When you first use a potty, you needn't worry about how to dress your baby or toddler.
If you know how to take their clothes and nappy off, you can offer the pot.
But once you're hooked... once you know that they're going to wee and if you react right now they'll be dry and everyone will be happy... you're going to look into ec / pottying specific clobber.
In my experience, easy access to the tiny bottom trumps fashion every time.
An older sibling's socks pulled up to the thighs, an inch of bare leg and then nappy under a poppered vest might make you feel like you're raising an urchin, but at least they're being well looked after ;)
Fortunately, you can buy clothes that offer the best of both worlds.
You can set yourself up for pottying success and still be proud of how cutely dressed your babe happens to be.
Prices and practicalities vary, but in the West this is a specialised market, so you can delve into unique hand crafted items as well as picking up cheap imports.
I'll run through the common considerations here.
Flaparaps are, of course, my top recommendation. I designed them to perfectly fit my baby pottying requirements and refined the design over the course of three little ec-ing lives - as my youngest three babies travelled from newborn offers to pottying independence.
Without Flaparaps I couldn't possibly have managed to potty my newborn full time, with a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a two year old who also needed my attention.
We used them through naps and nights. The grandparents could all use them and change them. We never ran out of inserts. In short, I would have been lost without them.
They're made in the uk and my company has very strong ethics. Anyone who can afford disposables, can easily afford to try Flaparaps (and if you're a disposable user who dismissed cloth because of the washing, they'll be right up your street).
Of course, they're not the only style of one-wet pants out there, so if you're not into the drop-flap idea then don't dispair!
Bright Bots are cheap and cheerul training pants and many ec-ers rave about them. Better for toddlers than tiddlers, but if you're starting late or thinking of encouraging independence they can come in handy.
Standard Nappies do a great job of waterproofing the bottom and many people get by using whatever they've always used.
It's a faff to get them on and off if you do it frequently, but if you're offering part time (for example at nappy changes or on waking) then normal nappies are exactly what you need.
Bear in mind that you might find yourself changing them more often than you used to...
For that reason I advise against buying a cloth nappy stash if you're planning to try to ec. I found I owned very absorbent nappies but I was using them like one-wet or training pants. (Most people don't like to put a wet nappy back on a baby. So if you offer every hour, but your nappies are good for three hour's worth of wees, you end up 'wasting' two hours of absorbency.)
Do use cloth nappies! I couldn't be more supportive of real nappy users and I'm an out and out cloth fan myself, but don't stock up toddler sizes before your baby is even born if ec is on your radar.
I know mothers who bought cloth, discovered pottying, realised that their cloth nappies were too bulky for their needs, and then felt guilty about not using them while buying disposables for the next 18 months. Don't let that be you.
If you are using long socks, Sock Ons can become your best friend.
Split Crotch Trousers / Split Pants are the traditional method of keeping a baby simultaneously warm and exposed. In China, babies have their bottom and genitals permenantly on display. Over here we make clothing that's more discrete...
Born Ready SplitSuits are gorgeous fleecy onesies that convert into split pants by way of a double ended zip. They're another of my inventions, so of course I think they're wonderful ;)
If you're looking for something more traditional (or bespoke) visit my friend Beccy's etsy shop Little Bunny Bear. She hand makes split pants and all sorts of other ec clothing - from long tops to wool sleeping bags.
From car seats to beds to carpets to grandad's lap, a layer of waterproof protection brings peace of mind.
I used HippyChick waterproof sheets for years and found them very comfortable (and I'm pretty sweaty so that's quite the recommendation).
Beccy makes wool sleeping bags and puddle pads (lanolise them for miraculous breathable waterproofing) - again, find them in her Little Bunny Bear shop on etsy.. If you've never considered wool as a nappy wrap or waterproof layer, my blog post 10 reasons why wool wraps are way better than you think might win you over.
So there you go. Not an exhaustive list, but enough to get you started.
If pottying becomes a priority, don't worry, you'll manage.
You might then venture into sheepskin covers for baby beds and medieval tunics for boys (or just let them wear their sister's dresses and go commando underneath).
Here in the uk we have access to mini underwear in the high street shops. M&S, Primark, Mothercare and the major supermarkets all stock cotton pants for 18 month olds. Put them through a hot wash and they won't be baggy on your 12 month old. (Not that kids mind baggy pants. My 2 year old frequently wears the 8 year old's knickers and thinks they fit beautifully.)
For even smaller pants (with side snaps), Mothercare preemie nappy covers are made of supersoft cotton and come up tiny.
Hundreds of hours of development.
Thousands of hours of testing.
Days, Nights, Naps.
Newborns, Crawlers, Toddlers.
Part-time, Full-time, Anytime.
If you practice baby-led potty training...
Flaparaps will make your life easier!
My friend Becky sells hand-made upcycled woollen puddle pads, split pants and other nifty ec gear in the Little Bunny Bear Etsy Shop.
She has a degree in fashion design so everything she makes is beautiful! Pop over and have a look. Find something nice to go with your Flaparaps ;)