Thursday, August 4, 2011

On the Topic of Training Pants, Panties, and Boxer Briefs

As many of you have heard or could probably guess, we're potty training our youngest daughter this summer.  It has been quite the experience.  It has been different in EVERY way from what we experienced with our elder daughter.  Our elder daughter was taught EC at a very young age.  She was fully potty-trained by 19 months and was night-dry a month later.  She woke and used the potty in the night as needed and the biggest challenge we had in training her was to make sure she got to the potty often enough.  She was happy to make a deposit and return to her play.

With our younger child, we've found that her strong will is as much a challenge as anything else.  It's not enough to set a timer for her, or to synchronize daily events with trips to the potty.  It's been a daily discussion of, "will you use the potty today?"  and "Do you want to earn an M&M?"  Also frequently heard around the house are, "M, are you wet or dry?" "Did you wet your pants?"  and our very favorite, "Who pooped?"

M is a force to be reckoned with.  She must be bargained with.  She does, afterall, have the power.  And unlike her sister, she realizes it and makes full use of it.

We have been, up until now, fairly successful with a combination of rewards and sweet-talking, with a few threatened time-outs or threatened returns to the big old bulky cloth diapers.  She can go from morning until 4pm with only 1-4 accidents depending on who's with her and what she's doing.  To accommodate the higher-accident days, we've been using an all-in-one cloth trainer.  We have two styles, one set was made by me and has a higher load-capacity but takes longer to dry and the other, from an online seller that holds one good pee and dries quickly.

I have been in love with our daughters training pants from the first day they arrived.  What can I say?  Her underwear is cooler than mine.  No two pairs are exactly alike!  I think that appeals to me as much as it does to her.  She can tell me she wants the "sniff sniff" (flower) pair, or the "A-A, O-O" (monkey) pair, or whatever suits her fancy.   Here are most of her trainers.... as you'd expect, some are in the wash.

As you can see, some are very well-loved and well-worn.  We wash, we use, we wash again.  It's a happy thing.

Lately, however, I feel that we have reached a road-block.  She has begun to think that it's okay to pee in her "underwear" because there really is no consequence.  Sure, she feels wet, but does she feel pee running down her leg?  Nope.  Not enough consequence.   So, last week I made a bold move and put her in big-girl panties for three days.  Over the course of those days I only had to clean up pee from the carpet 3 times.  I feel pretty good about those odds. 

Unfortunately, as much as M loves her Elmo underpants, she does not love wedgies.  I remember going through this with our older daughter.  We tried every single shape and cut of underwear we could get our hands on.  In the end, nothing was perfect.  Wedgie was one of the toddler words that was forever echoing through our household.

In an effort to avoid a repeated performance, 2 years later, I am making an attempt to provide non-wedgie underpants.  My first thought was boxer briefs!  But could I find girly ones?  Not at a price I wanted to pay.  I can't afford $8 per pair of underpants only to have her pee in 8 pairs a day.  Luckily, the internet came to my rescue!

Enter the online PDF sewing pattern.  It took me two days, for some reason, but I did find a free sewing pattern for boxer briefs.  Here's the link.  What I like best about it is that you can sew a pair of undies with just an outgrown Tshirt!  Since we're prepping for a garage sale, I have plenty of those hanging around.  I did stop off at the store to buy more elastic and while I was there I did splurge to buy 3 different cotton fabrics to use in combination with my old Tshirts, but I think it will be worth it.  For $18, I ought to end up with 12 pairs of undies for M.  Maybe more, if I get just a bit more elastic, which, at $1.29 a yard for 2 pairs of undies, isn't bad.

So here is the test-run of the pattern:

I changed a few small things and learned a lot about the construction of the pattern by doing a trial run.  I added FOE (fold over elastic) at the waistband instead of standard underwear elastic and I used elastic lace at the leg hems for a little better grip on my daughter's thighs as well as a touch of femininity.  

I fully expect that these undies will not only be a hit, but will fit and function beautifully!  My next challenge will be speeding up the sewing process now that I understand some of its finer points.  

To quote Prairie Dawn,



familydayout said...

I'm dying to know if the briefs helped your daughter?
I'm currently looking for some training boxer briefs for my son, I've found 1 pair...kinda surprised there isn't more out there so I'm wondering if I should make my own now like u did :)

TheCraftyQueen said...

They did function to get her more excited about the potty, so we didn't fight over it as much. As for it motivating her? I'm not sure. She trained fully three times and regressed three times. I think she just had to get there in her own time. We are still fighting the nighttime wettings, at over four years old. SHe just sleeps too deeply.

Mary Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Beth said...

Just wanted to tell you that you are not alone. I found this post looking for inspiration for my 22 month old who is selectively potty training. One day he needs to pee every 5 seconds and is loving it. The next he is WAY not into it and screams at me for mentioning it. However we do have an older brother, and he still has the occasional accident and he will be 6 in February. He sleeps so deep he just doesn't wake up for it sometimes!