Underpants update

Lucy has been adding a new element to her wardrobe these days. If you ask, she’ll proudly show you what color they are.

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Photo: Big girl.

After our potty-training blitz last summer, Lucy made steady progress all summer, getting to the point where she was virtually accident-free while diaper-less indoors. After a few weeks of wrestling with the whole underpants hurdle, I decided to give it a rest and go back to diapers for outings, or whenever Lucy requested one. Many things I had read discouraged this, saying that it would confuse the child, making them think they weren’t actually ready for the potty. But I found that giving diapers as an option helped a lot. It put the decision in Lucy’s hands, which I think made her feel respected and grown-up. And ultimately, she was the one who needed to decide to be potty-trained anyway, so I think it was more effective for her.

So, we invested in a wardrobe of winter dresses (making the no-underpants option more modest and warm when at home) and decided to wait and see when Lucy would feel motivated to try underpants again. Every once in awhile I would offer them, she would refuse, and I would back off. Frankly, I felt fine about our arrangement. My first hope for potty-training was to get away from poopy diapers, and Lucy has been a potty-pooper since late summer. (It continues to be very cute to see Lucy suddenly stop what she is doing, hitch up her dress, and run to the bathroom: “Mama! I need to go poop!") Plus, with diapers on for outings, it was a relief not to worry about public toilets while we were at Target, especially when carrying an infant along, too!

Early in March, we were getting ready for a short outing, taking a walk in the stroller. Since we were going outside, that meant wearing a diaper for Lucy — but this time, she didn’t want to. “Well,” I said, “you can either wear a diaper or underpants — you decide.” Lucy chose underpants, and I cringed a bit, wondering how hard it would be to clean pee off the double stroller in the event of an accident. But Lucy wore her underpants for about thirty minutes outside and kept them dry — a record for her! Since then, she has just gotten more and more comfortable with underpants for outings. We had one accident early on this month, but that’s it. She has worn underpants for short outings outside, a long-ish trip to Trader Joe’s, and even twice to church for the three-hour-plus trip. What a champ!

Lucy is very proud of her grown-up underpants, and I must say, the unders from Hanna Andersson are very cute and look quite comfy. (Blue is Lucy’s favorite color, so far.) I’m especially pleased since Lucy just got accepted to her preschool of choice (starting in September), for which she needs to be potty-trained. We are still using jelly beans for rewards and diapers at sleep-times, but I’m not concerned about weaning off these things right now. Next steps: the art of self-wiping, and conquering that intimidating public toilet!

5 Replies to “Underpants update”

  1. Hooray for Lucy! It’s so nice when they are potty trained. We did the naked method of training with both kids and Ella still doesn’t always want to wear underwear, instead opting to just wear pants with nothing on under them. Fortunately all her pants are knit, so pretty comfy even without undies. I find she actually has fewer accidents without underwear on – even while wearing pants, probably because it more closely mimics being naked.

    She’s been lately starting to wear the underwear, but she still decides one way or the other what she wants to wear. And if she seems to be having a difficult potty day and wants to wear a pull-up, I let her. She’s pretty much potty trained, so I figure why fight with her on the very occasional day when she doesn’t want to do it?

  2. Look at how long her hair has gotten… my she’s so grown up! I did the same with Kaia. We just decided to let her make the decision when she was ready to potty train. And she did, with very few accidents. I think that’s what I don’t like about all the parenting books, they don’t take into account each child being different. We’re still waiting with Mo, and his dr says to give him time as boys take longer.

  3. Hooray for Lu!

    Abby’s been in undies for a while, but still has the occasional accident. Sometimes I think she has the bladder of an elephant for how long she can hold it – but then she can’t make it to the potty fast enough. We’re working on the pee on command part of training these days. She’s still in a diaper for night though… gotta think about that transistion soon… :)

  4. Hooray for Lu!

    Abby’s been in undies for a while, but still has the occasional accident. Sometimes I think she has the bladder of an elephant for how long she can hold it – but then she can’t make it to the potty fast enough. We’re working on the pee on command part of training these days. She’s still in a diaper for night though… gotta think about that transition soon… :)

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