Thursday, November 19, 2009

"potty training" my son

Yes, my son, and no, I'm not talking about a future event. I hope nobody thinks I've gone completely off my rocker after reading this blog entry, lol. Anyway, it's not really potty training, but elimination communication. There are any number of sites and books out there that go into more detail on it, but the gist of it is that newborns and infants give off signals when they're about to go to the bathroom. Parents can pick up on these signals, even part time, and an infant can start to hold it until being held over the toilet or small potty bowl. Then the parent can start giving "cue sounds" to help the infant make an association between the sound and the going.

Anyway I had heard about this a long time ago, probably when I was pregnant with Lydia or even before that. I tried it with her, but didn't really start until she was 15 months or so, but that was too late already. If a baby's signals aren't being read by the parent, then the baby will eventually stop giving them as they continually "learn" to use their diaper instead. Then when the baby is a few years old, they have to "unlearn" how to use the diaper and how TO use the potty.

So far, I've been pretty much a failure at trying to potty train Lydia. I was also a failure when I tried to potty train our cats, back when we had them. (Don't laugh too hard, there's actually an entire Yahoo group dedicated to helping people learn how to toilet train their cats... TOILET train, not litter box train.) So when I wondered if I could do elimination communication (or EC for short) with Benjamin, I went into the adventure stresslessly, without any expectations. In fact, I was more thinking that I'd fail rather than have any success at it, since I can't seem to get Lydia potty trained properly. But I was pleased and surprised at the early results so far.

It sort of started subconsciously a few weeks ago, because I noticed that when he was nursing, he'd sometimes pop on and off for a few minutes, then do a #2, then be able to relax and nurse. So that was one clear signal that he gave. Another more subtle one is sometimes he will just seem to be staring off into space, and then a #2 comes out of nowhere. But yesterday, I started trying to take him to the potty. I had several "catches" (what EC-ers call it when the #1 and/or #2 goes into the potty) yesterday, including one after Tim got home from work late that night. That catch was about 10 seconds after Tim walked past the bathroom, and he was amused and curious as to why I was holding our baby over the toilet. Then today, I've had more #2 catches in the toilet than have been in the diaper. One of them was after he'd been napping for only about an hour. I heard him stirring in the other room and went to get him, undressed him, and found his diaper was dry and clean. I held him over the toilet, and within less than 2 minutes, the #2 came and he was much relieved. Once he was more comfortable, he nursed back to sleep and I expect the rest of his nap to last about 2.5 hours or so.

In other news, I'm looking forward to going out of town to see my family next week for the holiday. Lydia is finally getting her 2-year molars... all 4 of them at once. Tim is really loving his new job, but is in the middle of working 10 straight days, including Sunday, so that he will be off for Thursday and Friday and can come with me out of town (and that schedule was a company-wide thing rather than his choice to work those particular days).


Dreamer13 said...

Hey! I just wanted to say I don't think this post is crazy at all! :D I think what you're doing with your LO is Awesome! :D Keep it up! it's fun! (Sakari on DS)

Team Hayes said...

I've read all about EC, and totally believe that it is possible. I just don't think I have it in me. I honestly don't think I am attentive or patient enough. I admire you for trying it, though, and wish you the best of luck. I'm just going to hope that PTing goes as well with our son when he gets to 18 months, as it did for our daughter. I don't think I did anything special...I just got lucky. Good luck with your daughter's PTing, too!

(BigMamaHayes from DS)