Diapers and Mother Earth

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One of the motivators for parents to want to potty train their child is the cost (almost $4000 a year!) and use of diapers, so we wanted to share some information we found interesting, as we started exploring the real cost to the earth and potential risks to baby’s health.

 According to the Clean Air Council, 49 million diapers are thrown away in the United States. Diapers account for 2% of waste that ends up in landfills, and while that doesn’t sound like it’s all that bad, diapers are one of the main contributors to landfill waste. And, no one really knows how long it takes for a diaper to breakdown. It could be up to 500 years since they are made almost plastic in them.

For the first 2-3 years of your baby’s life, they will be wearing diapers 24/7. This is an important developmental time in your baby’s life and they will be exposed to several chemicals over this span just from diapers. With the skin being the largest organ in our body and able to absorb whatever we put on it, it’s important to know what’s in our baby’s diapers, lotions, even clothing.

Some of the more toxic chemicals in diapers are polyethylene, petroleum, wood pulp, gelling materials, perfumes, polypropylene, as well as other petroleum-based ingredients. Another toxic chemical used in diapers is chlorine. Many of these ingredients are harmful to the environment, animals, and humans. Some of these chemicals not only cause rashes, but can also cause cancer.

Diaper Doom is a valuable resource of information for the environmental effects. Did you know…

  1. It takes one cup of crude oil to make the polyethylene plastic for one diaper. That adds up to 3.4 billion gallons of oil every year to supply diapers to all babies, which is enough to power 5,222,000 cars!
  2. Plastic retains body heat so when the plastic diaper is constantly rubbed against your baby’s skin it creates a rash.
  3. Most plastic is made from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas which release toxic emissions when extracted from the earth.
  4. In order to make your baby’s diapers feel soft, diaper companies use a plastic softener called phthalate. This is concerning to you as a parent because this chemical acts as an endocrine disruptor which can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects and developmental disorders in your precious baby.

 The most dangerous chemical found in almost every diaper brand on the market today is dioxin: a carcinogenic chemical that is a toxic byproduct of the paper- bleaching process. In addition to cancer, dioxin has also been known to cause birth defects, skin and liver disease, and genetic damage in lab animals.

We try to protect our babies from as much as we can, but should we really have to worry about their diapers, too?

 

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The Potty Fairy can help by supporting and motivating children to potty train. Visit The Potty Fairy for potty training products that enhance and enrich all potty training methods.

 

 

 

Copyright 2017

Potty Training a Bright Toddler

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Bright toddlers can be challenging to potty train. They are typically developmentally advanced in many areas, but are often uneven in their development. Advancing quickly in some areas, but not all areas creates the uneven development. Bright children may even need more time to potty train! Just because advanced children perform at a highly level in some areas doesn’t mean they will potty train quickly or easily or early.  Be sure your child is ready for potty training before starting.

Bright children have unique social and emotional characteristics that need to be recognized. Some of the unique characteristics include being:

  • highly sensitive
  • perfectionistic
  • extremely stubborn
  • imaginative and creative
  • a keen sense of humor
  • Independent 
  • a strong sense of justice and fairness

Recognizing these unique traits and integrating them into your potty plan will prove to be helpful.

Child on potty play with father. Photo in old image style.
Child on potty play with father

If your child is highly sensitive it will be important to minimize accidents. If an accident occurs, clean them up and move on.

The bright child may have high expectations of themselves and even expect perfection. We all know that potty training is not a perfect process.  Help your child have reasonable expectations.

Children who are stubborn typically have stubborn parents. This creates an environment that power struggles can happen. Try to avoid power struggles as no one wins. Give your child time and be patient.

A bright child’s imaginative and creative spirit may need direction. I have read some crazy stories of bright children potty training and decide they are an animal in jungle, pooping in the wild. And you guessed it…what you have is a mess. Try tapping into imaginative play and creativity that leads to the outcome you want. Many gifted children have truly enjoyed imaginative play with the Potty Fairies. Writing letters, drawing pictures and communicating with their potty fairy buddy in a productive way can be helpful.

thiago-cerqueira-191866-unsplashA fun sense of humor is a life line as you potty train your child, both for you and your child. It lightens up everything and can help in so many ways.

A bright child’s desire to be independent can be tapped in to as they learn that as they learn to use the potty chair they will be free of diapers and diaper changing. Celebrating their success towards being a “big kid” and independent will be just want they want to hear.

Finally, bright children have a strong sense of justice and fairness. Telling your child that their unused diapers will be delivered to babies who need them is something that they will feel good about and will want to help others out. It is a motivator for them to know they are helping others.

Make sure the rewards or incentives that you provide your child is something they really want. Stickers or even rewards may not work with the bright child.

Prepare to celebrate your child’s success as they will eventually get there.

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If you believe your child is not ready to potty train, it doesn’t hurt to prepare for when they are ready. You can start by doing the following pre-potty training activities:

  • Sing potty training songs.
  • Give your child a doll to potty train. Read potty training books.
  • You might even let your child wear underwear over their diapers for awhile.
  • Read all you can about potty training. Tips from parents and experts in the field.

Be kind to yourself, give yourself a break, remember to breathe and ask for help when you need a break.

