Well, with Sadie's first birthday just around the corner I thought I would do a post about "potty training" or to use the more accurate, more child-centered term: "elimination communication." While I was pregnant with Sadie and I was reading every pregnancy/parenting book I could get my hands on, I came across one called, The Diaper Free Baby. This book had some ideas that really hit home with me about the way western culture approaches toilet training. Most parents don't even touch the topic until their kids 2nd birthday, but this book got me thinking. We really do train our kids to go in their diapers, and then, when the have a solid attachment to that practice, we throw a major curve ball at them by taking that away suddenly, and asking them to go in the toilet. I am not going to go into all the details of the practice of ECing (elimination communication) as there is extensive information about the topic on the web should you choose to query the google box about it. There is also a lot of good info on my bloggie friend's site, she has been consistently ECing her baby from infancy, with great success.
When Sadie was an infant I was pretty diligent about letting her go over the toilet so she didn't get too used to going in a diaper. But during middle infancy, after we started solids, and we traveled a lot, and teething kicked in, and then Sadie got sick, and, and...we got off track. And I got kinda lazy about it, although, when you cloth diaper, this kind of laziness really just makes more work of a different kind.
But right around the time Sadie turned 9 months, she stopped wetting her diaper at night, and it was easy to take her to the potty first thing in the morning. So we went from there. Now the most important rule of EC is that you have to get your child to be aware of when they are going. In our case, this has involved a bit of trial and error, and pee on the floor. And you know what? That is okay, because now when Sadie wakes up in the morning she tells me, "puh-puh" and when I ask her, "Do you have to pee?" she nods her little head yes. Its great, because she is taking the initiative and communicating a need to me, which I can then help her out with--hence the "elimination communication."
This last month we have kicked things up a notch by going diaper free in the mornings, which has worked out pretty good--except for the day when Sadie pooped on my yoga mat...these things happen. When ECing it is good to keep things positive and never shame or scold your child for doing what is natural. So, even though I never thought I would hear the words come out of my mouth, I found myself saying in a cheerful voice, "wow, Sadie! You just pooped. Tell mama when you need to poop!" And then we made a big ceremony of flushing that product down the toilet. Sadie loves flushing the toilet. We are going to need to befriend a plumber in the near future.
The main issue I have been having lately is getting Sadie to sit on the potty long enough to relax and go. If I hold her on there, she fusses and I don't want potty-time to be stressful. And its not like I can just sit her on the toilet and give her a shampoo bottle to read, so I needed to come up with something fun that she could do while on the potty.
Eureka! Sadie loves, loves, loves to play in water, so I just set her potty in the bathtub, and gave her a big container of water and some toys to play with. Problem solved--for now. I think Sadie would sit in here all morning if she could. As it was, she got her business done, and I had time to actually comb all the dreadlocks out of the rat's nest my hair has become... AND french braid it. Booyah for multitasking!