Potty

I don’t recall exactly when I made the decision to go diaper-free with Kiddopants, but it was before he was born. The method is called Elimination Communication and it’s supposed to be very successful. I looked at a few books and the best one I’d found was this one:

(link goes to Amazon)

Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer

We used diapers quite a lot in the beginning because we were unsure as to how the whole deal worked. We did make the cue noises every time we caught him going like the book said and we charted the timing of elimination, which made me feel good because we were at least giving this idea a shot. We noticed that he started off into space when he was peeing. We called it the Pee Stare.

When Kiddopants responded to the cue noises, I was ecstatic. He was still less than six months old when he did. I took his diaper off and made the sssss-ssssss noise we’d decided on – and he peed. He peed when I told him to! HOW COOL WAS THAT?! We were really making progress.

As soon as he was able to sit up, we started holding him on the Baby Bjorn Little Potty to get him used to sitting on it. We only caught him a couple of times before he peed, but we managed to catch a few. It made us hopeful.

He started solid foods at about seven months or so. The day after the first bout of solids, I noticed him staring off into space and grunting a little. I grabbed the potty and quickly pulled his diaper off.

Success!

I had caught his first solid poop! He pooped in the potty! I was so thrilled that I emailed a bunch of people about it. Yeah, I know.

Once he started walking on his own, it was easy. We put the potty in reach and he walked to it when he needed to go. It still was mostly just poop in the potty, but the joy of not having poopy diapers to clean up was worth the pee diapers we had to deal with.

One of his first words was “pee.” Now he would tell us when he had to use the potty. The idea that young children just don’t know when they have to go is a myth. Kiddopants was just over a year old when he was going on his own to the potty quite often.

I think the reason small children “can’t hold it” or “don’t know when they have to go” is because using diapers in place of communicating like this teaches them that it’s ok to use their diaper as a potty rather than put it where it belongs. Kiddopants knew the routine and jumped on it as soon as he was able to on his own and generally seems to prefer using the potty over his diaper.

(At the time of writing) Kiddopants isn’t two years old yet and is almost completely potty trained inside the house. Very rarely do we use diapers – we let him run around half naked. He runs to his new Baby Bjorn Potty Chair and uses it without us and he’s enthusiastic about using the Big Potty (potty seat on the grown-up toilet).

He still needs a diaper at night but he’s getting up more frequently before he pees these days. He’s still awfully disoriented by sleep, though, so he’ll end up with a wet diaper anyway more often than not, but the effort is there. I am so proud of the work we all did together to get him to this point. It WAS hard work and it WAS tiresome and annoying sometimes, but well worth it in the end.

There are many sites out there about Elimination Communication (EC) and different methods that may work for you. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no failure – every bit counts and you’ll be surprised in the end what kind of benefits you’ll see even if you’re not “catching” every pee or poop your kid does. Just the acknowledgement and respect for their little individual systems could make all the difference in the world in one definitive moment.

Google Search for Elimination Communication


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