Potty Training Regression

 

Potty trainingAs a young mom, expecting a baby and having a 2-year-old at home, I was anxious to potty train my eldest daughter before my new baby came home.  We potty trained together when my daughter was 23 months, almost 2 years old.  She seemed ready and everything went smoothly until I brought home the new baby and when my 2-year-old became a big sister to a new baby sister.  It seemed almost instantly she was having accidents and my response at the time was to put her back into diapers.  At the time I was so busy with the new baby I was challenged to also give attention to my daughter who was regressing in her potty training. 

 

Cute Happy toddler sitting on potty outdoorIt was hard for me to understand why my daughter had regressed and what had happened. She seemed to be well on her way to successfully using the potty chair! Why did she suddenly reverse direction? I felt like a failure but learned that all our efforts were not a failure, but that I needed to understand why regression happened and get to the bottom of the problem and get back on track. Once things settled in with the new baby and we were able to get a reasonable schedule again, my eldest daughter returned to being potty trained. Although it did take a little effort and focus, we did not start back to the very beginning of potty training which is what I feared.

 

girl with new babyI learned that there is not usually one reason why kids regress when it comes to potty training. Often times, during times of transition that may cause some stress at home, like welcoming a new sibling or starting a new school, regression can occur and a potty trained child returns to needing diapers.   When this happens, you need to address the problem that caused the regression to be able to move beyond the setback. Chances are, once the transition takes place and things settle down, your child will master potty training again and be back into underwear. Patience during this time will be critical in getting thru the bumps and moving forward again. I found this to be true and that my daughter actually enjoyed the attention to get back into underwear, using the potty chair and the benefits of being the “older” sister.

If in time things do not resume to normal, you may want to check in with your child’s doctor as medical issues can also cause regression. Sometimes difficulty with pooping can cause a child to avoid using the potty chair altogether.  Accessing if this can be an issue is important and be sure to offer plenty of water and a fiber-rich diet that promotes easy pooping.

boy on potty riderIf your child is expressing fear of using the toilet, play games, read books and provide aids to make using the toilet more fun.  The Potty Fairy Potty Rider, available on our website.  has been so helpful in alleviating fears about the toilet. Children who have expressed fear of falling into the toilet feel secure on the Potty Fairy Potty Rider.  The Potty Fairy book and enrichment products can also be helpful in bringing imaginative fun to the process with books, music and other enrichment products.  Bringing imaginative fun and adventure to potty training motivates children to use the potty chair.  The little guy in the picture was fearful of the toilet but with Bolt the horse to keep him secure he is all smiles. 

 

Getting back on track with potty training will require some consistent reminders to use the potty chair. Make a commitment to schedule your child’s visit to the potty chair as a part of your routine. Your child should use the toilet at least every two hours to get them back on track. To help with the transition from regression to using the potty chair again begin to give gentle reminders and encouragement to use the potty chair. Often time accidents happen because a child is busy in an activity and they do not want to stop to go and use the bathroom. 

step stoolsExplain to your child they are a big boy or girl and that they need to use the bathroom rather than use a diaper.  Remind them every hour or two and walk them to the bathroom before meals, before bedtime and before leaving the home.  In between times when needed. Have them use the bathroom right away in the morning, before m

Your response to your child when they use the potty chair successfully or have an accident can have a strong impact on their progress. You will want to give lots of positive attention to success and calm attention to accidents. If an accident occurs, quickly and quietly assist your child to clean-up and do not make a big deal.  Make big deals about success!

 

Hockey Stick or BudIncentives to stay dry are helpful. It is worth your while to brainstorm rewards that will truly be a reward for your child. The Potty Fairies love leaving incentives or rewards for your child and this helps keep the rewards, rewards and not bribes. Give rewards for staying dry not using the potty chair. After a few successful days, provide a special treat to an ice cream store or toy store with just you. A special treat with their parent all to themselves.  Praise can be a huge reward too that they are your special big boy or girl, not a baby that needs diapers can be the best reward.

 

 

If you can, keep your child in underwear, even if they are in a period of regression.  You want your child to feel discomfort when they have an accident. You don’t want revert to diapers so that your child regresses back into diapers when they have been successful at wearing underwear. Keep them moving forward as an independent potty user! Best wishes. 

 

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blog-favorite things

 

The Potty Training Consultant recently wrote a blog post called “Potty Training Products I Love”, which is a lovely post about her 6 favorite potty training products. “The Potty Fairy” book was included in these favorite potty training products!  Please check out this blog post and see the other products recommended by Potty Training Consultant!

 

She shares that “working with many different families with children of all ages and abilities, I am always on the lookout for products to make the potty training process easier and more fun. I wanted to share with you what I feel are the best potty training products on the market right now. Get one, or get them all for the ultimate potty training experience!”

One of her favorite products is our “The Potty Fairy” book!

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She also shares: “The Potty Fairy is a brand new potty training book that brings a fun new approach to learning how to use the potty. It features the Potty Fairy and her helpers, Bud and Blossom, who visit children during their potty training process bringing rewards and encouragement. I love that this book is a different concept than what we’ve seen in potty training books in the past and will really speak to your child’s imagination.”

 

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The Potty Fairy book is being featured on Goodreads!  Please visit this site and give The Potty Fairy a 5-star rating and sign up for the Book Giveaway!  5 Books will be given away to 5 lucky winners!  If you want to read the story before rating, send us your email address and we will send you a free eBook from the Potty Fairy! 

copyright 2018