I’m not making this up.
Months ago, I posted about elimination communication (EC), also known as infant potty training or natural infant hygiene. The idea is that babies can and do communicate their need to eliminate–pee and poo–and an attentive parent can respond to those cues and allow the baby to use the toilet. I first read about EC in Mothering magazine. I did some more reading and came across The Other Side of the Moon blog. She inspired me to give EC a try with her real life examples of EC as a true alternative to diapers–either cloth or disposable. Even so, I was thinking what you’re thinking now:
I’m here to tell you YEAH, RIGHT! Guess what? In the past three days I’ve only had to change two poopy diapers. The rest of the poops–and you ought to know breastfed babies poop like, 10 times a day–were caught in the toilet where they belong. On more than one occasion, I got Benjo to the toilet and he still had a dry diaper.
So how do we do it?
First, Ben is really obvious with his cues, as most new babies are. He scrunches up his legs and hollars and basically announces to the world he isn’t comfortable. At that point, I take him to the potty. I sit down and put him in front of me and do my darnest to point his whizzer down. I don’t always succeed at this. And then I say
After a few times of doing this, Ben started holding it until he heard me say “psSSSSSSss.” Then he’d go. He’ll also go #2 but that takes patience and intuition. It’s pretty obvious when he’s done peeing. I have to guess when he’s done with #2. Usually he’s nearly done when he gives a big yawn followed by another poo. When he fusses like crazy even after I’ve got him on the toilet, it usually means
“Gee, thanks a lot mom. I started doing my jiggly leg thing five minutes ago. Thanks to you, I peed all over myself. Gosh. Just try to get me here faster, next time, would ya? And change me, for pete’s sake.”
Yeah, he really is that upset when he has to resort to his diaper. But he’s way happy after he’s visited the toilet. See super cute picture above.
Now, that’s awesome and everything but why WHY would I even attempt such a thing? Well, first of all, I hate changing diapers. Ick. Ick. Ick. Second of all, I’ve found out in the past two weeks that I suck at potty training. ECers knock one to three years off the potty training hurdle, with EC babies commonly going diaper free by nine months of age and verbally communicating their need by 12 months. There is nothing–not money, nor fame, nor the promise of eternal youth–that could entice me the way that promise does.
No more potty training.
Ah, the sound of tinkling in the toilet. It’s music to my ears.