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EC in Practice

Winter and Cold Weather EC
by Emily Yates (Mentor, Idaho)

At Home:

  • Have your baby wear long sleeved shirts or sweaters. Then when the pants are down, baby is still covered.
  • Long cozy gowns are great for EC. Easy to pull up, nice and warm, too!
  • Remember if your child is being carried in a pouch, wrap or sling, baby will be warmed by your body heat, so your baby can be diaperless in your sling, and still be warm. To protect your sling and your clothing, sit your baby on top of a prefold diaper.
  • Try baby legwarmers if your baby wears only a diaper or training pants on their lower half. Cut off the feet of your old socks and use them for legwarmers or buy some legwarmers made for babies.
  • Make or buy some fleece split crotch pants.
  • If your baby's bottom is often cold, try using training pants or snap pants.
  • Put the potty in a warm spot in your house so it stays warm, or get a potty turtleneck.
  • Hold your baby close to you over a receptacle while she pees so she won't have the shock of a cold potty on her behind.
  • Put the potty seat between your thighs while you get baby uncovered to potty. This will warm it up.
  • Hang up rinsed baby pants in a breezy or warm area to dry naturally.

At the store:

  • Use cues (verbal, signed) when you potty your baby so that she learns these cue signs and can associate them with appropriate potty places. Then, when you are out, your baby will recognize these cues, which will indicate to her that when you offer her a receptacle it is a good time to go.
  • Offer your baby an opportunity to go before you start your shopping and again before going through the checkout line (if there is a bathroom in the store).
  • If your baby hasn't gone in a while, hold her closely to you; babies usually won't eliminate while being hugged close to you without giving you clear signals.
  • At the store, use a training pant or split crotch pants with underwear. Training pants are a little more absorbent in the event of a miss.
  • Remember not to be distracted by shopping! It is amazing how time flies. Remember how often your baby needs to pee. This can be more in the winter because babies don't sweat as much.

In the Car:

  • Keep a potty or other receptacle in the car.
  • When your baby signals, safely pull over and potty her in the car without opening the doors if possible. This may require some maneuvering!
  • Use a pre-fold, terry towel, or waterproof pad in the car seat in case you can't pull over in time.
  • Carry a large, re-closable zipper bag in your car in case something gets wet.
  • Carry extra training pants and clothing.
  • Keep a water bottle in the car to rinse the potty. It is a good idea to have extra water in your car anyway.
  • If you are expecting a bowel movement, and are using a potty, you can put something inside the potty such as a small container (some sour cream containers or disposable/reusable plastic containers with tops are just the right size) before putting your baby on the potty. After your baby is done you can cover it and take it to the next bathroom you find and flush it. If you don't have a container, you can also use tissue or a bit of water to make it easier to clean, putting all waste into a plastic bag. Carry your container or bag with you and dispose of it properly at your destination.

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