We’re about to enter a stage of life that I have to admit, is not my favorite. The potty training stage. Potty training seems to go one of two ways in my house: complete and total disaster or epic triumph. I have yet to have an in between experience. Having been through this three times already, I have a few tips, as well a tutorial for my number one must-have for potty training: a wet bag! With this in hand, I have all that I need to survive with hopefully as few disasters as possible.
Tips for Potty Training
- Follow your child’s leading. If he or she is not ready, you can’t force them to potty train. If they are showing signs that they are interested or ready (telling you when they go in their diaper, asking to use the potty, etc.) give it a try!
- Relax. Seriously, don’t freak out. Barring a medical issue, your child will not go to high school in diapers. You will get through this.
- Set a timer. Put your child on the potty every thirty minutes during the first few days of potty training. Even if they have accidents, you’ll probably get lucky and some of those times he or she will have to go, and they’ll start to get the hang of it.
- Be consistent. Come up with a mantra, potty routine, reward, a song you sing, whatever works for your family. Say it often and be consistent about it. Kids love routine!
- Remember that accidents happen. Your child could be one of those kiddos that gets it from the first try, but more than likely, accidents will happen. Keep calm and positive, and remind your child what to do next time.
- Use Pull-Ups when you’re out-and-about and for naptime. Since they pull up and down, they give your kiddo the independence of underwear, but they’ll help prevent a major disaster in aisle five. (see below for a coupon!)
- Carry a Wet Bag. Once you’ve started potty training, and for awhile after you think your little one has it down, you’ll want to carry a wet bag. This will give you a waterproof bag to carry soiled clothing, so that your diaper bag or purse stay dry. Much nicer than carrying plastic grocery bags everywhere. Wet bags have saved the day on numerous occasions!
Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial
- 4 pieces of your chosen non-stretchy fabric 10×13 inches (for the outside of the bag)
- 2 pieces of PUL 10×13
- Ribbon or twill tape (optional)
- 7in. zipper for pocket (or longer – you will shorten it)
- 9in. zipper for top (or longer – you will shorten it)
1. Take two of the main fabric pieces and put them right side together. Draw a narrow rectangle approximately 6 3/4in. long by 3/8in. high on the wrong side of one piece. I did this about 4.5 inches down from the top.
2. Stitch around the rectangle (through both pieces of fabric). Then cut down the center of the rectangle, making two small cuts toward the corners on both ends, as you can see in the photo. Make sure you don’t cut your stitches.
3. Flip the top piece to the other side and press. You will now have an opening for your zipper pocket.
4. Pin the zipper behind the opening and sew it to the fabric. Stitch close to the ends of the fabric.
5. Now place another fabric piece down right side up. Place the zippered piece on top (zipper pull on top). Then stay stitch these two pieces together all around. (In my photo, I accidentally put my bottom piece wrong side up. If you do this, you will see the wrong side of your fabric when you open the zipper.)
6. Sandwich your zipper in between your PUL and your outside fabric. The right sides of the fabric should be facing each other, and the outer fabric should be against the zipper pull. The right side of the PUL is the waterproof side – it’s shinier. Sew along this side, next to the zipper.
8. Now repeat with the second piece of PUL and the last piece of outer fabric. Again you will sandwich the zipper between your outer fabric and PUL with the right sides against the zipper (and the outer fabric against the zipper pull). The fabrics you just sewed will also be in between.
9. Now repeat the top-stitching on the zipper as you did in step 7. Now it really will look like this picture.
10. If you would like a handle, choose a ribbon or a piece of twill tape and fold in half. Place it in between the two zippers, with the raw (not folded) edge toward the outside. Pin the ribbon in place.
11. Sew around all four edges, leaving an opening to turn the bag right side out. Clip the corners and extra seam allowance.
Then turn it right side out, hand stitch the PUL lining closed, and you’re officially prepared for potty training accidents on-the-go! Or anything else you might need a wet bag for: swimming, road trips, canoe rides, etc.
This being the fourth time we’ve potty trained, this really is a product we use at our house. And diapers are expensive, so I take a good deal whenever I can find one!
The wet bag is nice and roomy, and you can easily alter the dimensions to make a larger wet bag for traveling or even at-home use, especially if you’re a full-time or part-time cloth diapering family.
You can use the inside PUL-lined pocket for wet items, and then use the outer pocket for extra diapers, wipes, underwear, etc.
And you can carry this bag around without everyone knowing you’re hauling diapers and wet undies around with you. And then when your kids are out of diapers, use the bag to carry your phone and keys to the pool!
You can click here to locate a Family Dollar store near you.
Happy sewing, friends!