Monday, December 31, 2007

Elimination Communication

Ok, confession time. We've refrained from talking about it too much until we saw how it went, but since it's going well... If you haven't heard already, Madison is potty trained. We started infant potty training, or elimination communication ('EC'), at one month of age. By two months of age, she was doing almost all of her poops in the potty. She still wets in her diaper because she doesn't have the bladder control yet to hold it for too long, but she also goes most of the time when I put her on the potty.

If you're wondering how this is done, I simply hold her (under her legs in a squat position) over the potty after each time I feed her & she just goes. I read about this concept while I was pregnant and we decided we had nothing to lose but a lot to gain in giving it a try. Babies are born with an awareness of when they need to go, but typically we cause them to lose this awareness by 'training' babies to eliminate in their pants. (And then parents have the nightmare of having to retrain them a couple years later.) I've kind of custom adapted the concept for my own use. Some people literally try to 'catch' every time. I decided before I started that my goal was not to catch 100% of the time but to begin familiarizing Madison at an early age with the potty as the place to 'go'. If we caught even 50% of the time through the process, that would just be a huge bonus. Well it's worked out very well and we are blessed with changing very few poopy diapers, as she does about 90% of her poops in the potty.

As eating or sleeping patterns have changed, so have her pooping patterns. (For those that don't have kids, please forgive the focus on poop. It's amazing what a discussion topic poop becomes once you have a baby. ;-) Recently, and coinciding with Madison starting solids (baby cereal & applesauce), she's been going longer & longer between poops. At first it was a day or two; now she seems to be going regularly every 7 days!! The first two times this happened, she ended up doing a huge poop in her pants - and at church. BOTH times. (This week we were sick & didn't go to church... so I was almost afraid, with the way she'd been saving it for church, we'd have to wait another week for her to go!! ;-) The irony of course was that for months she'd been going solely in the potty - and when she does her biggest, messiest one, she does it in her pants at the most inconvenient time. Almost like she was saving it for us, just for the drama...

Well today was Day 7, and sure enough, she did her poop - and this time in the potty! I was so proud of her - and so happy I didn't have to immediately swab the deck & give her a bath after cleaning up a mess. Now that her body has adjusted to solids, we should be back into a regular routine again -- and hopefully back to that 90% of poops in the potty!

Again, while I don't necessarily do EC the way everyone else does, if you want to learn more about EC, check out www.diaperfreebaby.com.

3 comments:

Niecey said...

I think it's awesome. You guys have done great with it. We've done maybe 10% EC, 90% diapers. I don't try to catch anything, but I take Zoe to potty and she'll go on damand when she feels like it. She's at least familiar with it which should make potty training easier one day.
When she pees in her diaper she makes the psh noise with her mouth so she knows what she's doing.
I think the whole EC thing is fascinating. Good job you guys.

Trina said...

you have inspired me! I think my 15 month old has been too well trained to his diaper. I did 'catch him in the act' yesterday and whipped off his diaper fast enough to catch it in the potty, but I may have to save this tip for my next infant...

Kinsleys3 said...

You can do it! Keep your expectations low, be consistent, and strive simply for familiarity with the potty itself - and enjoy the rewards!