Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Elimination Communication, Day 4

I think it's so funny that now Noelle suddenly needs to pee every time she sees Natasha doing it.

Yesterday when Natasha poo'd in the potty, Noelle declared, "I get a gummy bear!" Umm, doesn't quite work that way, Honey! She's the one who poo'd, not you.

Just lots of funny stuff going on in the household right now. I have to admit, EC is fun. I really look forward to the day and seeing how the baby will pee and poo on cue. It's ridiculously easy compared to when I potty trained the toddler. I mean, it's only been FOUR DAYS. I haven't had to clean a poopy diaper yet. There's only been a handful of pee diapers every day - most of them from nap-time and overnight. In short, it has been an amazing and somewhat perspective-altering experience.

And is it easy? Umm, YES. Without a doubt, yes. This is what I have been doing.

She wakes up, I put her over the trash can (though I am about to switch over to Baby Bjorn potty which we already have) in the classic EC position, then I say "pssss" - sometimes she pees, sometimes she doesn't. Then I nurse. Then she starts arching her back and making small, whiny noises. I put her over the trash can or potty, again in the classic EC position, and say, "mmm, mmm, poo poo" - five seconds later she is having a bowel movement, we clean up really easily with a wipe, and her diaper goes back on. It's ridiculous.

I repeat before and after naps/bedtime. What I've done, essentially, is simply changed my routine, replacing "diaper changing/butt wiping" throughout the day with "pottytunities" (potty opportunities). And more often than not, she goes!

I see now that it actually takes more effort for me to diaper the baby than just to take her to the potty. I was changing so many cloth diapers everyday (not wanting her to sit in wetness or a soiled mess) that now I calculate that I am actually spending LESS time dealing with her poo/pee.

It feels a lot like the way I treat my potty trained older girl. Before we go out of the house, I take her to the potty so I know she has an empty bladder and won't have an accident in the car. If she has juice in the car ride over to wherever we are going, then I know she's got to visit the potty once we arrive at our destination. The same logic works with my baby. Before I put her in the carseat or carrier, I make sure she pees first. That way I've got some time before her little bladder fills up again. She'll be less likely to have an "accident."

Like this afternoon, even though she peed before we left for our walk, she started getting antsy in her carrier about 20-30 minutes into our walk. I could just tell. She was squeezing her legs together and breathing sort of ragged, like she was maybe uncomfortably full in the bladder. I told Noelle we had to high tail it back home so I could let Natasha pee. For modesty reasons I didn't feel comfortable exposing her bare little bottom out in the middle of a sidewalk. We got into our outdoor parking garage, and since I still had to put the stroller and other items away into the car, I decided just to let her pee on the landscaping in the garage area since it was pretty private. I took her out, took off her diaper and squatted her in position. Lo and behold, she went like a race horse.

These experiences continue to astound me.

I am starting to think that we as a society have gone backwards. Or just simply lost our potty wisdom. There's nobody to teach us how to potty our babies. We just stick them in disposable diapers, forget about their elimination and let them sit in their our waste for hours. For YEARS. It feels a terrible shame. I let Noelle wear diapers until she was two years old. I just did not know she could have been trained far earlier. I also just didn't know how. Nobody to teach me how easy it was, either.

I heartily recommend the e-book, EC Simplified. The author taught me how to potty my baby.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Elimination Communication, Day 3

It's day 3 of our venture into infant potty training.

And I am 100% absolutely convinced now. Babies don't want to pee on themselves, on us, or in their own beds. They will communicate to us that they have to go, and we either ignore them and let them go in their pants, or we take them to a place where pee pee and poo poo go! Wow!

I feel a little bad that I made Noelle cry-it-out so many times when she was young, not realizing that a lot of times she was crying because she wanted to pee/poop or because she was already soiled and needed me to change her. I just didn't know infants could communicate such things. Or that they even were aware of their elimination.

So I got interested in Elimination Communication ("EC") a while back when I read a book about how historically, infants have been potty trained before they were one year old. This was out of necessity, too, because there were no such thing as disposable diapers that could be worn for 12 hours before you could feel wet in them! Babies wore cloth diapers and parents just got plain old sick of washing them, so that was the incentive to getting your baby trained to pee in a pot and not in a piece of cloth.

I had a vague idea of EC, and I always heard my mother tell me stories about my brother who was potty trained by my Grandmother. He was out of diapers by the time he was one year old. And he's a boy! They say boys are harder to train than girls. Yet my brother could pee and poo on the potty by the time he was one. It made me think.

Despite this hearsay, I still couldn't figure out how to do it. I had no idea when the baby needed to pee or poo. There was nobody I could observe, nobody to teach me how to pee or poo a baby. So Noelle grew older and we continued our reliance on diapers. First on disposables, then we switched to cloth. Once we switched to cloth, I quickly realized how irritated I was at cleaning poops smeared all over her bottom. That's when I got motivated to at least start potty training her. She wasn't potty trained until 2 years old.

I determined with baby #2 was that, even if I didn't know quite yet how to EC, I wasn't going to let her get used to sitting in a wet or soiled diaper. I was going to change it right away. I also determined that I was never going to let her get used to pooping standing up. I was going to teach her to recognize when she was going, by making a "mmmm" sound when she went, and I would try to hold her in a position like she were sitting on the potty. That way when it came time for me to train her, she wouldn't resist and be unaccustomed to pooping sitting down.

So far, she has absolutely gotten the sound associations! And she gets the EC position. She knows when I say, "mmm, mmm" and put her in the EC potty position, that it means it's ok for her to go.

The e-book that I am reading, EC Simplified, has been awesome. Watching the videos, doing the step by steps, has been eye-opening. I am a firm believer now and probably won't be buying anymore disposables "just in case" anymore. We've got our cloth diapers and that's what I'll use between potty trips to catch the ones that I miss or am too busy to be aware of.

It's really incredible this one thought. The author, who did EC with her boy from day 1 (who had daytime dryness since he was 11 months old), estimates that 1/3 of infant's cries are cries to communicate about their elimination. Isn't that amazing? Now I understand all the "unexplained fussiness" and the "why is she crying?!?!"