As many of you already know, we have been practicing elimination communication with Christian since he was just a few months old. We’ve had our ups and downs, but recently now that he is eight months old, Christian has shown a remarkable understanding of what all is going down.
A few days ago he was fussing in my arms and I asked him brightly, Need to go potty? and I made the potty sign language symbol with my hand (you make the sign for the letter “T” and shake it – for Toilet). He immediately stopped fussing and looked at me attentively, and then smiled and grunted in affirmation. I rushed him to the potty and sure enough, dry diaper and he peed right away.
No repeats of that though. And lest you think things are all roses around here in potty land, let me tell you that Christian is very good at holding his body rigidly like a board, refusing to let us bend him to put him on the potty. And while sometimes this is because he doesn’t have to go, sometimes he does have to go pee but doesn’t want to (know that feeling?) so he pees on me after I’ve picked him back up. This has happened twice this week – but that’s only the third time I remember him peeing on me since we’ve started EC.
The other thing he’s started doing is if I hold him over the sink or toilet to pee, he now often starts peeing immediately, even before I make the cueing “sssss” sound.
He and I are still going to our bi-weekly diaper-free support group (playdate with other EC moms) and each time we go, I learn a new EC trick. For instance, taking Christian to the potty while we are out and about in town can be a hassle. We often put him in a disposable diaper if we’re going to be out for more than an hour or so – but when we can I like to pee him as soon as we’ve arrived someplace. One of the other moms says she carries an extra potty in the trunk of her car. Great idea! We finally tried it out this last weekend. Christian was too excited about the new trunk environment to favor us with a pee, but I could see that it could be very handy in the future.
What to do with the pee? Well, some moms line the potty with a cloth diaper, or a cloth diaper already inside a plastic bag, but I heard an even better idea at the last meeting: an empty 16 ounce yogurt container. It fits inside the potty and the lid keeps everything inside until you can dispose of its contents. Me? I would surreptitiously dump the pee at the base of tree and rinse the potty with water from my water bottle. Luckily, Christian rarely poos while we are out. Almost invariably he goes poo very shortly after waking up in the morning, and we haven’t missed a poo in several weeks.
That’s actually another tip I should mention. I put Christian on the potty after he wakes up in the mornings, with some very exciting toys, ie. the small plastic pouch that came with several trial-size Burt Bee’s product bottles in it, and encourage him to sit there while I brush my teeth, wash my face, brush my hair, put in my contacts, plucked my eyebrows, you get the idea. By the time I’m through, he’s often pee-ed more than once and poo-ed too. He seems to like that routine and I would think that it would work as well for any baby/toddler who is potty-training.
I’ve actually become so involved with this diaper-free group that I’ve become a co-moderator of the diaper-free yahoo support group and I’m going to apply to become a diaper-free mentor. So, if you have a question, bring it on!
P.S. Yes, in the video Chad is calling Christian, “Trunkie.” Also, this video shows better the poofiness of Christian’s hair that was upsetting Chad.