Monday, August 20, 2012

Infant Toilet Training

Several months ago, I found this blog post, where one mother wrote a how-I-did-it on potty training infants. She successfully toilet-trained her two girls at an early age, where they were diaper-less by 18 months. It's also called elimination communication (EC), as in when the baby "eliminates," she communicates it to mommy. Many cultures toilet-train this early having no access to western diapers, so I knew it was possible. I decided I'd try it with Daisy.

Last week I started waking Daisy up at the same time each day so that we could get on a more routine eating schedule. I wrote down when she pooped and what she did right before pooping, so I could better predict it for toilet-training.

For Daisy - she kind of grunts, balls her fists, and kicks her feet when she's about to poop.

Within two days of scheduling her feeding, she slept through the night (12am-7am), which wasn't planned by me, but I was happily surprised. That morning I sat her on the toilet in front of me and sang to her about pooping on the toilet. She didn't do it. After a couple minutes, she started to cry, probably from serious hunger (having slept seven hours through the night), so I figured we'd just try again another day.

My song included the lyrics, "Pooping on the toilet everyday; pooping on the toilet, what do ya say?"

The next morning we tried again. She didn't seem that happy probably because she was so hungry, so I nursed her a couple minutes then tried again. She did it! She pooped in the toilet, which was one less diaper I had to change.

This morning she woke up a little early. I nursed her until she started kicking. Then I jumped up, took off her diaper and put her on the toilet (I sit on it and hold her up in front of me), and in a couple minutes she pooped!

It's been about two and a half hours since then, and I just laid her in a little bouncer and heard her poop. I definitely didn't recognize any signs before that one. You win some; you lose some.

We've tried peeing too, but we haven't had success there. I've held her over the sink and said, "Psssss," while the tap's running, but I guess she hasn't needed to go in those moments.

She's seven weeks old right now, and I don't intend to get it down right away, but I'm officially undergoing elimination communication, or natural infant hygiene, or infant toilet training. I'm keeping a log, and I intend to share my experiences, success and failure. Hopefully that's not too much poop talk for you guys. But if you're still reading this after all I've said about Rufio's waste, I can't imagine you'll be offended by stories of Daisy's elimination.

I'm considering myself a part-timer. When I get brave enough, I'll try diaper-less times of day, where I'm super attentive to her needs. I've already got old t-shirts ready to use as "cloth diapers." I have real cloth diapers too, but those have a different intended use.

Baby steps. She's only seven weeks. If she can take herself to the restroom by the time she starts walking, then I'll consider this whole thing a success. If I can catch a few poops a day, then those are successes too.

Here are some of the resources that I've been reading online:
How To Potty Train Your Infant
Mothering, Mindfulness, and a Baby's Bottom
Diaper Free Baby
Infant Potty Training

Each of those references have plenty of links to more, so if you're interested, there's lots to be said (negative and positive) on the subject. I know it's not for everyone, but I'm going to give it a try!

Here's to fewer diaper changes and training Daisy to recognize when she's got to go!


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