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Natalie Clauss

Diaper free from birth

I had already posted on Facebook and Instagram that we would like to try diaper-free or the Topffit method with our baby. For this I had already read a lot about it during pregnancy and also talked with other mothers, because we have not tried it with my son or very late. But this time I wanted to start right from birth. I had read that this is a good time to start and that it can work right away. So I would like to tell you about our experiences.

During pregnancy, I had already ordered several small potties or bowls that I wanted to use for holding. I had also sewn split pants, or slit pants, so ideally I wouldn't have to take them off at all. As a backup, I wanted to use cloth diapers. My husband was very skeptical, but let me do it. I told him that he didn't have to discourage it. After all, he can just use the cloth diapers with our baby.

The first day, we actually just used muslin diapers because I barely had the strength to hold our daughter. After a day, I held her over a very small bowl for the first time when she was very fidgety while nursing. And it worked, she actually made it into the bowl. I was pretty amazed. Sure I had read and heard a lot about how well it worked, but somehow I still didn't expect it.

Over the next few days, I held her off and on as I nursed. As much as my strength allowed. My husband and son thought it was pretty gross at first, at least that's what they said. I was proud when it worked. I got annoyed when she had a full diaper. Eventually, I said (and still do) that every elimination into the potty is one less diaper. Nicola Schmidt's saying of "wipe, smile, move on" or something like that became my motto when things didn't work out. Pee was very difficult, mostly it worked rather when she had to poop. But this was quite reliable during or directly after breastfeeding.

Between breastfeeding times I didn't stop because I didn't notice when she had to. Therefore, most of the pee just went into the diaper. We also used cloth diapers completely at night because I couldn't imagine stopping. I thought it would make me completely awake.

After a few weeks, I started noticing her restlessness more and more and would hold her off at times like that. She also seemed to just wait for it and would always pee only when I held her over the bowl and gave her the signal. This worked very well. This way we could go for a walk or shopping in peace and quiet without her diaper being wet every time. Sometimes we didn't make it, but often holding her before and after worked to keep her dry. She seemed visibly pleased by it.

Then came a few exhausting days and I thought at first that she would make another push. At some point, I finally understood that she was tormented by bloating and kept her quiet a little longer in moments when she was very restless. It took a really long time, but in the process she was finally able to fart well. After that it also got better and she seemed much more relaxed again.

By the way, the split pants I had sewn were not very practical. It was hard to pull the fabric to the side and it was much more cumbersome than just taking the pants off. But I also didn't expect my daughter to be so much heavier at birth than my son, so the pants were pretty tight from the start. I definitely want to sew larger split pants again soon. When in doubt, we'll just put them back on as pants.

Among cloth diapers, PUL overpants with a Velcro closure have been especially handy for us for quick undressing at home. We put in a thin absorbent pad, such as an Ikea washcloth, which we could change if necessary. The absorbency has always been enough here. In the meantime, it would go well with all diapers, because I notice quite early when my daughter must, but I still find this variant the most practical. For on the go and at night, we use whatever else we have around.

Even now, keeping her off still works very well. We really have few full diapers and we have become a good team. My husband is also now convinced and pays just as much attention to her signals and keeps her off. We continue to use cloth diapers as a backup or at night. I've noticed that when I'm stressed, I don't recognize her signals or I don't recognize them until it's too late, but that's no wonder. So she also unconsciously shows me when I should take it down a notch. I'm really excited so far and without pressure I think the method is just great for us!

Learn about the diaper-free method in my online course

In the meantime, I have written an online course on the subject. You can register for this course on my website, get access data to the learning portal and can learn the diaper-free method according to your schedule. You can find more information at my online course Diaper Free.

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