Monday, August 18, 2014

My 5 month old uses the toilet...

Catchy title huh?
But I'm serious.

Let me explain...

A little back story -
When I was pregnant and trying to convince Lee to use cloth diapers one day he said to me "what do mothers in places without access to diapers do?"  This lead to a little research and discovering that these mothers basically learn to read their baby's signals and take them outside or hold them away from their body when they need to go.  Then I found that there is this entire "thing" call Elimination Communication.  I thought it sounded interesting, but quickly forgot about it with all the other things to think about with a new baby and deciding to do cloth diapers was more than enough for me when it came to Leo's bodily functions...

Flash forward several months and my friend Sarah read my post about cloth diapering and shared with me that her little one was potty trained quite early and that she had avoided changing poopy diapers since she 2 months old!! I was DEFINITELY intrigued and now that I knew a real person who had done this I dove into some serious research.

Wikipedia says Elimination Communication is a practice in which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address an infant's need to eliminate waste. Caregivers try to recognize and respond to babies' bodily needs and enable them to urinate and defecate in an appropriate place (e.g. a toilet). Caregivers may use diapers as a back-up in case of misses some or all of the time, or not at all. EC emphasizes communication between the caregiver and child, helping them both become more attuned to the child's innate rhythms and control of urination and defecation. The term "elimination communication" was inspired by traditional practices of diaper-less baby care in less industrialized countries and hunter-gatherer cultures. Some practitioners of EC begin soon after birth, the optimum window being zero to four months, although it can be started with babies of any age. The practice can be done full-time, part-time, or just occasionally.

Ok, so that is a little intense.  It's not nearly as crazy as it sounds, but I also don't really consider what I'm doing Elimination Communication and I'm definitely not going diaper-free like some people do!  I'd call my approach - offer the baby the option.... alternative baby elimination habits... infant toilet users.
I'm not sure. Sometime more catchy than those...

Leo was 5 months old when I started looking into this and I'd like to consider myself a pretty aware mother and while I knew Leo's patterns I had no clue about what to look for.  I only knew he was peeing or pooping once it was already happening!

After reading and reading and reading I decided the only way to see if it'd work for us was to just go for it. So I sat Leo on the toilet and he just started peeing!! It was insane!! I was like the craziest person yelling "Yay Leo!!!! Good boy!! Going pee-pee!!" hahahaha Leo just sat there staring at me like I was insane. Which I am.
I text Lee right away.
Crazy parents.

The very first day he went 3 times on the toilet.

It's a very addicting... kinda like a game.  Can I catch him? Can I avoid having a dirty diaper today?
And with cloth diapers, the less dirty ones, the less laundry.

So I began offering Leo the chance to use the toilet at different times during the day.
First of all, he is a morning pooper (if you're not a mother I apologize... I would have never been interested in reading about a baby's bathroom habits pre-motherhood. lol)  It's usually around 7:30am after he nurses and is awake for the day when I finally drag myself out of bed and take him to the bathroom.  95% of the time he will go pee and poo!

Then I try again before and after naps, after nursing, before a bath, and any time we leave the house.  If he doesn't have to he'll instantly get squirmy when his tush hits the seat.  If he has to go he'll sit still and concentrate.  It's the most adorable thing, if using the bathroom can be adorable.
It still excites me every single time he goes!

If I am being very proactive I can catch the majority of his pees and all of his poos!  Often he'll wake up from a nap completely dry!

The most important thing to remember with this is that there is no pressure on the baby to go.  He's 5 months old.  Dude doesn't really know what's going on.  It's not potty training.  If he goes in his diaper it's no big deal.  And like Wikipedia said, it can be done part time or just occasionally.  Although I did put him on the potty at church on Sunday, I don't do it out in public typically.  They make things you can buy to put over the toilet seat, but for now I'm not investing any money and I don't want my baby near a public toilet!

I'm basically just trying to learn my baby and offer him the chance to pee and poo on the toilet to avoid having both me changing him and him sitting in a dirty diaper.

So you may thing I am absolutely crazy. Which is ok, I'm sort of used to it. This definitely isn't for everyone!  I'm home with Leo all day and have the opportunity to try this out.
I'm just here to open your mind for you to consider something you might not have before!

Here are a couple resources: (I recommend)

1 comment:

Amber said...

Omg this is brilliant. I love the idea but definitely don't have the energy for this right now with Kaylee! Lily gets to the bathroom on her own, but still needs help. Emma is still working on potty training. I'm not sure I could throw a third in the mix of needing to watch so intently for bathroom cues. Who knows, maybe I'll give it a shot. Good for you for trying!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...