Using Split Pants With a Newborn
How long are babies considered a newborn? I always thought that 0-3 month was the age range that fit the description of newborn, but seeing how big and different my girl looks, I feel weird calling her a newborn (she’s 2.5 months old). So I thought I’d better write this blog about how I used split pants with her before she gets past the newborn stage (and before my mom-brain forgets everything).
What Are Split Pants!
You may have heard of split pants! They are also called “split crotch pants”, “crotchless pants”, and “open-crotch” pants. These are all different names for a pair of pants that has an opening in the crotch area that a baby or child can pee or poop through. I will call them split pants throughout this blog post. Also, another point I’d like to make is that there is a wide variety of types of split pants. Some are discreet and covered, but still open up when the child squats. Others are made with a big, wide opening that remains very much open. Others, like the ones Komfi Baby sells, have a slight opening that looks much like a split.
Split pants are typically from eastern Asian countries such as China. Older children using them to eliminate anywhere in public have given split pants a bad reputation in the western world for those who have even heard of them. This is NOT how I suggest they be used! Plus, peeing or defecating in public is not allowed in most countries.
Split Pants At Different Stages
Split pants are a great tool to facilitate the practice of Elimination Communication. As a baby gets older and her skills develop, the way split pants are used changes!
For a newborn, it’s all about easy access and minimizing the amount of jostling of the fragile newborn.
For an older baby that crawls, it can mean less diaper battles for a baby that wants to be on the move.
For a toddler, it can mean more autonomy and independence as she can potty herself without having mastered the skill of pulling down pants.
I can write much about it, but I’ll choose to focus on how I used them with my newborn.
Split Pants Stash
I had around 4 pairs of split pants! As I was researching and making my order of split pants from my manufacturer in South Korea, I received several samples of split pants that they had made according to my hand-drawn diagrams. The sizes ranged from 3M (3 months) to 18M. I have 3 of those, and I opened a new pair of split pants from the ones that Komfi Baby sells for my new baby in a soft pink colour. They are all organic cotton with a very stretchy waistband. The cotton is very stretchy and makes room for the ever-growing-chubbier thighs.
How I Use Split Pants With My Newborn
The split pants I had are currently used in three main ways:
1. With a prefold/flat and diaper belt for easy pottying. I dress baby in the split pants only, then open the hole as much as I can. In between her legs, I put a prefold or flat cloth diaper without any cover and fasten it around her waist with my diaper belt. I open the hole so that the split pants material is not stuck under the cloth diaper to avoid having to change it when she pees. When I want to offer the potty to her, I open the diaper belt and let the prefold flap open. I then lift her and potty her without having to remove her pants! The split pants act as a potty cozy too, so it opens enough for it not to get soiled when she poops, but it covered enough of her cheeks that she doesn’t come in contact with the cold plastic of the potty. I then lay her back down and put the cloth diaper back on. I love this way of using the split pants because it keeps her legs warm all the time!
2. With a prefold/flat laying underneath for diaper-free time. I sometimes just lay her down and tuck a cloth diaper into the waistband underneath her so she can kick her legs and air out her crotch. She is still young and is just starting to kick her legs more vigorously. When she slides around and becomes mobile, this method will probably not work anymore since the cloth diaper won’t stay in place underneath her bum to catch any pees or poops. Also, this method works because she’s a girl and most of her pees dribble down rather than shooting far away as boys’ pees tend to!
3. Without anything inside my wrap baby carrier. This is by far my favourite way of using our split pants! My little girl doesn’t like being in the carrier unless she’s sleepy. Also, she doesn’t nurse to sleep often during the day, but needs additional holding or rocking. So, what I do is wait until she’s getting sleepy, then encourage her to pee or poop in the potty. I then nurse her, then put her into my soft, stretchy baby carrier without a diaper. Just the split pants.
The hole in these split pants is slim enough that her bum cheeks make contact with the carrier, but her front stays quite closed and tucked in. I then rock her to sleep and she has only peed on me once in 2.5 months of wearing her like this in my carrier sans diapers.
I love it, because I feel like she is more comfortable without a bulky cloth diaper pressed up against her (and cloth diapers are much bulkier than disposable diapers). As soon as she wakes up and seems like she won’t go back to sleep again, I pull her out and potty her! It’s soooo satisfying and easy. Just for those few hours, I feel like a woman who really doesn’t need to use diapers (except I definitely do!). Using the split pants in the carrier is one of the few times I find I can really be in tune with baby and catch almost everything.
I knew split pants were useful before I used them on my baby. When I started selling them, my firstborn was already day-trained and could easily pull his pants down and up. He didn’t need split pants. However, now that I’m using it on my newborn, my eyes have really been opened to how useful they are and how they can be used in many different ways!
Have you used split pants before? Have you seen them before? Did you feel hesitant to use them for some reason or feel intimidated by them? Let me know in the comments!