s a sensible thought, whether it is one less diaper or many, you can consider yourself ‘Part Time Diaper Free‘.

Like any option, of course, if it doesn’t interest you – don’t do it! People practicing EC see it as a bond with their babies, not a competition to independence, not a way of being better – it is simply better for them.

Perhaps it will be a wonderful discovery for your family? It’s pretty easy to give it a go as your baby wears diapers between potty visits. There is no concern about ‘mess’ everywhere. Your baby will go in their diaper as usual when you miss their needs or are otherwise busy at the time.

EC is a flexible option, you need to have some daily consistency, a regular time you give your babe the ‘opportunity’ to use a baby potty to help them stay aware and familiar with a potty. Your ‘default’ is the diaper, so no loss when you are busy, like all Mamas are!

– Charndra

Pop over to Charndra’s website on part time Baby Pottying, or – you can join to receive a free e-course introducing you to the Secrets of EC Confidence. Over 40 Potty Songs, plenty of tips, resources and helpful ideas to make your journey easing into EC very smooth indeed.

Give EC a go! It’s good for the Earth.

Copyright by Tribal Baby © 2009 Charndra Josling

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »