Friday, October 29, 2010

Getting Started on Elimination Communication

Everyone loves to read in the restroom!
 Best and hardest part of anything is getting started. The hardest part of a 20 mile run is really the first three steps off my front porch. How on earth did I start taking my young ones to the restroom at an early age?

When to offer the potty newborn to about 6 months

I started small, just one time upon waking. I would listen for the first sounds of waking and if my little man was truly awake, I would hold him, nurse him a little, and hold him over the potty balanced between my knees as I sat on the adult potty. I always was amazed that he was dry and waited until I made a quiet Pssstttt sound to show I was ready for him to continue. I have never enjoyed being wet on, and I have been very pleased at the relatively small number of times that we didn't get our timing right.  I moved all diaper changing supplies to over very small bathroom. This move was fantastic!

As time went on, I learned more of his cues.While nursing, he would wiggle and unlatch (works for bottle-fed too). Even though I knew he was still hungry, I would take him potty. I keep a potty on our ground flour, in the kitchen by the trash, for just such a moment. The important key is for the child to feel secure, relaxed, and comfortable with the position. We had to experiment and novelty was always enjoyed every couple months as well.

When to offer the potty for older toddlers
Now, for older children, the potty in the kitchen has been invaluable. My youngest runner is 17 months and definitely enjoys our after-meal routine of jumping out of the high chair to use the restroom. We also use it before leaving the house or right after night-time snack. We carry a small potty cup for the car and always offer the potty-tunity before going into a store. I also carry one in my water-proof Planetwise diaper bag for emergencies.  We also read tons on the potty; in fact reading has replaced the comfort of nursing. It's been a lovely transition. And I must confess keeping my older son in big kid pants has been convenient too. We offer a boy's potty-race. Little brother caught on very quickly.

Set Routine times
  • after meals
  • upon waking
  • right before going to sleep
Cues for other times
  • if fussing for no apparent reason
  • glassy-eyed look
  • extensive wiggle
  • asking to nurse or be picked up for no apparent reason
  • potty-dance
  • rubs belly
  • clears throat
  • goes to hide in favorite corner
  • runs to the general area of the potty
  • tries to pull off clothing / underpants or diaper
  • a vague sense that it's time
  • if I need to go!LOL
  • my older two will sometimes tell me! they have a sense, too of their brother's needs
  • phantom warmth in the diaper while I'm carrying him
  • tension in the lower back muscles
Always remembering the relaxed, relational, and respectful principles of EC has been helpful. Respecting my children's human dignity in meeting their needs has been paramount and kept it fun!

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