Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Communing with the Potty

My friend, Mandy, writes a blog that I've been reading for a good while now. She's another home school mama of four, all near the same age as my own kidlets. She's the one who inspired me to give cloth diapering another chance. She's also the one that reintroduced the concept of Elimination Communication. I'd heard about it before, from Blossom's Mayim Bialik... and thought she was nuts. Or that she was an actress with money and loads of time on her hands to give EC the attention it requires. Not something I could do. That was two babies ago, dismissed and forgotten. Then Mandy started blogging about it. Here was a mom in very similar circumstances to myself... and the way she described going about it just made sense.

So I've been experimenting with it. It has been a few days now. This weekend was pretty busy, so I didn't do much with it.. but yesterday I think I caught more than I missed. And I've only missed one pee this morning (totally should have listened to myself! I *knew* she was about to go, but I'd JUST sat down to type this up.. sure enough, one sentence in and I saw her peeing near the couch. I immediately made the "psss" sound I'm hoping she learns to associate with peeing in the potty, sat her down on her pot even though she was done and cleaned up the pee). I call them "catches" and "misses"--no accidents here.

This morning I also caught my first poop! She didn't go all day yesterday, so I knew it was going to happen in a big way this morning. She's always a morning pooper, and when I first started my EC journey (ha, I make it sound as though that was ages ago!) I wouldn't get her out of her night time diaper soon enough and she'd always poop in it before I could. Well, I was awake at 6:20 or so this morning, just kinda laying there gearing up for the day, when she started to fuss. I knew she wasn't hungry and she was in the process of waking up herself, so I hopped out of bed and brought her to her little potty, which is located in the living room right now. I took her mostly dry diaper (she was fussing last night when I was preparing to lay her down, changed her from her cloth diaper to her disposable night diaper and a moment later she peed--she was fussing because she needed to potty and she didn't want to do that in her diaper!) off and sat her on the pot, making the pssss sound. About a minute and a half later she emptied her bladder, much to the delight of her siblings, all up and at 'em early this morning as well. We all cheered for her, which has become our custom. She gave her two toothed grin as I got her off the potty.

Well, I was on high alert for that morning poop. Hovered near the pot for a good bit, nursing her for a few minutes here and there. She wasn't doing anything to show she was ready, so I stuck her (mostly dry) diaper back on (figuring if she was about to poop, might as well just throw it away) and made breakfast for the kids. As soon as breakfast was done, I went back to hanging out near the potty with Kayla. I was playing Words with Friends on my iPad and she was squirming to get off the potty... and when I took her off, I noticed a bit of poop on the seat where she'd been squirming around. "Kayla! You're pooping!" I nearly shouted. I cleaned up the poop with a cloth wipe and sat her back down. She didn't appear to be very comfortable pooping on the pot, but I'm hoping that's because it is a new sensation. A minute later I lifted her up, and behold! There was poop! I got her cleaned up and went back to the bathroom to clean out the potty. When I got back into the living room, she'd pooped a bit again on the floor. Aha, so she poops at least two times before she's actually DONE. I'll keep her on the pot a bit longer next time. And that's what Woolite Pet Stain Remover is for, yes? Live and learn.

There you have it. Less diapers being dirtied (I actually had no poopy diapers in the bin this morning, so I didn't have to do an extra rinse cycle before the wash) means less laundry to do, saving money in detergent, energy and water. I could probably go every three days washing them, if it weren't for the cloth pullups that need to be cleaned every two days. That, and it's about to be getting super hot--which means the diapers are gonna get stinky(er) if they aren't washed as often. It just means smaller loads though.

Kinda wish (like cloth diapering) I'd done this from Laureli on. Then again, I was working until Laureli was ten months old, so I wouldn't have been able to do that. Not as often, anyhow. The past is the past and I'm looking forward to the future.

Oh.. and Kayla is doing a bunch of walking these days. I wonder how long it'll take before she associates the feelings of "I need to pee" to "I better get to the potty" and start toddling over there on her own?


  1. This is fascinating stuff, and it seems like if it works it will make potty-training much easier for everyone involved. Is it flexible as to other people, i.e., babysitters or the other parent?

  2. Well, not sure. It's all about observation and knowing their cues--and timing it. I know she'll need to pee after getting up from sleeping (naps included) and about fifteen minutes after each nursing session. I'm still learning all her cues myself and spend vastly more time with her than her daddy.. Until she is more vocal and can tell us... or learn to sign that she needs to go.. I dunno! Until she is more obvious, I think I'll probably be doing the most ECing. :)


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